Thursday 30 August 2012


Posts of this blog habitually deal with the vagrants that turn up in Extremadura. On this occasion we are going to look at several at once, each one of which had its own blog post or mention in the past.

Pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos). The July 2012 summary reported the sighting of one bird at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) on 13 July (Ángel Luis Sánchez and Ángel Sánchez, top photo) and 14 July 2012 (Sergio Mayordomo, Eva Palacios -bottom photo- and César Clemente). This was the ninth record for Extremadura, the previous birds turning up in 2002, 2006, 2008 (3 birds), 2010 (2 birds) and 2011. As it happens the last bird also turned up in the same pond, Charca de Esparragalejo. The eight previous records were juveniles on post-breeding passage in September and October. The 2012 bird was an exception to this rule, an adult that turned up in July; it was also one of the four birds reported in Spain that month (according to Reservoir Birds) [Posts on pectoral sandpiper in Extremadura].

The pectoral sandpiper is in fact one of the most frequently reported rarities in Spain, with over 250 records up to 2009. There has also been an upward trend of observations in recent years, with at least 50-60 birds reported each year in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Oddly enough, in 2009 not one bird was seen in Spain; the last time this happened was back in 1989 (CR-SEO, 2011).

Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppellii). In an earlier post we commented on a bird photographed in San Vicente de Alcántara (Badajoz) on 10 January 2009 (José Gordillo); this bird has now been accepted by the rarities committee (CR-SEO, 2011); according to the committee it was an adult with plumage features typical of the west African population. But the nature magazine Quercus of July 2012 has surprised us with an article signed by one of the photographers of the bird in question (Gordillo, 2012) suggesting that the bird shows traits typical of both Rüppell's Vulture and Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus). It is therefore quite possible that the bird is a hybrid, an opinion backed up by raptor experts like Dick Forsman, William Clark and Javier Elorriaga. The case doesn't yet seem to be closed, therefore. Sierra de San Pedro in Extremadura was the first site in Spain to record Rüppell's Vulure back in 1990; in the Portuguese stretch of the River Tagus a bird was seen shortly afterwards sitting on a nest (incubating?) and since then to date there have been regular sightings of adults in this area, especially over the border in Portugal. [Other posts on Rüppell's Vulture]

To wind up this small compilation of rarities, we are pleased to report that two Extremadura records of the utmost interest have now been officially accepted:
- Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis), seen in November 2011 and January 2012 in Don Benito (Badajoz). First record for Spain.
- Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii), seen in January and February 2010 in Casas de Hitos, Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz)-Madrigalejo (Cáceres). Second record for Spain.

- CR-SEO (Rarities Committee of SEO). 2011. Observaciones de aves raras en España, 2009. Ardeola 58(2). 
- Gordillo, J. 2012. Posible híbrido entre buitre leonado y buitre moteado. Quercus 217:43.

Tuesday 21 August 2012


Extremadura has up to now been free of wind farms. This could all change in 2013. The chosen site couldn't be worse: smack in the middle of Monfragüe's Important Bird Area (IBA), only 5 km from the Special Protection Area (SPA) and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and 12 km to the north of the National Park of Monfragüe, the jewel in the birdwatching crown of Extremadura. Moreover, the town of Plasencia, only 3 km from the threshing wind vanes, is in the process itself of being declared a SPA in its own right on the strength of its Lesser Kestrel colony. To cap it all these Lesser Kestrels roost for several months in the SPA of Monfragüe, winging back and forth daily through the projected line of "wind mills".

