Tuesday extramaduraMay 23, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C
We journeyed to the monfrague national park arriving just before they opened. This park is native Mediterranean species of vegetation and is home to typical Mediterranean birds of the area and is particularly famous for its raptor rock which we passed on the way in. Being early morning there were no raptors to be seen, so we decided to check it out on the way back.
The visitors centre eventually opened and we went in. Hoping to get advice on which path to walk down to see the birds we were interested in finding. Both the young women at there computers studiously avoided eye contact when we approached their desk and so we beat a retreat and went to regroup over a coffee
We had a lovely coffee and decided to walk to the north of the car park where a wide path descended. The bushes were full of warblers and other small birds and we happily walked, talked and took photos of them as we went. After a while the path ran alongside a river offering yet more varieties of birds and a cooling breeze. We walked to the end of this and at this point our path swung left and as we had no map we decided to head back the way we came. This proved interesting as we noticed things on the way back we had not seen on the way. One of these was a dung beetle clasping a piece of dung the size of itself and then fighting off another beetle intent on its prize. We were photographing this when two people we had met at the hotel came by, we exchanged a few pleasantries and then continued back. The coffee shop did us another coffee and we headed out of the park to an area recommended by a man we did get information from who was offering a lodge with drinking hides in an area north of extramadura. After a few miles we realised this was a mistake and we turned back, this time in time for lunch at the bar.
After lunch we took ourselves off to raptor rock and happily took photos of the many raptors going in and out of the rocks with food for their chicks.
We found a different route back through the dehesas looking for great bustards, and instead finding a fantastic river complete with flying frogs, a montagues harrier and some storks feeding their chicks.
On our return we dined in the casa rural el recuerdo and then drank wine with a couple from Rotterdam who are delightful. We sat by the pool and eventually the birds morphed into bats and later we saw some red necked nightjars come through the garden.
This day was marred by a terrible terrorist act in Manchester arena that was aimed at killing and maiming children and adolescents..Read more