Sierras Centrales and Alange Reservoir

Sierras Centrales and Alange Reservoir

The Central Hills and Reservoir of Alang “ZEPA” (special protection area birds), located in the center of the province of Badajoz, notable for the variety of habitats it supports, with diversity as important birds.

The habitats present are:

Mountain Ranges and Cliffs: Alange boasts the mountain range called Sierras Centrales de Badajoz, a small but steep range that extend from Sierra de San Serván until Sierra de Hornachos. In Alange itself, we have the Cerro de la Culebra, crowned by the castle the same name and from where one can easily see Bonelli’s Eagle, Eagle Owl, White-rumped Swift –very particular to Extremadura-, Thekla Lark, Blue Rock Thrush and Black Wheatear among others. This is the only known area in Extremadura where one occasionally sees the Little Swift, and one of the very few in Spain. Around the Sierra de Peñas Blancas and the Sierra de Utrera one can find a nice colony of vultures with more than 50 pairs of Griffon Vulture as well as Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle and Bonelli’s Eagle, several pairs of Eagle Owl, White-rumped Swift, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting. In winter it’s common to see the Alpine Accentor in these mountains and with a lot of luck one might even see the rare and beautiful Wallcreeper.
The Reservoir and Wetlands: The Alange reservoir is a huge water mass which has several small islands upon which breed colonial species such as Gull-billed and Little terns, Great Cormorant (of the few Spanish colonies of this species), Collared Pratincole and Crested Grebe among others. In winter it is a roost for both Lesser Black-backed and Black-headed gulls, several hundred of great cormorants, cranes, herons and waterfowl. It’s worth mentioning the regular sightings of Red-crested Pochard, a scarce species in Extremadura. One often sees the Osprey during migration. The Spoonbill, Common Kingfisher, Great Egret and various species of waders are commonly found on the shoreline, as well as postnuptial concentrations of Black Stork.
The 3 small lagoons of Torremejía are dependent on seasonal rainfall. In winter greylags can be found in great number, up to 9 species of ducks and several hundred white storks, marsh harriers and red kites. Being, as it is, surrounded by open farmland northern lapwings, european golden plovers, little bustards, black-bellied sandgrouses, skylarks are also in abundance and even sometimes great bustards. The spoonbills and waders also rest and feed here during migration.

Key species:

ResidentsGreat Crested Grebe, Red-crested Pochard, Bonelli’s and Golden Eagles, Griffon and Black Vultures, Black-shouldered Kite, Marsh Harrier, Stone Curlew, Eagle Owl, Little Owl, Great and Little Bustards, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck, Thekla Lark, Calandra Lark, Crag Martin, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian and Dartford Warblers, Azur-winged Magpie, Iberian Shrike, Red Avadavat, Common Waxbill, Rock Sparrow, Rock Bunting.
Summer visitorsNight Heron, Purple Heron, Black Stork, Spoonbill, Egyptian Vultrue, Osprey (on passage), Short-toed and Booted Eagles, Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Gull-billed Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern (on passage), Great Spotted Cuckoo, Red-necked Nightjar, Pallid, Alpine and White-rumped Swifts, Bee-eater, Short-toed Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit (on passage), Rufous Bush Robin, Black-eared Wheatear, Orphean Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Western Olivaceous Warbler, Iberian Chiffchaff (on passage), Woodchat Shrike, Golden Oriole.
Winter visitorsGreylag Goose, Common Crane, Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Jack Snipe, Mediterranean Gull (occasional), Bluethroat, Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper (occasional).
  • Recomended time: Autumn, Winter and Spring.
  • Duration:We offer two routes of different lengths: Route 1: Half day. Route 2: Full-time.
  • Minimum number of participants: 2 persons.
  • Price: Option 1 (half day): 30 €/person. Option 2 (Full-time): 50 €/person. For larger groups consult price. Includes: Field guide, optical equipment (binoculars and telescope) and picnic Route 8 hours.
  • Transport: Company car up to 3 people, please consult for large groups.