Heading out to Monfrague at dawn we picked up a reasonably close Black Vulture feeding on fresh carrion just outside Torrejon.
Arriving just before 8am at the Castillo de Monfrague we were greeted by a reception party of at least half a dozen Hawfinch. Opting to view from the aerials instead of the top of the castle I soon picked up three White-rumped Swifts increasing to six before we left. Apparently they are becoming much commoner.
A couple of birders were already present when we arrived (an ex Brit and his Spanish son) and we were joined by another who informed us of a Imperial Eagle nest viewable at about half a mile away. Eventually he re-found it, distant and shrouded in heat haze (note how the excuses are building) a large dark raptor with a paler head was clearly visible. After watching it doing very little for a few minutes I was approached by the ex pat who exclaimed that he couldn't find the eagles nest and was it anywhere near the Black Vultures - oops!! I felt a right prick but consoled myself that it was miles away, hazy and that I shouldn't have got taken in by that other birder. I knew that things weren't right when the conversation between the ex pat and his son switched from English/Spanish to total Spanish. The whole Spanish conversation continued after the cock up but I did manage to identify a couple of Spanish words, one of which was the Spanish for incompetent. Incompetente!! Fortunately I redeemed myself shortly after, by picking up a real Imperial Eagle which perched up not too far away.
Dropping down to the Pena Falcon view point I bumped into the English /Spanish pair again and soon forgave the 'incompetente' dig when the young lad picked up a cracking Black Wheatear on one of the nearby rocks. Also a nest full of Black Stork young and a nice Blue Rock Thrush.
By now the locals were arriving in droves for their weekend recreation and making the equivalent noise of several coach loads - my only criticism of the Spanish is that they all talk very loudly! With this in mind we headed back to the hotel for a kip and a wander around Trujillo before going to Belen in the evening.