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Birding in Andalucia

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Old Friday 6th October 2017, 20:48   #51
Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA
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Smile Costa del Sol Birding Tour

After a long summer, we are starting to enjoy longer birding sessions in Southern Spain. Time for this awesome 7 day Malaga birding tour covering the top birding sites near the Costa del Sol.

The first day gave us really nice sights like this unexpected flock of Black Storks, Purple Heron and of course White-headed duck Osprey, Booted Eagle, Kingfisher and Flamingo. Then we went back to the hotel in the beautiful white washed town of Ronda, from where all the next trips start.

The journey in Fuente de Piedra and El Torcal de Antequera gave us lots of ticks on our trip list, like this Blue Rock Thrush trying to mob a snake. Thekla Lark, Short-toed Eagle and a surprising sight of Aquatic warbler put a nice smile on our tour party.

The journeys in the steppes of Seville was a great complement to our previous days. The Great Bustards didn’t show up this time, but it was all balanced with Hoopoe, Black Kite, Eurasian Green Woodpecker and great numbers of red-legged partridge. The mountains of Grazalema and Ronda were quite generous: Bonelli’s, Booted and Short-toed Eagle, as well as our regular Black Wheatear. Definately a great ending for this comfortable tour.

The top 10 birds that we’ve seen on this tour are:
  1. Bonelli’s Eagle
  2. Azure-winged magpie
  3. Black Wheatear
  4. White-headed Duck
  5. Purple Heron
  6. Black Stork
  7. Griffon Vulture
  8. Booted Eagle
  9. Rock Bunting
  10. Chough

You can also join a tour like this one at any time of the year

(Tour programme here: https://goo.gl/d6jo5D)
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Old Saturday 7th October 2017, 05:33   #52
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Nice photos Alvaro! I love the BRT with the snake!

Chris
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Old Sunday 8th October 2017, 18:44   #53
Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA
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Nice photos Alvaro! I love the BRT with the snake!

Chris
Thank you Chris! Yes, we didn't realize until later on. Not the first picture like this in the year. Sbogom!
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Old Sunday 8th October 2017, 19:14   #54
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Sbogom!
I'm impressed Alvaro! Adios!

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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 10:09   #55
Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA
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Smile Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park

Birding in Sierra de las Nieves -in Southern Spain- is an experience not many birders have lived so far. This mountain range is of the three Natural Parks that surround the town of Ronda in Southern Spain. This site is probably going to upgrade its protection status to National Park in the upcoming year and we are pleased to guide bird watching trips to this biosphere reserve.

Autumn is a great time of the year to have a go on our binoculars since it is still not covered with snow. Besides, the days are still quite sunny and invite us to spend a whole day here. Just a few minutes driving from the white town of Ronda we entered the Natural Park and soon penetrated the Spanish Fir level. You may know these Firs (Abies Pinsapo) are unique in the world and reach here great sizes. Greater spotted woodpeckers, Crossbills and Long-tailed tits accompanied us across the forest level.

Climbing up we noticed a group of Griffon Vultures enjoying a sunbath on top of the Spanish Firs. We checked them all carefully becasuse a Rüppell’s Vulture had recently been reported on this area. As altitude increases, the forest gives room to mountain scrub and junipers. This is very easy to see once we reach the Pilones pass. The picture below shows how the south hills are quite different to the shaded spots:

magnificent Gall Oaks (sp. alpestris) facing south and impressive Firs facing north. This variety of landscape benefits birdlife lving here and we soon it started to show up. Ring ouzels and Alpine accentors made the best of our birding journey. The accentors at the highest summits (Torrecilla peak) were very tame and we could take very close pictures of them. A pair of Red-billed Choughs stayed with us for a few minutes too.

Once we reached the summit the sky was even more clear and we could easily see not just Málaga city and some white villages like Olvera but also the Rock of Gibraltar and even the northern mountain ranges of Africa. These views balanced all the walking up and it is definately worth it.

In summary, a great day out birding with a few good bird sights and impressive ochre-blue-green mountain scenery!

Join us on for birding in Sierra de las Nieves on www.wildandalucia.com
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 12:50   #56
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South East Spain - Cabo de Gata

Just a few impressions on how the South East of Spain is one of the jewels for birding in Andalucía. I refer particularly to the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. Here's some facts for those wanting to experience this unique bird spot, where rocky scenery merges into a blue sea like no other:

- My two favourite spots for birding:the Escullos shore and ramblas (dry riverbeds), and the marshes in Cabo de Gata village.

