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Birdwatching in Straits of Gibraltar & La Janda

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Old Friday 25th January 2019, 20:04   #826
John Cantelo
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Originally Posted by pratincol View Post
Hi
We are spending a day in Cadiz on a cruise. Not sure where the cruise port is.
We'll have all day so looking for the nearest best birdwatching area whichis eithere walkable or reached by public transport. directions, distances or bus / train service details would be useful.
We'll be there at beginning of april
Thanks
The port area isn't huge so you should dock within walking distance of the train station. The train will quickly take you to San Fernando station from which a footpath (Sendero Salina Dolores) takes you along the edge of the salinas back towards Cadiz. I've not done the walk personally but you should pick up a few species. Alternatively, walk (or better still take a taxi) from the station for c3 km to a much better site, the Sendero Tres Amigos, which takes you into the salinas where you should find a variety of waders, Flamingos, Auduoin's Gull, Spoonbill, etc. You should also be able to catch a bus to the university campus and walk through the pines, across a foot bridge to the Valdegrama area. Ferries over to El Puerto can be fun too. For local buses see http://siu.cmtbc.es/es/lineas.php However, I would advise you to contact a local guide who could pick you up and allow you to get to more interesting sites by car which would open up the possibility of species like Crested Coot, White-headed Duck, etc. I should be in Spain in early April and would have been happy to take you out myself but I'm with friends so can't volunteer them as well. Send me a PM with your email and I'll send my detailed notes on birding in the area which should give you some ideas.
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Old Friday 25th January 2019, 21:52   #827
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The port area isn't huge so you should dock within walking distance of the train station. The train will quickly take you to San Fernando station from which a footpath (Sendero Salina Dolores) takes you along the edge of the salinas back towards Cadiz. I've not done the walk personally but you should pick up a few species. Alternatively, walk (or better still take a taxi) from the station for c3 km to a much better site, the Sendero Tres Amigos, which takes you into the salinas where you should find a variety of waders, Flamingos, Auduoin's Gull, Spoonbill, etc. You should also be able to catch a bus to the university campus and walk through the pines, across a foot bridge to the Valdegrama area. Ferries over to El Puerto can be fun too. For local buses see http://siu.cmtbc.es/es/lineas.php However, I would advise you to contact a local guide who could pick you up and allow you to get to more interesting sites by car which would open up the possibility of species like Crested Coot, White-headed Duck, etc. I should be in Spain in early April and would have been happy to take you out myself but I'm with friends so can't volunteer them as well. Send me a PM with your email and I'll send my detailed notes on birding in the area which should give you some ideas.
Thanks John.
That's brilliant. I'll send you a PM.
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Old Thursday 7th March 2019, 18:28   #828
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Hi,
I have been looking at the forum to see if there is any sign of the pre nuptial migration starting, as I will be in the Tarifa area next week, but notice that no one has put anything on the site.
I would be interested to hear what the current situation is.
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Old Saturday 9th March 2019, 09:01   #829
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There have already been days with substantial numbers of black kites, short-toed eagles etc.. You can use previous years observations to get an idea of the timing.
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Old Saturday 9th March 2019, 14:02   #830
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I live about 50 kms NNW of Tarifa. So far we have seen 5 groups of Black kites, 50 in each group. Also a few swallows and a few small groups of Cranes and Storks.All these flying over my house. Not much so far but it is easy to miss them her, a few kms either side and you would never know about them. A few days of strong Levante(East wind) may not have helped. The numbers should increase very soon.
BillD: Send me a PM if you want to meet up.
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Old Sunday 10th March 2019, 08:14   #831
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Thanks occasional and Gerald,

Hopefully we will post what we see.

Kind regards

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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 20:33   #832
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We have had a really good three days in the Tarifa area with some exceptional birds.
We have to thank Gerald for taking the time to meet up with us and for showing us the bald ibis at La Barca, Vejer, one of the highlights of the trip.
La Janda was good, although drier than we have seen it in the past, with white storks, spoonbill, glossy ibis, good numbers of green sandpipers and snipe, a short toed eagle and two black winged kites.
Barbate marimas had two ospreys, a pair of yellow wagtails, red breasted merganser, avocet, Caspian tern and little stint.
Sierra de la Plata, blue rock thrush and peregrine.
Santuario and Cazalla watch points, hundreds of white storks, a few black storks, griffon vultures, black kites, short toed eagles, booted eagles and Egyptian vultures.
Tarifa town, thanks to the warden at Cazalla watch point for these, common bulbul and lesser kestrel.
Los lances held a number of waders golden, ringed, little ringed and Kentish plovers; dunlin, sanderling and curlew sandpiper. Raptors over were black kite, marsh harrier and short toed eagle. The other really top highlight was twenty two garganey on the sea, west of Tarifa Island. What a sight to finish the trip.
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 16:56   #833
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I am glad that you enjoyed the Ibis, and it was very nice to meet up with you.
If any else comes this way and wants to meet, send me a PM. Just be aware that I am only an amateur compared to the likes of Bill.
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Old Saturday 16th March 2019, 15:29   #834
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Two common bulbuis in fig tree by Los Boliches station, Fuengirola yesterday but no sign today
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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 20:46   #835
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Sad News

