W I L D M A D R I D
F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 2 4
A new nature photo holiday in Madrid - eagles, vultures and woodland birds in February 2024
Trip 1 : 21st - 25th February 2024 (provisional dates)
Trip 2 : Dates throughout March
If you would like to arrange a private workshop for an individual or group,
please get in touch above for available dates.
T R I P O V E R V I E W
Just a few kilometres from Madrid lies a hidden treasure that few know about and even fewer can access. For this workshop, we have exclusive access to a protected 8000-hectare estate with a network of hides dedicated to photographing some of Spain's rarest creatures such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle and the Genet. The combination of exclusive access, a rare ancient holm oak forest and well-preserved Mediterranean pasture, a higher density of Imperial Eagles than anywhere else in Spain, and proximity to Madrid, make this a truly unique destination and photographic experience.
H I G H L I G H T S
4 nights stay in comfortable non-shared hotel accommodation, in a charming medieval village just a short drive throw from Madrid
Exclusive access and permits to the estate and its network of photography hides - no other photographers outside of Spain have access to this estate!
Photograph the Spanish Imperial Eagle, Spain's rarest and most iconic bird of prey, as well as Goshawk, Golden Eagle and Vultures
Rare mammals such as Ibex and Genet
Develop a rich portfolio of Mediterranean birds such as the Azure-Winged Magpie, Crested Tit and Iberian Green Woodpecker
Expert guiding and 1-on-1 tuition from award-winning photographer and local guides
Bird photography from ground and water level hides
I T I N E R A R Y
The following is a proposed itinerary, which should be considered provisional, subject to bird activity, weather and hide choices. In the case of inclement weather, we will recommend other hides where we may observe these species, or try to rearrange sessions for another day. You may also choose to extend your stay to make the most of other hides!
Day 1: Fly to Madrid. Transfer by car 40mins north to our accommodation just beyond Madrid, in the quaint medieval fortress town of Manzanares el Real, near Tres Cantos, on the edge of the Sierra de Guadarrama. Local exploration, settling in, and a chance to see the widespread White Storks which nest around town. Dinner at a local restaurant. Welcome presentation of our itinerary as well as photographic techniques to apply in the field.
Day 2: We head to our private estate for a full day of photography from the hides. The morning will be spent photographing the rare Spanish Imperial Eagle. After lunch, a hide session for Black and Griffon Vultures. Dinner in Manzanares el Real or Tres Cantos, and a chance to review and edit the day's photographs.
Day 3: Full day's photography at the private estate. Morning session in the forest bird hide - here we may photograph at eye-level the colourful Azure-Winged Magpie, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Crested Tit, Rock Sparrow, Spotless Starling, Serin, and much else. Afternoon sessions with Little Owl and Iberian Grey Shrike. Dinner in Manzanares el Real, and a chance to review and edit the day's photographs. An optional evening hide session to photograph Genets.
Day 4: Morning photography on the private estate. An afternoon walk at the nearby La Pedriza, an area of stunning rock formations, looking for Ibex which can venture close for photos. Alternatively, if you'd rather keep photographing the birdlife, a trip can be arranged to a hide in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range for Golden Eagles. Evening session with White Storks returning to nests at sunset. Last dinner in town.
Day 5: Morning hide session on the private estate, with any species you'd like to add or revisit. A leisurely lunch and time to pack and wind down. Late afternoon flight home.
Why not combine this with a trip down south to the Pyrenees? Photograph a smorgasbord of 14 raptor species, from the Bearded Vulture to the Bonelli's Eagle and Eagle Owl, in the town of Montsonis.
T H E H I D E S
The estate is home to a rich variety of species throughout the year, so we will use a variety of fixed hides (available all year round) and portable hides (seasonal, as some species are only active for a short period).
R A P T O R H I D E S
Spanish Imperial Eagle, Goshawk, Vultures
Hides for photographing the rare and endemic Spanish Imperial Eagle, which gather in great numbers here. There are also new hides for photographing Goshawk, either on a natural perch or at a watersource. Late winter is an excellent time to observe these species as well as other raptors, with the arrival of spring's warmth and subtle daylight.
Eagles and vultures often settle approximately 10 to 15 metres from our hide but sometimes closer.
Photographable Species: Spanish Imperial Eagle, Goshawk, Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Red Kite, Buzzard