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Birding on the Costa del Sol (Malaga)

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Old Saturday 4th October 2014, 19:00   #101
Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP
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Birding at Calaburras and the Mirador de las Aguilas with SEO-Malaga (2014.10.04)

Massive passage of Balearic Shearwaters from Calaburras and nice selection of raptors at the Mirador de las Aguilas.

There was a strange tweeting going on at dawn around the Calaburras hide... The first light of the day gave us a Kingfisher sitting on the rocks below us.

A big amount of Balearic Shearwaters were flying into the quiet Mediterranean, and several Scopoliís ones saying goodbye westwards. Gannets also flew by in big number.

Some of our fellows in the hide found a Peregrine Falcon plunging on the passing shearwaters very far from the shore. You never know what nature is going to offer you!

Other visitors of the site were Sandwich Terns, a Little Egret who caught a fish just in front of the hide, Sanderlings, Turnstones and a couple of Whimbrels in flight to the Strait, one of them stopping to say hello.

Pete and Satori represented Andalucia Bird Society at this event.

The Mirador de las Aguilas does not show the activity of the last weeks but there are still some Honey Buzzards, Booted Eagles, Sparrowhawks, Barn and Red-rumped Swallows and Redstarts passing over.

We could also see some locals like three Bonelliís Eagles a Peregrine Falcon, Kestrels, Jays and an Iberian Shrike.

It was great to hear the powerful song of a Woodlark sitting on a burnt pine tree when I was leaving the site. With no doubt, sooner or later, life will come back to this wonderful place as it was before the terrible fire four years ago.
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Old Sunday 5th October 2014, 17:23   #102
Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP
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World Bird Day at Guadalhorce with SEO-Malaga (2014.10.05)

I was assigned to welcome visitors to the Laguna de la Casilla, where we enjoyed a long visit by the Purple Swamphen.

The World Bird Day organized at the Mouth of the Guadalhorce River Natural Site has been a great success not only for SEO-Malaga, that received the support of hundreds of visitors, but for all those who revisited the site, who knew it for the first time and who enjoyed its lovely feathered inhabitants.

I have had the opportunity to share my sights at the Laguna de la Casilla today. There were not many unusual birds around except the Purple Swamphen and not because it is particularly difficult to see, but because such a shy friend has been foraging in a reedbed just in front of the hide for more than 20 minutes!

This is the list of birds observed: Little Grebe, White-headed Duck, Coot, Cettiís Warbler, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Kingfisher, Monk Parakeet, Black-winged Stilt, Stonechat, Pochard, Crested Lark, Sardinian Warbler, Teal, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Redstart, Reed Warbler, Snipe, Mallard, Booted eagle and the very last moment call of the Osprey.
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Old Friday 17th October 2014, 08:57   #103
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Birding tour around Malaga province (2014.10.15)

I visited some of our regular birding destinations after the rains.

First stop at Rio Grande, which shows quite a good volume of water. I could still see more than 100 Barn Swallows sitting on a power line and a Purple Heron, apart from Grey Herons, Little Egrets, Mallards, Green Sandpipers, Greenshanks, Kingfishers and Grey Wagtails. It looks as if the riverbed has been severely altered by the stream and it will take some time for birdsí routines to settle down again.

I then moved to El Chorro. Both the pine tree woods and the scrub look great and greener after the rain. I did not spend much time in the woods though I could see and hear some of our common friends like Crossbills, tits and treecreepers. In the scrubland, Black Wheatears, Blue Rock Thrushes, Sardinian Warblers, Rock Buntings, Iberian Grey Shrikes and the elusive Dartford Warblers were very active going after the flood of winged ants. There was a big number of Griffon Vultures up in the cliffs and a nice flock of Alpine Swifts was still flying around.

Next step at the Laguna de Fuente Piedra. There is some water in the lake although it does not cover the whole surface. Amazingly enough just a couple of days after rain, the ponds in the lakebed were full of Flamingos. The ponds around the visitors centre are still dry but the plot around the tower on the way to La Vicaria showed the biggest flock of Stone Curlews I have ever seen over there, with more than 60 individuals at sight (the others could very well be sitting in the furrows).