Sad news today - frequent contributor to this thread, Eddy the Eagle - Edward Robert Eyles had passed away. He lived in Los Barios, Cadiz, Andalucia and was a supporter and keen member of the Amigos of the Laguna de la Janda in Spain. Rest in peace.
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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 21:06   #836
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Goodbye Eddy. The world has lost a fine man and I have lost a friend.
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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 21:08   #837
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Sad news indeed RIP
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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 23:42   #838
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I'm shocked and very saddened to hear this news. Although I corresponded with Eddy a good few times, I met him all too infrequently and was disappointed not to bump into him on my recent trip to Spain. Condolences to his friends and family.
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2019, 09:10   #839
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Extremely sad to hear this news.

I always enjoyed Eddie’s reports from this wonderful area.

RIP
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2019, 19:15   #840
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Just had a message this afternoon to say that Eddy is still alive, but very ill in hospital. There is apparently some confusion over the announcement yesterday.
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2019, 23:08   #841
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Thanks for the update. Things are clearly very serious but I hope he manages a speedy recovery. Please keep me updated either here or via a PM.
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Old Wednesday 12th June 2019, 19:08   #842
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I had a tweet from Eddy today and, although still unwell, he's hoping to go home from hospital in the near future. I know all his friends here will wish him all the very best and hope to see him out in the field come the autumn if not before.
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Old Wednesday 12th June 2019, 19:59   #843
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All good wishes Eddy!

I do hope you can soon get out and about again.

Tony
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Old Sunday 1st September 2019, 19:01   #844
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I had a tweet from Eddy today and, although still unwell, he's hoping to go home from hospital in the near future. I know all his friends here will wish him all the very best and hope to see him out in the field come the autumn if not before.
I had hoped to pop in to see Eddy in hospital this week, but sadly I can confirm that since mid August Eddy is no longer with us. I was shown a photo of his grave a few days ago. A good man, sadly missed by the Spanish birders I’ve spoken to this week. I often went to Algarrobo for no other reason than for his company.

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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 13:06   #845
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N Might be of interest to someone who covers this area.
A copy of our approach to Gibralter and then sail- out from Gibralter on the return aboard the Aurora from my report on vacations forum.

5th August going towards the Med

We headed down the west coast of Spain and Portugal, towards our next destination, Barcelona.
We disturbed two rafts of Cory’s Shearwater[42 and 38], off Cape St.Vincent, Portugal and more birds appeared as we neared the Gibraltar Straits in the evening.
There were 28 Cory’s Shearwater, 8 Northern Gannet and a Yellow-legged Gull.
We’d see a lot more on the return leg, as we would be on the inside lane, much closer to the coast of Spain.
6 Whales and 12 Dolphins were spotted during the day.
We sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar, near midnight when the ship reduced its speed to 14 knots, to comply with restrictions during the whale breeding season.


13th August returning from the Med.

We spent the morning and early afternoon in Gibraltar.
In order to escape the thousands of thronging masses in the the duty free shops[ whisky 8 a litre, rum 8.50 a litre, cigars 2.50 a packet of five], we headed towards the more peaceful Alameda Gardens. If the information boards are to be believed, Sardinian Warbler and Blackcap breed there. There was a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Blue Tit, as well as many Blackbird, House Sparrow and Collared Dove.
The sail-out was a real Dolphin-fest with well over 100 giving us a send-off, many close to the ship[not sure why some passengers had spent 45 each to go on a Dolphin watching trip in Gibraltar!].
Not too far out, we encountered 27 Cory’s Shearwater and several Yellow-legged Gull
It went rather quiet as we sailed through the straits but things livened up as we drew close to the Cadiz area which could be clearly seen on our starboard side.
Three Swift species flew over, then we came across 184 Cory’s Shearwater, the most seen in one area, during the entire trip.
Thirteen Northern Gannet were also spotted along with 2 Great Skua.

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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 14:22   #846
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I had hoped to pop in to see Eddy in hospital this week, but sadly I can confirm that since mid August Eddy is no longer with us. I was shown a photo of his grave a few days ago. A good man, sadly missed by the Spanish birders Ive spoken to this week. I often went to Algarrobo for no other reason than for his company.
Sad news indeed, RIP Eddy.