The authorised wind turbines would be only 5 km from the nests of Egyptian Vulture and Black Stork and 8 km from the nests of Golden Eagle and 12 km from hundreds-strong colonies of Cinereous and Griffon Vulture and nests of Imperial and Bonelli's Eagle. Monfragüe needs no presentation here; it is considered to be one of the world's most important raptor reserves, with outstanding populations at world level of Cinereous Vulture (340 pairs and the world's largest density), Griffon Vulture (800 pairs), Egyptian Vulture (35 pairs), Imperial Eagle (12 pairs), Golden Eagle (6 pairs) and Bonelli's Eagle (6 pairs). The area is also home to the handsome Black Stork (30 pairs) and a long list of other birds. As already pointed out the wind farm would be very close to the Lesser Kestrel colonies of Plasencia (65 pairs) and Malpartida de Plasencia (10 pairs) and some nests of Black Stork, Egyptian Vulture and Peregrine Falcon in that neighbourhood. Furthermore the wind farm would also be situated in breeding territories, even directly affecting nests, of Short-Toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Sparrow Hawk, Black Kite, Red Kite and Buzzard. It would directly occupy hunting grounds of Lesser Kestrel and many other raptors, including Imperial Eagle, recently observed flying over the planned wind turbine zone. Neither should we forget the impact on the local bat population and orchid colonies (for example Giant Orchid) as well as other plant species.

In any case this project is almost surreal, riding roughshod too over nearby human populations. In line with the wind turbines and only 300 metres from their base is a therapeutic community of "Proyecto Hombre" (Man Project); there are dwellings only 500 metres away and the project threatens the budding tourism of Plasencia, Extremadura's fourth most populous town. More information here.

Monday 20 August 2012



On 7 August 2012 two equivocal terns were seen and snapped at Llerena Reservoir, also called Arroyoconejos Reservoir, in Badajoz, by Francisco Montaño, Joaquín Vázquez and Benjamín Muñoz. The on-the-spot observers identified them originally as Royal Terns (Sterna maxima) but many pundits, after chewing over the photos, now plump for Lesser Crested Terns (Sterna bengalensis). Whichever, it's a first for Extremadura, since neither of the two species has ever been seen here before.

The support for Lesser Crested Tern are: size similar to neighbouring Black Headed Gulls (Larus ridibundus), the size of the terns and their wings in relation to the background Cattle Egrets and one of the birds has a completely back cap goes against the Royal Tern option. Apparently they tend to lose this feature very early in spring and very few birds hang onto the black cap up to June, never mind August when the photo was taken. Neither are the subtle colour differences between the two species sufficiently clear in the photograph.

It wouldn't be amiss now to fill in a few details about both species.

The Royal Tern is a tropical species that breeds in America (maxima subspecies) and Western Africa (albididorsalis subspecies), in the latter case in colonies in Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia. These birds tend to spread north as far as Morocco in post-breeding dispersal and it is thought to be this population that occasionally overshoots and turns up in Spain, where there have been 21 accepted records involving 26 birds up to 2009 (though there were none from 2007 to 2009). The bulk are seen in Andalusia, in provinces close to the Strait of Gibraltar, from July to November (although sightings range from April to December). In Europe, however, there have been at least two records of birds ringed in the US, one in the UK and another in Catalunya (in an unusual month: December).

For its part the Lesser Crested Tern breeds on the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Oceania, plus a small Mediterranean population (Libya), which migrates through the Strait of Gibraltar. It turns up in Spain more regularly than the Royal Tern. Since it has been classed as a rarity only since 2006, the species has not been analysed by De Juana (2006). Furthermore it is a rarity only in mainland Spain. On the other side of the Strait in Ceuta it is considered to be habitual. Even so 15 records of 21 birds have been accepted in four years (2006-2009), mostly in Andalusia around the Strait. The actual number is likely to be much higher, especially in recent years when more people have been on the lookout for the species.


- De Juana, E. 2006. Aves raras de España. Lynx Edicions. Barcelona. 
- CR-SEO (Comité de Rarezas de SEO). 2011. Observaciones de aves raras en España, 2008. Ardeola 58(2).