And a final visit to the Laguna Grande, at the mouth of the Guadalhorce. The level of water is slightly higher and I could watch many Grey Herons and Cormorants, Shovelers, Little Grebes, Kingfishers, Snipes, Dunlins, Black-winged Stilts, Redshanks, Little Ringed Plovers, Booted Eagles, Marsh Harriers, Zitting Cisticolas and a couple of Peregrine Falcons flying high that a Common Sandpiper betrayed with its wary looking up while foraging.
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Old Wednesday 22nd October 2014, 17:57   #104
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Birdwatching at El Chorro (2014.10.21)

Fantastic experiences with Golden and Bonelliís Eagles!

I am still regretting having forgotten my camera in the boot as the first part of our trip, the climbing to the Gaitanejo cliffs, was full of wonderful views. So this time, I cannot punish you with many pictures.

The pine trees were livened up by many Crossbills in flight that we could not spot while sitting on the tree tops, and also by several species of tits like Great, Coal and quite a big and united family of Long-tailed ones. Recently arrived Chiffchaffs did also get around the trees and some Wrens let their calls and songs go.

We flushed a flock of six Wood Pigeons that flew in the river direction from which the calls of the Cettiís Warblers arrived. There were some couples of Mallards swimming near the reeds of the banks.

The healthy Mediterranean scrubland beyond the forest gave us most of the species of the day. Sardinian Warblers soon took the lead. A wonderful Blue Rock Thrush appeared and we heard the powerful song of a Red-legged partridge not very far from there. A small flock of Crag Martins showed while the thrush was coming and going and a lonely Griffon Vulture flew above the gorge. Kate and Janet could also enjoy a nice pair of Black Wheatears.

We were close to a stand of pine trees when heard the call of a Crested Tit, the only trace of them in the whole day! While waiting to hear them again, we found a gorgeous old male Ibex on a ridge. I am sure it was one of the biggest pairs of horns I have ever seen. I could not stop thinking about my camera! He was keeping an eye on the movements of a herd of around ten other female and young goats, and even other nice males whose beauty was eclipsed by the power coming from the old chief of the group.

The first Black Redstarts and Stonechats appeared, and did not leave us for the rest of the way up. Then, Janet observed a big white-tailed raptor over the Gaitanejo dam. I could not be anything but a young Golden Eagle. I was able to spot it with the telescope after landing, but it soon take off again while Janet insisted that she had another raptor still on the ground. She replaced me at the scope to follow the Golden Eagle while I tried to find the other friend which turned out to be an adult Bonelliís Eagle. What a pair!

We saw the first Dartford Warblers coming up on top of the rosemary bushes. They did not stand there for a long time, so it took some time to Janet and Kate to spot them.

Nothing new but a Kestrel until we got to the top of the cliffs.

I was able to find the Bonelliís Eagleís perch from this position much closer to us and we could enjoy it for a long time. Sadly enough, we will all have to keep this wonderful image in our own memory... I want my cameraaaaaaaa! Choughs and Spotless Starlings were also present in the walls but no vultures in flight and only a few sitting on the rocks.

Glorious cake by Kate and Janet and down again for lunch.

We devoted the afternoon to visit La Encantada and Bobastro.

There were hundreds of Griffon Vultures soaring over Los Gaitanes and we could also spot another Golden Eagle over the Sierra de Huma.

The pair of Bonelliís Eagles came into view while visiting Bobastro. They were like displaying when started to chase a... vulture? No it was yet another Golden Eagle that rapidly abandoned the area while the two Bonelliís plunged together back into their territory.

