A crouched Hoopoe photographed during the Spanish Birdlife of Toledo Photography Holiday 1

12 images of the fabulous Spanish Birdlife & other Wildlife of El Taray

Article written by David Miles illustrated with images contributed by Pui Hang Miles.

John's images of the Spanish birdlife & wildlife shows the enormous variety of species to be seen & images to be captured.  For sure, favourite species do get photographed by the group as a whole, such as the . But as a group, our guests found enough variety on this trip to add to their portfolio without overlapping with one & other, thanks to the widespread network of hides across the estate.

There are a pair of hides dedicated to capturing images of harriers.  These diurnal hawks characteristically hunt by flying low over open ground, feeding on small mammals, reptiles, or birds. Typically, on , the harriers to be found are the marsh harrier. The male is characterised by the very clear chestnut brown mantle & the grey secondaries & black outer primaries. Meanhile, the female usually is identifiable by the rather dark plumage except for the creamy crown, nape, & throat. Both male & female are regular visitors to the various hides spread across the estate.

The hoopoe is an iconic bird of & John captured some stunning images of this tiny icon. The background here is what, in my opinion, makes the image, as the bird pops from the out of focus areas of the image while the tones compliment one & other.

Next, a couple of images from the Lesser Kestrel colony. As I have said previously, this is probably the most fantastic colony & hide setup that I have seen. Everyone was pleased with opportunities at the hides located at the Lesser colony. The young Lesser Kestrels were emerging from the tiles & demonstrating all types of new behaviour. If you look closely at the second image, you will see this clutch consists of six of young kestrels. Can you imagine the squabbling that erupted when the parents returned with fresh food for the young!

John visited the waterholes, but he also made use of some of the hides near the, currently dried out, lagoon. Here, he captured some impressive images of smaller birds on the reeds in the area, such as this Woodchat Shrike.

As I noted previously, the waterholes attract many different species. Here we see a crested lark, a little-ringed plover & a red-legged partridge, all of whom turned up at the various waterholes & provided photographic opportunities for whoever was in the hides at the time.

A wide range of lenses may be used at these hides, ranging from 400mm to 600mm but I would personally recommend something like the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x which is extremely versatile for shooting portraits & action shots.

While the European Rollers were present at the water holes, there were also dedicated hides for this species. Here, the adult of the species could be seen feeding their young.

Finally, we close the post with a pair of images of the Stone Curlew.  Many thanks to John for sharing his wonderful images with us. We hope to see you again soon!


To photograph the Spanish Wildlife & Birdlife of Toledo yourself, join Alan, in during June & July 2020 for a trip lasting 7 nights. This photography holiday is ideal for photographing a vast variety of Spanish Birds, including , common reed warbler, common sandpiper, crested lark, , Iberian hare, , , harriers of varying type, spotless starling, starling, stone curlew, wild rabbit & more besides!

The photography holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 5 participants & a maximum of 7, plus Alan. Until September 13th 2019, there is a special offer reducing the price to £2249 available.

All the details of the Spanish Birdlife of Toledo photography holiday are available on the dedicated event page.

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