Friday 10 August 2012


Little Swift (Apus affinis). Cádiz coast. 25.05.2012 (Ángel Sánchez). 
On 20 June 2012 Extremadura clocked up another new species: the Little Swift (Apus affinis). Almost inevitably the bird was seen in Alange (Badajoz), a site that seems to have something special for swifts: it probably boasts Extremadura's biggest Alpine Swift colony (Tachymarptis melba); White-Rumped Swift breeds there on a regular basis (Apus caffer); Pallid Swift has been proven to overwinter there (Apus pallidus) and of course the Common Swift (Apus apus) is a regularly breeder. The single observer was José Antonio Román, one of the two persons who most consistently managed to spot the Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) that wintered in Extremadura last winter.

For the present the identification is deemed to be provisional, awaiting the verdict of SEO's Rarities Committee. The corresponding description has been submitted and we have had a chance to read it. Everything points to a correct identification (compact shape, similar to a House Martin, broad white rump, white throat, peculiar flight and straight-ended tail with no fork, etc.). There might possibly have been a second bird but this is not certain. The bird was seen only on 20 June; on four subsequent visits up to 27 July it didn't show. White-Rumped Swifts were seen on every visit.

The Little Swift has long been expected to turn up in Extremadura. Up to now we know of only one unconfirmed record of a bird seen on the border with Portugal (River Gevora, La Codosera, Badajoz), though the record was never published or sent up for acceptance, neither in Spain nor Portugal.

The Little Swift is still classed as a rarity in Spain, even though it has now been breeding on a regular basis for over a decade. It is a widespread species throughout the whole of Subsaharan Africa and India. In the C20th it colonised north Africa and is now common there too. In 1971 it bred for the first time in Turkey. In Spain the first certain record dates from 1981; it has probably been breeding in Cádiz since 1996, though the first certain breeding record dates from 2000 (captured birds with a brood patch). In 2004 a new colony was found, again on the coast of Cádiz, where they are now regularly ringed. In 2009 another possible breeding site was found in Seville province. There may also be a fourth breeding colony in Marbella (Málaga). The northern expansion is therefore continuing and the bird now seems to be here to stay in Andalusia, which accounts for the bulk of the sightings. Up to 2009 41 records of 142 birds had been officially accepted in Spain, although this is almost certainly only the tip of the iceberg. An idiosyncrasy of this species is the fact that it regularly overwinters. Although sightings peak in summer there are also year-round records.

- De Juana, E. 2006. Aves raras de España. Lynx Edicions. Barcelona. 
- CR-SEO (Comité de Rarezas de SEO). 2011. Observaciones de aves raras en España, 2008. Ardeola 58(2).

Tuesday 7 August 2012


Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos). Bird ringed near Manchester (UK) in June 2012 and photgraphed at Valdecañas Reservoir on 19-07-2012 by Ángel Sánchez. 

A list of the most notable July 2012 records sent to the GOCE birdwatching forum. Compiled by Sergio Mayordomo. 

- Egyptian Goose: Two birds at Charca de Corral Alto, Zorita (Cáceres), on 28/07 (Sergio Mayordomo).
- Shelduck: 24 birds, most of them young or chicks, at Valdecañas Reservoir (Cáceres) on 07/07 and 21/07 (S. Mayordomo).
- Red Crested Pochard: At Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres), three drakes in eclipse on 18/07 and 26/07, and one female at Moheda Alta, Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz), on 28/07 (S. Mayordomo).
- Pochard: One female at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) on 18/07 and five birds at Moheda Alta, Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz), on 28/07 (S. Mayordomo).
- Ferruginous Duck: One drake at El Manantío, Aldea del Cano (Cáceres), on 22/07 (Óscar Llama).
- Great Crested Grebe: Over 200 birds at Alange Reservoir (Badajoz) on 12/07 (José María Castaño, José Manuel Rama and Ángel Sánchez). Over 300 birds at Sierra Brava Reservoir, Zorita (Cáceres), on 28/07 (S. Mayordomo).