It was fantastic! Good birding in fabulous company. Nice birdaytrip!
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Old Sunday 2nd November 2014, 16:16   #105
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Bird watching at Montes de Malaga (2014.11.02)

Some pictures today at Montes de Malaga...
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Old Sunday 7th December 2014, 19:01   #106
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Ringed Bonelli's Eagle north of El Chorro

i made a photo of a bonelli flying at the west shore of the lake north of el chorro.on the photo i realized a bluish ring on the left tarsus with the letter "N".maybe luis can give the info to local ringing ornithologists ??
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Old Tuesday 16th December 2014, 14:23   #107
Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP
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Originally Posted by Schulz-Benick View Post
i made a photo of a bonelli flying at the west shore of the lake north of el chorro.on the photo i realized a bluish ring on the left tarsus with the letter "N".maybe luis can give the info to local ringing ornithologists ??
best wishes,
andreas schulz-benick
[email protected]
Thank you very much, Schulz!!!
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Old Tuesday 16th December 2014, 14:35   #108
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Birding at the mouth of the Guadalhorce (2014.12.13)

Flamingos, Purple Swamphens, Kingfishers, White-headed Ducks, Booted Eagles...

Walking around the mouth of the Guadalhorce is a delightful birding exercise even in days without surprises...
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Old Wednesday 24th December 2014, 16:54   #109
Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP
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Feliz Navidad!!!

Merry Christmas from the Costa del Sol
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Last edited by Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP : Wednesday 24th December 2014 at 17:00.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 22:04   #110
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Birding at El Chorro

There was a big amount of vultures today at the cliffs...

Mari Carmen and I have had a very entertaining time today at El Chorro. The woods were full of magic sounds at dawn, songs from Great and Coal Tits, Wrens, Serins, Crossbills, Chaffinches and Short-toed Treecreepers, and a huge flock of Griffon Vultures invited us to keep on walking to the top of the cliffs.

Lots of Greenfinches were feeding from the seeds of the mastik trees on the way up to the cliffs. We could also spot some distant Ring Ouzels, Black Wheatears and Blue Rock Thrushes, as well as a nice herd of Spanish Ibex.

It has certainly been one of the most productive days regarding vultures for me up there. Some of the vultures approaching the cliff were carrying materials for their nests. After quite a long time at the cliff, we could finally spot the couple of Bonelliís Eagles sitting on a small tree at the edge of the opposite side of the gorge. We suddenly lost them for a while but soon came out again, hanging in the air.

Just before we got back to the car, we received an incredible visit by a Crested Tit, a Coal Tit and a Firecrest that fluttered about just two meters away from us. A delightful end for a nice birdaytrip!!
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Old Monday 19th January 2015, 10:52   #111
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Bird watching at Fuente Piedra and El Torcal (2015.01.16)

Unfrequent presence of a Spoonbill at the Laguneto...
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Old Monday 19th January 2015, 18:48   #112
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An event with the Bonelliís Eagle... (2015.01.17)

Ed and I were on top of the Almorchon Cliffs (El Chorro). We turned our eyes towards a flock of Choughs that were noisily cawing in the cliffs. There was a smaller raptor silhouette chased by the choughs amongst the vultures. I could spot it with the binoculars to realize it was a Bonelliís Eagle, supposedly separating from the disturbing crows as the flight was slow and close to the hill. But that was far from being its actual purpose... Suddenly, a flock of Rock Doves took off from the ground, losing their invisibility, and the eagle just threw its talons smoothly to the closest bird.

Luckily, it came back to the cliff to enjoy the feast.

See some other pictures from El Chorro and Fuente Piedra.
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Old Thursday 29th January 2015, 10:48   #113
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Birdwatching in the northeast of Malaga province (Nororma) (2015.01.28)

Nororma hosts an incredible variety of birding environments ranging from the highest mountain peaks to the olive groves along the Guadalhorce River...

In our visit today, we could admire the remains of the last snow falls in the highest peaks, with their Griffon Vultures and Golden Eagles; enjoy the life in the woods, with tits, treecreepers, woodpeckers, crossbills and buntings; and end the day with the deep hooting of the Eagle Owl.
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Old Thursday 29th January 2015, 12:21   #114
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Last Thursday (22nd Jan) I arrived at Malaga, travelling light - just a rucksack, so I was able to drive down to the Guadalhorce reserve, and leave the car empty! Bit of a cold north wind, and therefore not exactly heaving with birds. Did see 12 White-headed Ducks, which made the walk worthwhile. Only other bird of note was a Water Pipit on the beach.
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Old Thursday 5th February 2015, 16:33   #115
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Last Thursday (22nd Jan) I arrived at Malaga, travelling light - just a rucksack, so I was able to drive down to the Guadalhorce reserve, and leave the car empty! Bit of a cold north wind, and therefore not exactly heaving with birds. Did see 12 White-headed Ducks, which made the walk worthwhile. Only other bird of note was a Water Pipit on the beach.
Hi, Jon.

