Our guide ......


Ashley Powell

A love of wildlife and especially birds seems to have always been with me. From as long as I can remember I have spent all my spare time bird watching anywhere anyone would take me. My first experience of working with birds was as a teenager when I volunteered at both Sandwich Bay and Fair Isle Bird Observatories.

Following high school, I entered higher education at Reaseheath Agricultural College where I completed a Diploma in Countryside Management followed by a degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Kent at Canterbury, studying in the Durrel Institute for Conservation Ecology. My final year dissertation was a study on the feeding and behavioural ecology of Sanderling on a nationally important wintering site. I successfully graduated in July 2008.

In late 2008 I enrolled on an Environmental Consultancy Masters Degree course at the University of Plymouth. After the first 6 months of lecture study, I worked as the species protection officer for the RSPB's Cornish Chough Project whilst writing my dissertation. My dissertation was a collaboration between the University of Plymouth and the RSPB reviewing the Cirl Bunting re-introduction success in Cornwall.

I was lucky enough to work on this pioneer project during my time at university, it being the first passerine re-introduction in Europe. My involvement with the RSPB continued with a short fixed term position monitoring the Cornish Corn Bunting Population whilst waiting to graduate from Plymouth.

I have birded extensively in the UK, Europe and USA (California) in the last 17 years, as well as working at some of the UK's frontier ornithological venues. Out of all the work I have done, sharing my passion and helping other people to experience the things I enjoy so much, has always been the most rewarding aspect. I invite you to join me and enjoy the Fantastic Birds of Spain, a country which has arguably the best birding and scenery to be found in Europe.


Location ....

Spain ........

Ciudad Quesada is situated on Spain's Costa Blanca region. The Costa Blanca is a 200 km stretch of coastline South of Alicante. It is served by airports at Murcia which is about 30 minutes drive & Alicante which is about 35 minutes drive. The climate is typical of the Costa Blanca region with hot summers and very mild and sunny winters with very little rain.

The history of Ciudad Quesada is a very recent one as the town didn't even exist before 1972. The story behind its development is that a young Spanish businessman named Justo Samper Quesada had a dream about building something unique. Not just a theme park or a hotel, he dreamt of building a whole town, and in 1999 Senor Quesada's dream was achieved when the town of Ciudad Quesada was given recognition with the opening of its own town hall.


A short distance from Quesada is the popular resort of Torrevieja. The salt lake here is still a working lake and is considered to be one of the most important in Europe. Beyond the lakes and the nature reserve at La Mata, the Mediterranean sea glistens on the horizon, and the mountains and inland plains are covered with orange and lemon groves.


Cheshire ........

The Cheshire Plain is a relatively flat expanse of lowland situated almost entirely within the county of Cheshire in the north-west of England. It is bounded by the hills of north Wales to the west, and the Peak District of Derbyshire and North Staffordshire to the east and south-east. The Wirral Peninsula lies to the north-west and the plain merges with the South Lancashire Plain in the embayment occupied by Manchester to the north.


The Plain is the surface expression of the Cheshire Basin, a deep sedimentary basin that extends north into Lancashire and south into Shropshire. Its current form was created as the ice-sheets of the last ice age melted away between 20,000 and 15,000 years ago leaving behind a thick cover of glacial till and extensive tracts of glacio-fluvial sand and gravel. The primary agricultural use of the Cheshire Plain is dairy farming creating the general appearance of enclosed hedgerow fields, perfect for a day out birding.






Ashley Powell