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Post Info TOPIC: ANDALUCIA


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RE: ANDALUCIA


2 weeks in Roquetas De Mar in Almeria (17/09-01/10/23), our hotel was the Protur about a 10 minutes walk to the National Park of Punta Entinas Sabinar and an hours walk from the town centre/harbour.

 

BIRDWATCHING AREAS

Hotel Area:

Hotel grounds & immediate surrounding area made up of small green spaces mostly as an exercise circuit but still quite productive in the mornings for the commoner species.

Highlights seen here included Sardinian Warbler, Serin, Spotless Starling & Hoopoe. As well as flyover Osprey, Honey Buzzard, Spoonbill & Short Toed Eagle.

 

Roquetas Beach/Harbour/Town:

The beach itself whilst long was not great, however highlights on or along the beach were:

Large numbers of Audouins Gulls (30-40 most days), plus Sandwich Tern, Greater Flamingo, Crested Lark, Cattle Egret, Gannet & Osprey.

 

Punta Entinas Sabinar National Park:

Made up of several different habitats/areas, all best visited in the early morning before the sun was too high, the area has a lot of people driving through it to access the beach, so care needs to be taken on any path that is wide enough for a local to get a car down it.

Cerillos: Some small ponds but mostly an arid salty floodplain. Birds seen here included Collared Pratincole, Black Necked Grebe, Thekla Lark & Hobby

Salinas Vieja: Saltpans & Reed Beds can handily be partially viewed from a road on the edge of Roquetas. Birds here included Greater Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Purple Heron, Black Tern, White Headed Duck & Marbled Teal.

Salinas Nuevo: Also Saltpans & Reed Beds but further into the park, so less disturbed. Birds here included Greater Flamingo & Glossy Ibis.

 

Almeria City:

Easy bus trip to Almeria & then a 30 minute walk to the Alacazaba Fortress on the edge of the city

Highlights here were Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Crag Martin & Red-Rumped Swallow.

 

Other Animals: Common Chameleon, Moorish Gecko, Wall Lizards were common.

 

72 species in total, which was probably on the low side, but no scope made the distant waders seen on the saltpans problematic to identify (at least for me). On the plus side though, I was more than happy with 7 lifers!



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Went on what was primarily an under 18 colts rugby tour but found 3 hours to bird Salinas de Cerrillos near Roquetas Der Mar and Almeria

Estadio Juan Rojas - where the rugby was played on Saturday 18th

White Wagtails (on the pitch prior to kick off)
Yellow legged gull (flyover)
Monk Parakeet (flyover)

Salinas de Cerrillos - Sunday 19th 09-30 -> 13:00 - bit too windy to be ideal

Spotless Starling
Black Redstart
Crested Lark
Mallard
Coot
House Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Shoveler
Greater Flamingo
Red Crested Pochard
Bluethroat (lifer)
Spoonbill
House Martin
Crag Martin
Zitting Cisticola
Stonechat
Kentish Plover
Redshank
Black Winged Stilt
Collared Dove
Cormorant
Chiffchaff
Kestrel

Beach in front of hotel - a little impromptu seawatch

Ruddy Turnstone
Gannet
Sanderling

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9th-16th Oct 2019

1 week in Fuengirola, but with only the odd hour birding.

Parque del Castillo, Fuengirola

1 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Hoopoes, 5 Serins and 6 very vocal Monk Parakeets.

Mount Calomorro, Benalmedina :

2 Ravens, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Black Redstart, 5 Crag Martins and 1 Kestrel.

(Really struggled to find any birds here, plenty of butterflies though).

The gorge below the Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda produced 2 Choughs,3 Stonechats and a few Crag Martins.

The beach at Fuengirola plus a pelagic trip to see dolphins off Benalmedina produced 1 Great Skua, 1 Caspian Tern,

2 Kittiwakes, 10 Little Gulls and 1 Sanderling.

Gannets, Yellow Legged, Lesser Black Back and Black Headed Gulls were plentiful offshore, whilst small groups of

Mediterrean Gulls often flew along the beach.

