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Let me share the details of my recent inspiration – Birdwatching in Spain with a list of essentials, inspiring books, and a few unmatched locations to observe birds on the Iberian Peninsula.

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Birdwatching as a slow travel experience

Inspired by birdwatching

My personal journey with birdwatching in Spain can be narrowed down to a few failed experiences and an interest that these have awakened in me.

This year, on the way home from the Pre-Pyrenees of Spain, I made a stop in Lagunas de Gallocanta, known as a popular spot to observe birds in Spain. It is located in the region of Aragon and is considered one of the most singular ecosystems in Europe. Unfortunately, since I did not have birdwatching gear with me, the birds were too far away to make the most out of this stop on the road.

However, this spontaneous stop at Lagunas de Gallocanta has made me realize that I really should prepare the basic birdwatching gear and research more on the subject of birdwatching in Spain. Years ago, I saw at the distance migrating flamingoes at Albufera de Valencia and was hiking surrounded by unique birds at Marjal del Moro and Cogost de Montrebei, but I was constantly missing out on the full scope of the birdwatching in Spain (due to the lack of knowledge & gear).

Hopefully, shortly I will be able to visit more natural settings to observe birds in Spain and share even more tips &locations. I have also realized it would be such an inspiring adventure to share with the kids: learning more about birds, getting a few coloring books, and having an extra excuse to spend time outdoors…

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Birdwatching in Spain – Lagunas de Gallocanta
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Driving around Lagunas de Gallocanta

The Benefits of Birdwatching

For me, birdwatching goes side by side with the concept of slow travel, where you reject conventional tourism and go for more immersive experiences on the road.

It’s no secret that spending time in nature is good for your mind. However studies show that birdwatching is especially good for our mental health and helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

Birdwatching Travel Essentials

So, what travel gear do you need to make the most of birdwatching in Spain?

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Birdwatching in Spain – A Vsitors Center near Lagunas de Gallocanta

Inspiring & Books about birdwatching

Unique books about birds

Here are a few inspiring books on the topic of birdwatching & birds of the world: The Backyard Birdwatcher’s Bible by Paul Sterry, Call of the Kingfisher by Nick Penny,  Birder’s Life List with Journal & Checklist by Blair Watkins, Bird Watching Notebook by Signature Planner Journals, What It’s Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley, The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan, The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley, Birds & People by Mark Cocker, Birds of Europe by Lars Svensson, Adult Coloring Beautiful Birds Coloring Book by Dot Barlowe, Beautiful Birds Coloring Book by Peter Gray, Backyard Birding Flashcards by David Allen Sibley, and Birds A Smithsonian Coloring Book by the Smithsonian Institution.

Birdwatching with the kids

These are popular books to learn about the world of birds with the kids: The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess, Treasury of Audubon Birds by John James Audubon, Little Kids First Big Book of Birds by National Geographic, Bird Watch Book for Kids by Dylanna Press, The Little Book of Woodland Bird Songs by Andrea Pinnington, and Backpack Explorer Bird Watch by Editors of Storey Publishing. 

Birds of Spain

For birdwatching in Spain do not miss – Birds of Spain by Eduardo de Juana Aranzana, Birds of Spain by James Lowen, Spain Birds – A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species by James Kavanagh Waterford Press, Where to Watch Birds in Southern and Western Spain by Ernest Garcia, Birds of Spain Pocket Photo Guides by James Lowen, and Where to Watch Birds in Northern and Eastern Spain by Ernest Rebane.

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Check out more photos from my visit to Jardin del Papagayo
Check out more photos from my visit to Jardin del Papagayo
Check out more photos from my visit to Jardin del Papagayo

Birdwatching in Spain: Top Destinations

Let´s discuss the most unique natural settings to observe birds in Spain.

Delta del Ebro / Catalonia

Delta del Ebro is one of the most unique natural settings in Catalonia, located near the city of Tortosa. It is one of the most popular places for birdwatching in Spain thanks to the unmatched wetland landscapes, especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset.

For a guided experience, you can book a Flamingo-Birdwatching in the Ebro Delta at Sunset or simply enjoy a Scenic Drive and Kayaking Tour.

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Birdwatching in Delta del Ebro / Photo by Jordi Rubies via Unsplash

Lagunas de Gallocanta / Aragon

Lagunas de Gallocanta is one of the most unique birdwatching destinations of the Aragon region, located close to Zaragoza, Albarracin, and Teruel. Drop by the visitors center (see Google Maps) for the map or download it online (they can also suggest where to find the birds at any moment). During our visit to Lagunas de Gallocanta, we saw a group of flamingoes and cranes.

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Birdwatching in Lagunas de Gallocanta / Photo by Santiago Lacarta via Unsplash

Tablas de Daimiel / Castile-La Mancha

Tablas de Daimiel is one of the most unique Spanish National Parks, located in the region of Castile La-Mancha.

Located 30 min away from the village of Almagro in the Spanish Province of Cuidad Real, Tablas de Daimiel is full of wooden walkways across the endless wetlands. It is one of the most popular birdwatching destinations in Spain and one of the most protected ecosystems of the Iberian Peninsula.

You can combine birdwatching in Tablas de Daimiel with this Don Quixote Road Trip itinerary.

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Birdwatching in Tablas de Daimiel / Photo by Dani Argandona via Unsplash

The Pyrenees

The Pyrenees mountain range is one of my favorite destinations in Spain (you can check all of my travel stories under the Pyrenees hashtag).

Most of the hiking trails in the Pyrenees might end up as birdwatching experiences. The area is popular for a large number of birds of prey – Lammergeier, Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle, and Booted Eagle.

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Birdwatching in The Pyrenees / Photo by Les Argonautes via Unsplash

Monfragüe National Park / Extremadura

Monfragüe National Park is one of the lesser-known national parks in Spain, set in the province of Extremadura. This 18000-hectare natural setting is perfect for watching the birds of prey – the Spanish Imperial Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, and Black Stork.

You can combine birdwatching in Monfragüe National Park with this Extremadura road trip itinerary.

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Birdwatching in Monfragüe National Park / Photo by Roberto Navarro via Unsplash

Albufera de Mallorca / The Balearic Islands

While Mallorca is a popular family holiday destination in Spain, it´s a great place to experience birdwatching in Spain with the kids. Albufera de Mallorca is the most important wetland area in the Balearic Islands. With a surface area of 2 036 hectares, it is popular to see Heron, Common Nightingale, Osprey, and Eleonora´s Falcon. The easiest birds to see around are Moustached Warbler and Red-knobbed Coot.

You can combine birdwatching in Albufera de Mallorca with this Mallorca itinerary.

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Birdwatching in Albufera de Mallorca / Photo by Lukas Scheuter via Unsplash

Tarifa & Gibraltar / Southern Spain

Tarifa and the Strait of Gibraltar are some of the most popular bird-watching destinations in Europe. Located close to Africa, the area is popular for the millions of migratory birds. More than 400 different species fly in flocks across Africa to spend the winter and return to spain in spring.

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Birdwatching in Gibraltar / Photo by Alexander Awerin via Unsplash

Cool parks to interact with birds in Spain:

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Check out more photos from my visit to Jardin del Papagayo
Check out more photos from my visit to Jardin del Papagayo

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For more Spain travel tips and itineraries check my Pinterest boards Best of Spain and Spain Travel Collection.

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