I'm glad you are not reporting any problems with your car!! Jajjaja

We allready have some records of Black-tailed Godwits in the area which might be the advance party of a nice spring passage.

Regards!!

Luis Alberto
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Old Thursday 5th February 2015, 16:38   #116
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Mediterranean Gulls at the Mouth of Rio Velez (2015.02.04)

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Old Sunday 8th February 2015, 08:39   #117
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Malaga city... what a great place for birding! (2014.02.07)

Lots of pictures taken today at the Cathedral, Monte Gibralfaro, Paseo del Parque and the mouth of the Guadalmedina River. You can have a look at Birdaytripís website or facebook profile.

Other birds seen were Cetti's Warbler, Common Crossbill, Crag Martin, Kestrel, Little Egret, Mediterranean Gull, Short-toed Treecreeper or Spotless Starling, for a total of 36 different species in a morning without leaving the city!!

Picture 1 is taken from the Castillo de Gibralfaro, with good views of the Monte de Gibralfaro pine tree woods, the Paseo del Parque gardens and Cathedral. The Guadalmedina River flows just beyond the harbour.
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Old Wednesday 11th February 2015, 16:38   #118
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Some pictures from El Chorro (2015.02.10)

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Old Friday 13th February 2015, 16:01   #119
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Fuente de piedra 12th feb, little stint and Kentish plover on lake on left before carpark.
Water pipit and lesser short toed lark on causeway, many black winged stilt and black tailed godwit on pool to left of causeway. Main lake plenty of flamingo. Hide overlooking small pond was a wryneck and mongoose!
Guadalhorce 13th feb, four booted eagle, three light and one dark phase. Green shank and spotted redshank on largest pool, also hoopoe there, turnstones and sanderling on the beach.
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Old Friday 13th February 2015, 21:03   #120
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Fuente de piedra 12th feb, little stint and Kentish plover on lake on left before carpark.
Water pipit and lesser short toed lark on causeway, many black winged stilt and black tailed godwit on pool to left of causeway. Main lake plenty of flamingo. Hide overlooking small pond was a wryneck and mongoose!
Guadalhorce 13th feb, four booted eagle, three light and one dark phase. Green shank and spotted redshank on largest pool, also hoopoe there, turnstones and sanderling on the beach.
Thank you, Cliff, good sights!!!
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Old Friday 13th February 2015, 21:27   #121
Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP
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Guadalhorce River (13.02.2015)

Some birds of the reeds...
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Old Sunday 1st March 2015, 11:12   #122
Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP
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Black-winged Kites (2015.02.25)

A couple of Black-winged Kites in the surroundings of the Laguna de Fuente Piedra.
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Old Sunday 8th March 2015, 10:30   #123
Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP
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Birding with David Lindo (The Urban Birder) in Malaga city (2015.03.05-06)

David has kindly accepted the Malaga City Council invitation to watch birds in town and I am so honoured to be proposed as the birding guide for such an important tour.

Day one (05.03.2015)

Our group is formed by David, Vanesa Palacios (from Birding Extremadura), Yingda Li and Manu with the Malaga City Council and myself. We started todayís trip watching the Peregrine Falcons at the Cathedral from the Molina Lario Hotel terrace. You have great views of the west side of the Cathedral from this point, and the field of view is almost 360ļ around the tower.

We could see the Peregrineís silhouette from the street just after getting down the car. It looked as if it was waiting us for the best possible welcome. Once at the terrace (thank you so much to Myriam Ortiz, the hotel Manager, for allowing us enjoying such an exclusive place in the city that I recommend everybody to visit), we could spot the bird for quite a long time. Its size told us we were in front of the male. Other birds seen from the hotel were Kestrels, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Monk Parakeets.