- Greater Flamingo: 15 birds at Villalba de los Barros Reservoir (Badajoz) on 28/07 and 29/07, only one immature remaining on 30/07 (José Elías Rodríguez, photograph) and on 31/07 (Vanessa de Alba and Antonio Núñez).
- Glossy Ibis: First Extremadura breeding record. 5 young from at least two nests seen in the heron colony of Azud del Guadiana at Badajoz on 21/07 and 22/07 (Juan Carlos Paniagua and Atanasio Fernández). Still occupying the roost of Montijo Reservoir , Mérida, with 11-13 birds seen on 12, 18 and 19 July (Sergio Pérez Gil).
- Spoonbill: First successful breeding record at Valle del Alagón (Cáceres): nest with 3 fully grown chicks on 12/07 and 26/07 (S. Mayordomo). Flocks: 18 birds at Los Canchales Reservoir (Badajoz) on 15/07 (Francisco Lopo); at Charco Salado, Casatejada (Cáceres), 32 birds on 15/07 and 35 on 23/07 (S. Mayordomo); at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) 18 birds on 18/07 (S. Mayordomo); and at Villalba de los Barros Reservoir (Badajoz), 38 birds on 29/07 (J. E. Rodríguez) and 17 on 31/07 (V. de Alba and A. Núñez).
- Bittern: First breeding record at Arrocampo Reservoir (Cáceres): 2 young birds and one adult seen on 07/07 (S. Mayordomo).
- Squacco Heron: One bird at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) on 06/07 (Elvira del Viejo and Antonia Cangas). Successful breeding proven at Azud del Guadiana, Badajoz with the observation of juveniles on 21/07 (J. C. Paniagua).
- Cattle Egret: New breeding colony at Tentudía Reservoir , Monesterio (Badajoz), with up to 50 nests on 06/07 (A. Pacheco).

- "Western Reef Egret": Bird with traits of the white morph of the subspecies E. g. schistacea at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) on 12/07 and 26/07 (S. Mayordomo -photograph-).
- Grey Heron: Flocks: 147 birds at Valuengo Reservoir (Badajoz) on 26/07 (Francisco Montaño and Damián).
- Osprey: One bird at Alange Reservoir (Badajoz) on 12/07 (J. M. Castaño, J. M. Rama and Á. Sánchez). Goshawk: One bird mobbing a Honey Buzzard at Piornal (Cáceres) on 29/07 (Lorenzo Alcántara).
- Ringed Plover: Two birds at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) on 14/07 (S. Mayordomo, Eva Palacios and César Clemente).
- Kentish Plover: At Valdecañas Reservoir (Cáceres): four birds on 07/07 and one on 21/07 (S. Mayordomo). Three birds at Valuengo Reservoir (Badajoz) on 26/07 (F. Montaño and Damián). Four birds at Cubilar Reservoir (Cáceres) on 28/07 (S. Mayordomo).
- Redshank: Ten birds at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) on 06/07 (E. del Viejo and A. Cangas). Three birds at Los Canchales Reservoir (Badajoz) on 15/07 (F. Lopo). One bird at Galisteo Lake (Cáceres) on 20/07 (S. Mayordomo).
- Spotted Redshank: At Charco Salado, Casatejada (Cáceres): three birds on 15/07 (S. Mayordomo and E. Palacios) and five on 23/07 (S. Mayordomo). One bird at Santa Amalia ricefields (Badajoz) on 28/07 (Fernando Yuste).
- Greenshank: At Charco Salado, Casatejada (Cáceres): one bird on 15/07 (S. Mayordomo and E. Palacios) and six on 23/07 (S. Mayordomo). On 26/07, one bird at Valuengo Reservoir (Badajoz) (F. Montaño and Damián), and another at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) (S. Mayordomo).
- Wood Sandpiper: One bird at Galisteo Lake (Cáceres) on 08/07. On 28/07 nine seen at Moheda Alta, Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz), and four at Cubilar Reservoir (Badajoz) (S. Mayordomo). Two birds at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) on 31/07 (F. Montaño).
- Ruff: At Valdecañas Reservoir (Cáceres): one male on 07/07 and 21/07 (S. Mayordomo). On 28/07 35 birds seen at Santa Amalia (Badajoz) (F. Yuste) and three at Cubilar Reservoir (Cáceres) (S. Mayordomo).
- Dunlin: One bird at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) on 12/07 (S. Mayordomo). At Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz), two birds on 13/07 (Ángel Luis Sánchez and Á. Sánchez) and one on 14/07 (S. Mayordomo, E. Palacios and C. Clemente).
- Curlew Sandpiper: Two birds at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) on 26/07 (S. Mayordomo). On 31/07, one bird at Villalba de los Barros Reservoir (Badajoz) (V. de Alba and A. Núñez) and five at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) (F. Montaño).
- Pectoral Sandpiper: One adult at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) on 13/07 (Á. L. Sánchez and Á. Sánchez) and on 14/07 (S. Mayordomo, E. Palacios and C. Clemente).
- Little Stint: Two birds at Galisteo Lake (Cáceres) on 26/07 (S. Mayordomo). On 28/07, four birds at Charca de Morantes (Badajoz) (José Luis Bautista) and three at Moheda Alta, Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz) (S. Mayordomo). Eight birds at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) on 31/07 (F. Montaño).
- Temminck's Stint: Three birds at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz) on 31/07 (F. Montaño).

