Monday 18 April, 2016
Monfragüe National Park
In the morning we set off north along the Roman road, through the lush dehesas that were dotted with Merino sheep and Retinto cattle, and up into the Monfragüe National Park.
A dehesa is an agrosilvopastoral system that follows the clearing of evergreen woodlands to allow trees, native grasses, crops, and livestock to interact positively.
Our first stop was at the Peña Falcon rocky cliffs at Salto de El Gitano (Gypsy Falls). This was a wonderful place where we saw many different birds. These included Griffon Vultures, a few pairs of Cinereous Vultures, and a pair of Peregrine Falcons that were soaring around the cliff tops. A Black Stork was on its nest across the river, a Black Redstart and a Blue Rock Thrush were perched on the rocks nearby and there were also a pair of Rock Buntings.
We had a coffee break at Villareal de San Carlos before making our way slowly towards the base of the Tajo-Tietar’s dam, where we enjoyed our picnic lunch at La Tajadilla.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the La Portilla del Tietar area and watching more vultures. We also had great views of Spanish Imperial Eagles.