In April 2012 I went for a week to Extramadura, situated in western Spain near the Portuguese border. The region is famous for it's old cultivated landscapes and the rich birdlife with many species, especially raptors. I'm not into birding and I'm certainly no bird photographer, more someone who takes pictures while roaming around, but I like to know the name of the creature I watch. In that way, looking out for different birds is somehow more intriguing than I expected. Many raptors, but also other characteristic birds like the hoopoo, azure winged magpie, great bustard, black stork, bee-eater and blue rock thrush  were seen, being it not always within a distance that made photography possible. But, as said, that was not the first goal. Thanks from this place to Gertjan de Zoete,, who was my guide for 1 day in a most pleasant way and available for advice on some more.

The most characteristic landscapes in Extremadura are the dehesas, more ore less barren grass lands with mainly evergreen holm-oaks, where cattle, goats or sheep are grazing (and  pigs digging). The low-intensity exploitation during centuries shows  that rich natural life can exist if man controls it's tendency to exhaust his environment. Over-grazing is however a continuous threat.
Along water-courses nature is greener, there are some beautiful mediterranean forests and in the mountainous areas also deciduous trees like the pyrenean oak. Recently harvested cork-oaks show their spectacular red trunks.

The last winter had been extremely dry, and not beneficial to the landscape. The explosion of spring flowers was much less than usual and the grass below the oaks was crunchy under my feet. Nevertheless there was a lot to enjoy. The weather was very variable with "dutch" skies and some heavy showers now and then (why not in winter?) and in higher altitude areas the temperature was below  10 degrees at midday. Enough variation to be interesting.

The photographs are more or less a collection of images that I like and images that show something of the region. I visited only the north-eastern part of the province.

Those who have been persistent enough to follow me until now can look here to see the gallery.

A few years later I visited the region again, and the weather situation was completely different. Spring had been very wet and mid-May the desehas were a lush green, with small streams under the holm oaks.
The images have been added to the gallery.