- Collared Pratincole: 262 birds counted and over 300 estimated on ricefields between Palazuelo (Badajoz) and Campo Lugar (Cáceres) on 26/07 (M. Kelsey -photograph-).
- Yellow Legged Gull: At Valdecañas Reservoir (Cáceres): 16 birds, including two young birds, on 07/07 and eight birds on 21/07 (S. Mayordomo). Several birds including young at Alange Reservoir (Badajoz), on 12/07 (J. M. Castaño, J. M. Rama and Á. Sánchez).
- Common Tern: One immature at Valdecañas Reservoir (Cáceres) on 07/07 (S. Mayordomo). One bird at Alange Reservoir (Badajoz) on 12/07 (J. M. Castaño, J. M. Rama and Á. Sánchez).
- Whiskered Tern: One bird at Arrocampo Reservoir (Cáceres) on 11/07 (Manuel García del Rey and Javier Briz).
- Pintailed Sandgrouse: First ever sighting at Guijo de Coria (Cáceres): one male in a flock of Black-Bellied Sandgrouse on 31/07 (S. Mayordomo).
- Long Eared Owl: One bird found dead in the road between Vegas de Coria (Cáceres) and Riomalo de Abajo (Cáceres) on 12/07 (Alberto Pacheco).
- Spectacled Warbler: One female at Piornal (Cáceres) on 29/07 (L. Alcántara).
- Redstart: Two birds at Sierra de Tentudía (Badajoz) on 07/07 (A. Pacheco).
- Rock Thrush: Two males and one female at Puerto de Esperabán, Pinofranqueado (Cáceres), on 10/07 (A. Pacheco).
- Tawny Pipit: Three birds at Puerto de Esperabán, Pinofranqueado (Cáceres), on 07/07 (A. Pacheco).

- Teal : One female at Galisteo Lake (Cáceres) on 05/07 and four birds at Charco Salado, Casatejada (Cáceres), on 23/07 (S. Mayordomo).
- Snipe: On 26/07 two birds seen between Palazuelo (Badajoz) and Campo Lugar (Cáceres) (Martin Kelsey) and three birds at Galisteo Lake (Cáceres) (S. Mayordomo).

