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orellana sunsetIn Britain many birdwatchers have heard of Extremadura, and indeed, many have been here to experience it first-hand. Probably the most common reaction is amazement at its size. Even when you know the statistics, it still dumbfounds by its sheer hugeness. 

 Although it is a relatively well-known destination, the area most bird-watchers get to know in a week or so is a small proportion of what there is. There are hundreds of high-quality birding spots that are virtually unscanned by "bins and scopes" over the year. 

Monfragüe became the most recently-designated National Park in 2007 and is the focus of most bird-watching activity. Whilst it is excellent and a must on any birder's visit to Extremadura, it is not the sole location of interest. There is a higher density of Imperial Eagle in the Sierra de San Pedro, for instance. You can spend days in the south of Extremadura, with Sandgrouse, Great and Little Bustard, Bonelli's Eagle and a long etc without meeting another birder.

Apart from a tendency to over-concentrate on the Monfragüe area, most birders over-concentrate on one season. In many ways, it is easy to understand. The spring here starts early - temperatures are much milder in March and April and the days brighter and longer than in the north of Europe. May is a delight of colour and life in the field. However, there is a stunning autumn and winter experience which few people know about. To see - and hear - thousands of Common Crane in the rice paddies and dehesas is an unforgetable spectacle.

So please remember - Extremadura is more than a one-stop, one-season location.

Orchids

There is more to birding than just birds and many visitors are keen to see some of the fantastic orchids flowering between March and late May. We have prepared a brief overview here.