- Top birds: Trumpeter Finch, Audoin's Gull, Lesser Short Toed Lark, Black Wheatear, Thekla and Dupont's Lark.

- Other Nature attractions: the posidonia prairies, the several millenary olive trees.
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Last edited by Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA : Saturday 6th January 2018 at 12:51. Reason: pictures
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 14:43   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA View Post
Just a few impressions on how the South East of Spain is one of the jewels for birding in Andalucía. I refer particularly to the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. Here's some facts for those wanting to experience this unique bird spot, where rocky scenery merges into a blue sea like no other:

- My two favourite spots for birding:the Escullos shore and ramblas (dry riverbeds), and the marshes in Cabo de Gata village.

- Top birds: Trumpeter Finch, Audoin's Gull, Lesser Short Toed Lark, Black Wheatear, Thekla and Dupont's Lark.

- Other Nature attractions: the posidonia prairies, the several millenary olive trees.
Looks and sounds wonderful Alvaro! All those birds would be targets for me!

Chris
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Last edited by Scridifer : Saturday 6th January 2018 at 14:46.
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Old Sunday 7th January 2018, 07:51   #58
Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scridifer View Post
Looks and sounds wonderful Alvaro! All those birds would be targets for me!

Chris
I knew, Chris. Fortunately that'll be history soon! Happy new year
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Old Sunday 7th January 2018, 09:59   #59
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I knew, Chris. Fortunately that'll be history soon! Happy new year
And a Happy New Year to you too Alvaro!

Chris
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Old Sunday 21st January 2018, 19:40   #60
Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA
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Smile Birding in Sierra de Andujar

This is my first post telling you about the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park, in the province of Jaén.
A terrific example of mediterranean forest well preserved, where ancient holm oaks form dehesas, surrounded by the Jándula river. Most of the birders visiting this site have already heard that it is a great place for Iberian Lynx, which we found mating...absolutely amazing. But getting back to birds, if we list just the three below, the magnificence of the place talks for itself:
  • Spanish imperial eagle (in the picture)
  • Black vulture
  • Iberian (azure-winged) magpie
Definately worth a visit year round.
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Old Sunday 21st January 2018, 19:52   #61
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A wonderful encounter with the Lynx Alvaro!

Chris
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Old Tuesday 30th January 2018, 18:19   #62
Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA
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Winter birding in the Serranía de Ronda (Málaga)

Today I'll be telling you a bit about birding in the mountains and valleys near Ronda. This is actually a big area located among 3 different natural parks. Many resident birds and winter visitors can be found among some 600 pairs of Griffon vultures (already preparing their nests). One of the most exciting birds to see now is the Iberian grey shrike (on the attached picture), that I sometimes have the privilege to find perched on a fence post imitating a smaller bird singing, so that any of these can get close enough for a good snack. I will be uploading a video showing this soon.
I hope you enjoy this and some of the other birds below:

PS: more of this "small trip reports" can be found on www.facebook.com/wildandalucia
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 18:44   #63
Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA
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Smile Birding the Axarquía - Eastern Málaga

The Axarquía is one of the eastern regions that make up the province of Málaga in Andalusia. It is therefore a convenient area for many birders that visit the coast of Málaga between Rincón de la Victoria and Maro.

Nice birding spots in the Axarquia include:
- the cliffs of Cerro Gordo
- the Sierra de Tejeda, Alminara y Alhama Nat Park
- the hills near Zafarraya
- Vélez river mouth

Just yesterday I was glad to see many summer visitors, such as Short-toed eagle, Barn Swallow, Pallid and Common Swifts. The display of a couple of Peregrines courting over the woods near Nerja was just spectacular. Other nice sights on my quick visit were Hoopoe, Crested Tit and Mediterranean Gull.

A very nice area worth to visit binoculars in hand!

More birding spots within Málaga here: http://www.wildandalucia.com/bird-watching-in-malaga/
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Old Thursday 29th March 2018, 11:15   #64
Alvaro WILD ANDALUCIA
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Early spring birding in Donana

Doñana is looking as never before. After very well deserved rains, the water is occupying areas that have been dry for months. It is just amazing to realize how fast the birds have spreaded to these "new" areas. As for the birds seen on our last days out, a remarkable presence of Purple Heron, Cuckoo, Swamphen and, of course, the many nesting pairs of White Storks. It was nice to see a young Spanish Imperial Eagle and a Peregrine of the tundra subspecies (attached images).

Did you know about the Doñana birdfair?: http://www.donanabirdfair.es/
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