- Bonelli's Warbler: One bird at Sierra de Tentudía (Badajoz) on 16/07 (A. Pacheco). One bird capturred in a Mérida garden Badajoz) on 18/07 (DGMA -photograph by Atanasio Fernández-). At Monfragüe (Cáceres), one bird captured for ringing on 20/07 (Luis Lozano et al) and another singing on 22/07 (Javier Prieta).
- Sedge Warbler: Birds captured for ringing at Arroyo Budión, Rena (Badajoz): two on 15/07 and six on 28/07 (GIA Extremadura).
- Yellow Wagtail: One bird at Charco Salado, Casatejada (Cáceres), on 15/07 (S. Mayordomo and E. Palacios). One young bird at Valdefuentes gravel pit, Galisteo (Cáceres), on 20/07 (S. Mayordomo).


The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is the latest addition to Extremadura's list of breeding birds, now standing at 205 species. This is now becoming almost routine; since 1998 30 new birds have been proven to breed. The most recent, besides the Glossy Ibis, are Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) in 2011 and Great White Egret (Egretta alba) in 2010.

The site where Extremadura's first Glossy Ibis chicks have been born is the traditional heronry of Azud del Guadiana, on the outskirts of Badajoz city itself. This colony breeds in three hectares or so of thick willow and ash scrub. According to 2011 figures (SEO/BirdLife, unpublished), this colony includes about 2000 pairs of Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), 80 pairs of Night Heron (Nyctycorax nyctycorax) and 75 pairs of Little Egret (Egretta garzetta). In 2012 there were also at least two pairs of the scarce Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) and probably one breeding pair of Purple Heron in the area too (Ardea purpurea). Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) is another habitual breeder in the area and there are also resident but non-breeding Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea).

 First Glossy Ibis nest (Plegadis falcinellus) ever found in Extremadura. 
Azud de Badajoz. May 2012 (Atanasio Fernández). 

The story goes back to 15 April 2012, a day of surprise visitors at Azud del Guadiana. Six Spoonbills turned up (Platalea leucorodia) plus a pair of Glossy Ibises. The Spoonbill's visit was fleeting but the Glossy Ibises decided to stick around. A month later, from 18 to 20 May, the number of birds had built up to 16 and, even more importantly, the two first nests were spotted (Juan Carlos Paniagua, Luis R. Hernández and Atanasio Fernández). By the end of May at least nine pairs were sitting on eggs with perhaps more incubating pairs out of sight (A. Fernández, J. C. Salgado, Mercedes Rodríguez and J. C. Paniagua). These included four ringed birds, all from Doñana. The oldest, born in 2004, was B[5RN]; B[7U0] was born in 2007 and the other two in 2008: B[CNA] and B[85N]. Some of them had been spotted in previous years in Huelva, Cádiz and Seville, but never in Extremadura. The birds' main feeding area seems to be to the west, across the nearby border in Portugal, in the ricefields of Alfarófia about 3.5 km from Azud del Guadiana; here, on 5 June, flocks of 15, 4 and 3 Glossy Ibises were seen. There were also sightings from the ricefields of River Gévora, in Extremadura.

Just when everything seemed to be going like clockwork, however, the Glossy Ibis colony mysteriously disappeared. On 14 and 15 June only one bird was seen (ring B[CNA]) carrying nesting material to a nest out of sight. On 17 June a flock of 30 Glossy Ibises was seen in Alfarófia (Portugal), suggesting that the birds had abandoned the Extremadura colony. On 29 June, almost by chance, a nest was found with at least two chicks, although later sightings showed that there were three chicks being fed by the adult [CNA], possibly a female. Tags were kept on this nest throughout July until, finally, on 14 July a fledgling was seen outside the nest. On 21 and 22 July at least five fledglings were seen in the colony, suggesting the presence of at least one other nest that had produced two more chicks.

The minimum result of Extremadura's first record of breeding Glossy Ibis is therefore as follows: nine breeding pairs, two with success and five fledglings. This could therefore represent the first ever inland breeding record in the Iberian peninsula, unless other records turn up later from 2012.

