Saturday, 4 March 2017

Spain - Monfrague NP - Where Eagles Dare!

One of the highlights of this trip is to visit Monfrague National Park a place that is not to be missed if you like raptors! It dawned on me during my walk in the park that I would be driving through Monfrague to get to Trijillo! I’m not sure how my mind works sometimes! The afternoon was going to be warm and sunny and that should produce some good thermals for the raptors to take flight.

After lunch I set off for the National Park using Dave Gosney’s book as my guide for the best places to stop. There were a good few Griffon Vultures in the skies as I slowly made my way to the La Tajadilla Picnic site which held a group of Azure-winged Magpie. I checked every raptor in the skies and noticed a smaller vulture hugging the ridge. It would disappear and then reappear but seemed to be following a regular route. The Egyptian Vulture made one pass that fell into camera range and the moment was sealed.

A Short Toed Eagle was next on the agenda using the thermals above the site before drifting along the ridge. This was turning out better than I had expected.

I then moved on to a reliable Spanish Imperial Eagle site at Portilla del Tietar hoping I could add this prize to the afternoon collection. As I arrived a single bird was resting on the top of the cliff and the task of getting some reasonable shots of it began. Later on in the afternoon the bird took to the thermals which put my 300mm lens to its limits. I even attempted using my phone through my telescope to get record shots of this magnificent bird.

To finish the day a couple of Deer were feeding opposite the picnic site. Not a bad day at all!!

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