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Birding Andalucia 7 Days (1 Viewer)

rowebird87

Active member
My husband and I planned a 7 day birding trip in March with a local bird guide. Unfortunately, he has to cancel due to health problems. I've included the itinerary we had planned below. We planned our trip accordingly and already have hotel and train reservations. I did reach out to other guides to see if they could do the same trip- but if they don't respond I'm wondering if we just rent a car could we do this trip ourselves? Are these places easy to explore independently and will we be able to reach them in a rental car? We have birded independently before in South America but in some places it is better to have a guide because they know exactly where there have been recent sightings. Is that the case here? Are there any specific trails or areas within these places that are best for birds? Any thoughts appreciated!

PROGRAM 7 DAYS BIRDING SEVILLE-WEST ANDALUCIA

Day 1- Sunday March 13 Explore Brazo del Este + Doñana East from Seville (Wetlands, left side of Guadalquivir River) 174 miles (280 km). Night in Seville.

Day 2- Monday March 14 Travel from Seville to Strait of Gibraltar (Tarifa) and comeback to Seville (Wetlands and mountains near the coast, good place to enjoy migration). 249 miles (400 km.). Night in Seville.

March 15 we have a separate day trip to Cordoba, no guide required.

Day 3- Wednesday March 16 Travel from Seville to Osuna (Sttepe area with some ponds, best place to search for Great bustard & Little bustard, Black-bellied sandgrouse...) and sleep in Osuna . 93 miles (150 km.). Night in Osuna.

Day 4- Thursday March 17 Explore Osuna & Fuente de Piedra laggon (Sttepe area with some ponds, best place to search for Great bustard & Little bustard, Black-bellied sandgrouse...) and comeback to Osuna. 93 miles (150 km). Night in Osuna.

Day 5- Friday March 18 Travel from Osuna to Andújar Mountains 1st day. Sleep (1 night in Andujar - Los Pinos) . Andujar in pretty good place for Azure Magpie, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, Black and Griffon Vulture and with a lot of luck, Iberian lynx. 137 miles (220 km.). Night in Los Pinos (Andujar)

Day 6- Saturday March 19- 3rd day. Explore Andújar Mountains (2nd day) and comeback to Seville. 167 miles (269 km.). Night in Seville

Day 7- Sunday March 20 Explore Doñana North from Seville (Wetlands, right side of Guadalquivir River). 150 km (93 miles) aprox. Our train departs at 6:43 pm (1843), so we would likely need to be at train station by 5:43.
 

foresttwitcher

Virtually unknown member
United Kingdom
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occasional

Well-known member
However interesting Seville may be, the repeated returns to Seville seem to be completely unnecessary and overall you are trying to fit in far too much.
I would also point out that Cordoba is on the way to Andujar, and a guide might be appropriate for Brazo del Este but the remaining sites are reasonably well documented elsewhere.
 
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rowebird87

Active member
Yes, I realized that about Cordoba now. But when I originally planned with guide, we planned around our day trip to Cordoba as I'd already purchased train tickets. We planned some nights out of Seville to avoid the back and forth, like in Osuna and Andujar. Should we plan a night in Gibraltar as well? And for Donana, the guide recommended returning to Seville as it was not a long trip. I'm able to rearrange hotels but Cordoba has to stay where it is due to train tickets. We have no problem being on the go as we like to see as many of the birds as possible in our window of time. But if it's too much, what would you recommend keeping versus cutting?
 

occasional

Well-known member
It rather depends whether you are expecting to see birds or birding sites. I have not been to Donana or Brazo del Este, but Brazo del Este and Fuente de Piedra would seem to provide little that cannot be seen in Donana and, unless it rains substantially in the next few weeks, Fuente de Piedra is likely to be disappointing.
What you see migrating across the Strait of Gibraltar is also substantially weather dependent so you really want some flexibility over when you visit.
Taking these two factors into account I would be inclined to spend your first two days in Donana (staying in El Rocio), followed by Cordoba and Andujar, leaving the rest to depend on the weather forecast.
Accomodation should not be a problem and there are good places to stay without going into Gibraltar (which has barbary partridges but generally only gets significant raptor migration in westerly winds).
 
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occasional

Well-known member
Just to add a bit more about the Strait of Gibraltar.
In the Strait the wind at lower levels tends to run east to west or west to east and to be relatively strong. Most migrants crossing the Strait arrive at the leeward end or even farther leeward. If the wind exceeds force 5 few migrants cross and the birds wait until the winds decline.
Consequently it is well worthwhile using the weather forecast as the basis for deciding when and where to visit, and where to stay.
If the winds are forecast to be westerly stay in Punta Carnero or Huerta Grande, and if easterly in Tarifa or in one of the hotels on the road north from Tarifa; if the winds are forecast to be over 30 km/h then visit some other location.
 

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