2nd June. Nob Rock

A rather damp Madrid greeted us first thing so a leisurely breakfast was taken. The diversion to the Sierra de Gredos was put off as the area appeared shrouded in cloud. We arrived at the Hotel Houeso, in Trujillo just after midday. After lunch we decided to visit the Pena Falcon (presumably named after it's phallic stance) Monfrague. The spectacle of over one hundred Griffon Vultures with a couple of Black's and a single Egyptian Vulture for company. A Black Stork had a single chick in the same nest hole as my previous visit in 2003. Around the view point were Rock Buntings, Serins, Blue Rock Thrush, Crag Martins And Red-rumped Swallows. The Castillo de Monfrague is an impressive sight perched on the edge of the ridge. Fortunately it is possible to drive almost all of the way, by heading beyond the car park and parking where the road ends. So after dragging Jo to the top of the Castillo (a nice treat for her birthday especially given her fear of heights) we took in the spectacular views and had two nice White-rumped Swifts drift by. By now it was 18:30 and I was torn between trying for the Eagle Owls at Portilla de tierter or having a look at the plains to the west of Trujillo. We decided on the latter and had excellent views of nine Great Bustards along the second track along the Santa Marta de Magasca road. Birds along here included 5 Montagu's Harriers, Little Owl,, Southern Grey and Woodchat Shrikes, Spanish Sparrow, Calandra, Short-toed and Crested Larks. Pleased with our haul we headed back to Trujillo for food. Unfortunately we picked the worst restaurant in the square and had quite possibly the worst meal that Spain had to offer, consisting of dish water garlic soup, slimy fish fillet (species unidentified) and some dessert hidden among the squirty cream. Fortunately the wine was okay and we made light work of the free acorn liquer. The latter helped make the decent down the stone steps slightly treacherous. More alcohol was required so we stopped off in the hotel bar to remove any after taste of the slimy fish!

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