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John Williams


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Andalucia - 4 night Easter break staying in Benhavis..

 

Benahavis area (over several walks early morning/evening):

 

Below the village and following the river, revealed 5 Lesser Kestrels and plenty of Crag Martins along the high cliffs.

 

Above the village up to the reservoir and then following a circular uphill route North East of the reservoir, where birds included, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonellis Eagle (surprised to see this, an adult drifting over), Little Ringed Plover, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker (at nest hole), Kingfisher, singing Nightingales, Pied Flycatcher, Firecrest, Dartford Warbler, Crested Tit and Rock Bunting.

 

Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves

 

Access off the A-397 (sign posted Los Quejigales on right heading towards Ronda)..

 

First parking area, followed the track uphill to the left; Bonellis Warblers singing everywhere (probably the commonest bird in the park during spring). The hillside on the right heading uphill held Black Wheatear (never failed to see them here), Black-eared Wheatear, Thekla Lark and singing Woodchat Shrike. From this point I headed back to the car and followed the main track by car for 9KM to the large parking area at Quejigales. Be warned the track is not in a good state and continues to degrade year on year; care is needed and your hire car insurance is probably void when on this track! Worth the risk though, as I love this area for hiking/birding. Leave the car park and follow the main track, then take the path on your right and ascend through the pine forest, where birds included: Mistle Thrush, more Bonellis Warblers, Western Subalpine Warbler (any area containing hawthorn scrub), Iberian Chiffchaff, Redstart, Crested Tit, Nuthatch and Rock Bunting. As I exited the woodland toward the summit, a Spectacled Warbler was seen in the low vegetation (also seen here on previous visits). Towards the radio masts and in the decaying Oak woodland on the opposite side, birds included Woodlark, Northern Wheatear, Black Redstart and Chough. From here we descended down the track to the East to look for Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush and were soon rewarded with a stunning male including display flights! Other birds encountered on the decent included Griffon Vultures, Booted Eagle, lots of Norther Wheatears and more Western Subalpine Warblers again in the lower hawthorn scrub.

 

 

Note this site appears in the Where to Watch Birds in Southern Spain guide.



Edit: typo Rock Bunting



-- Edited by Neil Blood on Friday 12th of May 2017 12:02:29 AM

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Wild Andalucia

I accidentally erased part of the first paragraph from the previous post. It should have said:

Alvaro set up business as a Guide a year and a half ago. He was formerly a civil engineer, who has lived and worked in several European countries, including England. He speaks very good English. Back in Spain, he decided to pursue his real passion and become a professional guide.

Hope it's clear now.



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I've just returned from a non-birding trip to Andalucía (OK, I did squeeze in some time for a little bird watching!).

Wild Andalucía

While I was there I met a Wildlife/Bird Guide called Alvaro Peral. He set up business a real passion and set up as a professional guide. He has already been to the Bird Fair at Rutland.

He is based in the lovely town of Antequera , just north of Malaga, but visits various sites in Andalucía. He has his own minibus and car, and will do pick-ups. This isn't an advert because I haven't partaken of his services, but I said I would mention his website on GM Birding. Anyway, if you want to investigate you can go to www.wildandalucia.com.

Malaga, Antequera, Cadiz and Ronda

It's impossible to go to Spain and not notice or look for birds, even when you're on the train!

