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Reflections on Spain

by Ben Lizdas

Once again, João Jara led a group of intrepid BWD fans on an Iberian travel experience of a lifetime! This time we ventured through the beautiful and biologically diverse regions of Extremadura and Andalucia.

The Extremadura experience was anchored in the mountainous region of Monfragüe National Park, where we enjoyed up-close looks at blue rock thrush, numerous vulture species, alpine swifts, black storks, and more. The scenery was breathtaking, and we were able to take in numerous cultural delights as well, including tours of the Monfragüe castle, Trujillo, and a great sampling of the local wines and cuisine.

We left Extremadura and headed south to Andalucia, where we headquartered at the Ardea Purpurea (purple heron) Lodge for excursions into Doñana National Park. Highlights were flamingos, stints, curlews, white-headed duck, and other coastal, water loving species. We were treated to freshly caught shrimp and locally crafted sherry for lunch, and tried our best to catch a glimpse of the endangered Iberian lynx.

For us leaders, the highlight of the trip was experiencing Spain with such a cohesive and agreeable group of fellow travelers. It was truly a joy to be a part of this trip, and we hope to recruit João for future European birding adventures!

Check out photos from the event!