We were about to leave the terrace when the falcon decided to start flying around the tower and chase some Yellow-legged Gulls in the air. He also dived for a Spotless Starling and got lost behind a building when the much bigger female suddenly came out in the sky as well. What a great start for the day!

After breakfast at the hotel, we walked up to Gibralfaro. Sardinian Warblers, Blackbirds, Goldfinches, Serins, Greenfinches, Black Redstarts, Chaffinches, Chiffchaffs, the calls of the Short-toed Treecreepers, Crested and Long-tailed Tits, Crossbills, Wood Pigeons, Ravens and even a Grey Heron in flight over the city made our climb very entertaining.

We then moved to the mouth of the Guadalhorce. The first surprise was finding a young Crane near the Laguna Escondida on our way to the beach view point. The second surprise was for David when he met the first of the several White-headed Ducks we saw today as we had kept this possibility as a secret. I am so glad that I could share this nice moment with him.

Zitting Cisticolas, Cormorants, White Wagtails, Little Grebes, Coots, Moorhens, Mallards, Pochards, Ringed Plovers, Little Ringed Ones, Black-tailed Godwits, Little Egrets, Greenshanks, Green Sandpipers, Black-headed Gulls, Crested Larks, Sanderlings, Kentish Plovers, Ruffs and Linnets were also present at the site. One of our Booted Eagles said ďsee you soon!Ē to the group.

Day two (06.03.2015)

The second day of Davidís visit to Malaga started with a wondrous sunrise at the beach. Simon Harding, with Ibernature Andalusia, joined the group today. The sea rocks at los BaŮos del Carmen and the Pedregalejo promenade gave us Yellow-legged, Lesser Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls, Sanderlings, Little Egrets, Gannets, Monk Parakeets, Cormorants and Grey Herons coming back from the fish farms, and the starring appearance of a Whimbrel and a Black-necked Grebe.

After some Chocolate y Churros at the Cafe Central (Plaza de la Constitucion), we moved to La Concepcion Botanical Garden. All the common finches there like Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Serins plus a pair of Hawfinches. Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Blackcaps, Sardinian Warblers, Great Tits, Robins and the calls of the Short-toed Treecreepers made our walk through the gardens very enjoyable. Thank you very much to Juan Antonio Valero, President of the Sociedad de Amigos de La Concepcion, for welcoming us and guiding our visit to this jewel of the city.

We went for lunch to El Pimpi, another must amongst our typical ďtascasĒ in the city centre, were we could spot the Black Wheatears David and Vanesa discovered yesterday during their visit to the Alcazaba in the stands of the Roman Theatre.

Back to the mouth of the Guadalhorce in the afternoon. We noticed the presence of the Osprey near the Laguna Grande from the west branch of the river. There was also a Red-crested Pochard at the Laguna de la Casilla and I very much celebrated Davidís spotting of a Water Rail that I had not seen at the site for centuries. Teals, Gadwalls, Yellow Wagtails, Common Sandpipers and one Flamingo (along with Red-rumped Swallows, that I forgot to mention yesterday), some more species to be added to the list observed the day before.

And back to the hotel at dusk after two days of great urban birding with David and Vanesa. Thank you so much, David and Vanesa, for coming to know our patch. I would also like to express my acknowledgement to Yingda Li for keeping three bird freakies under control, and to the Malaga City Council Tourist Board for organizing and supporting this trip.
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Old Wednesday 18th March 2015, 12:22   #124
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Nice write up Luis......and most importantly mentioning El Pimpi as its my favourite place for lunch overlooking the ruins....I always manage to spot a few nice birds whilst eating my tapas which is a bonus!
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Old Friday 20th March 2015, 07:00   #125
Luis Alberto BIRDAYTRIP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff1002 View Post
Nice write up Luis......and most importantly mentioning El Pimpi as its my favourite place for lunch overlooking the ruins....I always manage to spot a few nice birds whilst eating my tapas which is a bonus!
You know what is good..., Cliff!!!
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