Secret Photo Trip Extremadura Spain
Secret Photo Trip Extremadura Spain : The first time I traveled to Extremadura – Spain was in 2006. I booked a flight to Madrid and rented a car. The drive to Extremadura than is 3-1/2 hour in direction Trujillo. My dear friends Elly Schipper and Gertjan de Zoete which I know from the Dutch Nature-photographers Guild (NFG) made me enthusiast to go there… and how right they are!! At that time Gertjan and Elly had immigrated and bought their own piece of land. In 2008 they started with four luxury holiday-homes at “Finca Las Abubillas”. In 2006 they could not offer me a place to stay of their own but they gave me an address of a good B+B.
In 2007 I met my wife Mira and together we visited Extremadura in 2008, 2009 and 2013. In 2008 we booked a holiday-home on camping Monfrague, the only campsite of Extremadura. In 2009 we had the same B+B as I had in 2006. In 2013 we visited Gertjan and Elly and had a fantastic time in one of their luxury holiday-homes. They offer several possibilities for photographing birds on their own campsite!
Car as a hide
Most of my bird pictures are made using my car as a hide. Several times I rented hides for Vultures, Great Bustard and more. In 2009 I had the luck to photograph all three kinds of vultres (Egyptian, Monk and Griffon Vultures), that breed in Extremadura, on one morning!!!
Mira and I do flower, landscape and macro photography together and we always got good information from Gertjan and Elly aswell as from Martin at the B+B. Martin, who’s a keen birder has like Gertjan good knowledge where you can find birds, flowers and other animals.
National Park of Monfragüe
If you are thinking about going to Extremadura, you will find a lot of useful information on the website of Elly and Gertjan. To help you plan your trip close to the National Park of Monfragüe, they offer very good accommodation for rent, so that you can enjoy the richness, both cultural and natural, of this area. For wildlife photographers they offer good opportunities to photograph birds such as vultures, eagles, bustards and bee-eaters from fixed hides.
Lots of birds…
Some places of interest that are good for birds are : the road to Santa Marta de Magasca, at Cáceres, here you can find a lot of species like Little Owl and Great Spotted Cuckoo and many small birds. At the Arena of Trujillo you can find nesting Lesser Kestrel. North of the A58 between Trujillo and Cácares you can find the Belén Plaines where Great and Little Bustards can be found. You certainly have to visit the ruins of the Castel Monfragüe along the river Tagus near the Vulture rock. If you climb up to the top of the ruin you will get a sight which you never forget. The nesting Vultures fly by at just a couple of yards from you.
Down, at the Tagus riverside, one can find Blue Rocktrush, Black Stork, Imperial Eagle and lots of other species. Some years the water level in the Tagus river is so low that a Roman Bridge (near the Vulture rock) appears, as we saw in 2008, in 2013 the bridge was far under water….
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Extremadura is from March to the end of May-June. After that the temperatures are often very high…. And from September to January/February it’s a good time for watching winter migrants like Common Crane.
Cácares is also a very nice old town with several churches and lots of restaurants with good and cheap food. Trujillo is more a city with supermarkets and so on, behind this city is a lake where you can find a lot of bird species, butterfly, damselfly, dragonfly and flowers.
Crossbill guides has the perfect travel-guide for you in English with lots of good places where to find birds, flowers and so on. You can buy it on their website.
We hope that we have made you as enthusiastic, as we are, to plan a trip to this beautiful part of Spain. We certainly go back!!
We wish you a nice time to stay there and Good light !!
© Text by Dick Hoogenboom,
Photography, © Mira Diels and Dick Hoogenboom.
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