Tony
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Old Friday 1st November 2019, 12:22   #847
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Olive-backed pipit(s) in the NE corner of the NW sector of the Princess Sofia park in La Linea.
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Old Saturday 9th November 2019, 21:13   #848
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Olive-backed pipit(s) in the NE corner of the NW sector of the Princess Sofia park in La Linea.
https://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sh...84/ppuser/7014
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Old Sunday 26th January 2020, 17:13   #849
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Just back from a short weekend in southern Spain. We spent a few wet hours driving to and across La Janda last Friday. The weather was too foul to attempt the walk to the beach at Los Lances.
On the plus side the track into La Janda has just recently been regraded and is now as smooth as the proverbial baby's wotsit. We entered from the ex-Venta retina side. However, with all the rain it won't last long if they start putting heavy agricultural vehicles and lorries on it.
Started well with two Purple Swamphens out in the open at the start of the embankment. There were several Kestrels and Buzzards. Many small flocks of mostly Spanish Sparrows. About half way along the embankment was a field on the west side with plenty of weeds and about 200 Cranes, plenty of White Storks and Little Egrets, and 26 Spoonbill. There were also lots of Larks here - mostly Crested, but some Calandra and Short-toed too. Over the fields behind all this activity was a hovering Black-shouldered Kite. We saw another further along the track perched close to the track, but it flew before we were in camera range. 3/4 Marsh Harriers present. Not many Cattle Egrets. 2 Green Sandpipers and a few Lapwing were the only Waders we recorded, The track to Benalup was blocked (as usual in winter) by a huge puddle. We returned to the bridge junction and exited along the track towards Vejer. More wet fields here held at least another 300 Cranes, many White Storks 1 adult Black Stork, 2 Glossy Ibis and a Great White Egret. one Corn Bunting, one Chiffchaff, a few Chaffinches, a Peregrine, but not a single Duck, or any Bluethroats or Penduline Tits.
The drive home to Jimena was wet and sometimes dangerously so. As we arrived into Jimena a true and short-lived cloudburst deposited an immense amount of water and the roads were almost inundated.
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Old Thursday 30th January 2020, 14:26   #850
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Just back from a short weekend in southern Spain. We spent a few wet hours driving to and across La Janda last Friday. The weather was too foul to attempt the walk to the beach at Los Lances.
On the plus side the track into La Janda has just recently been regraded and is now as smooth as the proverbial baby's wotsit. We entered from the ex-Venta retina side. However, with all the rain it won't last long if they start putting heavy agricultural vehicles and lorries on it.
Started well with two Purple Swamphens out in the open at the start of the embankment. There were several Kestrels and Buzzards. Many small flocks of mostly Spanish Sparrows. About half way along the embankment was a field on the west side with plenty of weeds and about 200 Cranes, plenty of White Storks and Little Egrets, and 26 Spoonbill. There were also lots of Larks here - mostly Crested, but some Calandra and Short-toed too. Over the fields behind all this activity was a hovering Black-shouldered Kite. We saw another further along the track perched close to the track, but it flew before we were in camera range. 3/4 Marsh Harriers present. Not many Cattle Egrets. 2 Green Sandpipers and a few Lapwing were the only Waders we recorded, The track to Benalup was blocked (as usual in winter) by a huge puddle. We returned to the bridge junction and exited along the track towards Vejer. More wet fields here held at least another 300 Cranes, many White Storks 1 adult Black Stork, 2 Glossy Ibis and a Great White Egret. one Corn Bunting, one Chiffchaff, a few Chaffinches, a Peregrine, but not a single Duck, or any Bluethroats or Penduline Tits.
The drive home to Jimena was wet and sometimes dangerously so. As we arrived into Jimena a true and short-lived cloudburst deposited an immense amount of water and the roads were almost inundated.
We got lucky with the weather. We flew into Malaga in cloud and spots of rain on Saturday 4th January, but it was sunny by the time we got to Estepona and apart from some coastal cloud the following day (clear skies inland, where we went looking for alpine accentor) we had sunshine every day for the next two weeks, with very little cloud. The rain started when we were getting onto the plane at Malaga on the 18th.

That puddle at La Janda, north of the sluice on the road to Mediana was absent during our whole stay and the roadworks on the track from Venta Retin were just being completed in the first two days of our stay. Motorway standard.

The track in from the Vejer end of La Janda was best for black-shouldered kites, with two pairs. We saw odd individuals elsewhere. Most of the cranes, huge numbers, that were on the rice fields in their hundreds the week before we arrived had relocated to the fields on either side of the Facinas track near Cortijo Las Habas, behind Tahivilla, leaving smaller numbers on the rice fields. A surprise there was a black vulture sitting in a field with several hundred cranes on 16th January, a couple of days before we came home.

We had bluethroats at Bonanza.
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