First family of Glossy Ibises (Plegadis falcinellus) seen in Extremadura. An adult (possible female with ring W[CNA]) next to two chicks. Azud de Badajoz. June 2012 (Atanasio Fernández). 

Up to now the Glossy Ibis has always been a scarce bird in Extremadura, albeit with an increasing number of sightings as the Doñana population to the south soared. Here the bird is known to have bred from the eighteenth to early twentieth century, when breeding stopped due to direct persecution and habitat loss. The last breeding record, according to J. A. Valverde, dates from 1909. Luckily, decades later, two pairs bred in Albufera de Valencia in 1993 with another breeding pair in the same site in 1994 but no more breeding records thereafter. In 1996 it began to breed in Spain's biggest wetlands: Doñana (7 pairs) and Delta del Ebro (4 pairs), and in 1997 on the saltpans of Santa Pola (Alicante, 2 pairs). The number of breeding pairs in Delta del Ebro had built up to 119 pairs by 2007 with 15 in Santa Pola the same year. The increase in Doñana was much more spectacular, with 1125 pairs by 2004, 3643 in 2007 and about 7200 in 2011 (see table; taken from Máñez and Rendón-Martos, 2009).

The severe drought of winter 2011-2012 produced a widespread dispersion of Glossy Ibises from Doñana throughout the whole Iberian Peninsula, including deep inland and the north coast, with records of several hundred from Albufera de Valencia. In Extremadura the biggest ever Glossy Ibis flock was seen in November 2011: 70 birds in a roost in Madrigalejo (Cáceres); in the spring of 2012 small groups began to turn up in suitable breeding habitat, such as the reservoirs of Arrocampo (Cáceres) and Montijo (Mérida). In Arrocampo sightings peaked at ten birds in March-April, including two ringed birds, both born in 2011 in Doñana. In Mérida the presence was more numerous and constant, with a maximum of 24 (Ángel Sánchez), several ringed in Doñana, and occupation of the roost until August.

The River Guadiana, as it flows through Badajoz, accounted for half of Extremadura's records up to 2000 . The first two published records correspond to 2-5 birds seen in October and November 1989 (C. de la Cruz et al) and one bird in May 1990 (J. Hernández); April (J. Gayo), June and September 1994 (I. Galván); and April 1995 (S. Lozano). Later on, two adults of differing size, perhaps male and female, were first seen in a Portuguese ricefield on 25/06/1999, and then flying in at dusk for weeks on end to Badajoz's heron roost (D. Rivera), with one record as late as 15/08/1999 (J. L. Valiña). On 10/09 and 19/09/1999 a young bird was seen (R. Morán and L. Sanabria). More recently, in a meadow close to Azud del Guadiana, a Glossy Ibis was seen from 22 to 27/08/2010 (A. Fernández), and a pair in the same meadow on 03/03/2012 (J. C. Paniagua).

All the credit for finding Extremadura's first breeding Glossy Ibises and writing the text goes to Juan Carlos Paniagua and Atanasio Fernández. Juan Carlos Salgado, Mercedes Rodríguez, Eva Palacios, César Clemente, Sergio Mayordomo and Luis R. Hernández have also chipped in with their own observations. Much more detailed information can be gleaned from the excellent blog of Atanasio Fernández, "Desde mi chajurdo", a must for the quality of its photographs and eminently readable texts. 

- Máñez, M. and Rendón-Martos, M. (Eds.). 2009. El morito, la espátula y el flamenco en España. Población en 2007 y método de censo. SEO/BirdLife. Madrid. 
- Prieta, J. and Mayordomo, S. 2011. Aves de Extremadura, vol. 4. 2004-2008. SEO-Cáceres. Plasencia. 
- Prieta, J. 2007. Aves de Extremadura. Volumen 3. 2001-2003 Versión digital. ADENEX. Mérida.