Night Heron
Cattle Egret
White Stork
Glossy Ibis
Northern Bald Ibis- on breeding ledges with chicks - the re-introduction programme hopefully boosting the conservation status of this very rare and endangered species.
Spoonbill
Greater Flamingo
Griffon Vulture
Booted Eagle
Montagu's Harrier
Black Kite
Lesser Kestrel
Yellow-legged Gull
Eagle Owl (heard only)
Turtle Dove
Monk Parakeet
Ring-necked Parakeet
Pallid Swift
Alpine Swift
Hoopoe
Red-rumped Swallow
Crag Martin
Nightingale
Black Redstart
Black Wheatear
Blue Rock Thrush
Sardinian Warbler
(Western) Subalpine Warbler
Melodious Warbler
Isabelline Warbler
(Western) Bonelli's warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Short-toed Treecreeper
Woodchat Shrike
Chough
Raven
Spotless Starling
Serin
Common Crossbill
Cirl Bunting















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We have just returned from a Christmas birding trip to Andalusia with Ace Cultural Tours, and I can only agree that this is a superb area to visit.

We stayed on the edge of the Coto Donana National Park, with great views of the marshlands, waking to a vista of greater flamingoes, spoonbills and glossy ibis. The purple gallinule was a surprise bonus.

There were other habitats to visit too - sand dunes and Atlantic beaches, pine and deciduous woodland, and savannah patrolled by Spanish imperial eagle.

I saw 101 species in 5 days of birding.

Ace is a good company to use - they got us access permits to the National Park, and they are non-profit making - the profits go to educational and conservation projects.

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Aside from all the excellent birding tips, can I add that you should take a polarizing filter for your camera.

The views from Ronda are fantastic and the quality of light and colours, particularly early evening, are quite spectacular.

Enjoy!




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The town of Ronda and the surrounding sierra, which is well on the tourist trail, is also great for birds Joe. This way you can keep the family happy and your birding instincts satisfied. The area is best known for raptors. I had Golden Eagle and Lesser Kestrel on a short trip a few years back, just seen casually but really good views even without bins. There are also reported to be Griffon Vulture, Bonelli's Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Peregrine and Eagle Owl around. My other sightings here included Bee-eater, Black Wheatear, Chough, and Bonelli's Warbler. It's also possible to see the rare White-rumped Swift locally but you may need a guide to find it.

Wherever you are in Andalucia there are often opportunities to see good birds, even on the overcrowded beaches there are Kentish Plover and Audouin's Gulls. Getting away from the coastal strip immediately puts you in good habitat, usually hills with scrub, patches of woodland and the odd dry riverbed. Birds such as Sardinian Warbler, Bee-eater, Pallid Swift etc are often present but there is so much more to be discovered.

Good luck.

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Sounds a great trip Fred, uncanny timing as my family have just decided to go for a family holiday actually in Andalucia. Not a birding trip, and we're going in August so not the best time, but could anyone give any tips on good sites for birds?
Cheers,
Joe

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Henry Cook wrote:

The town of Ronda and the surrounding sierra, which is well on the tourist trail, is also great for birds Joe. This way you can keep the family happy and your birding instincts satisfied. The area is best known for raptors. I had Golden Eagle and Lesser Kestrel on a short trip a few years back, just seen casually but really good views even without bins. There are also reported to be Griffon Vulture, Bonelli's Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Peregrine and Eagle Owl around. My other sightings here included Bee-eater, Black Wheatear, Chough, and Bonelli's Warbler. It's also possible to see the rare White-rumped Swift locally but you may need a guide to find it.

Wherever you are in Andalucia there are often opportunities to see good birds, even on the overcrowded beaches there are Kentish Plover and Audouin's Gulls. Getting away from the coastal strip immediately puts you in good habitat, usually hills with scrub, patches of woodland and the odd dry riverbed. Birds such as Sardinian Warbler, Bee-eater, Pallid Swift etc are often present but there is so much more to be discovered.

Good luck.





Thanks for the reply Henry! We're staying fairly far away from the coast in Osuna which would put us within striking distance of Ronda and if its touristy then I have a feeling somehow we'd end up there! When Googling Andalucia it looks as if they'll be birds all over, looks the perfect mix of habitats.

-- Edited by Joe Wynn on Friday 18th of May 2012 10:37:05 AM

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just returned from a week in andalucia.i went with wingspan bird tours.our guide was bob buckler and his knowledge of the area was superb.In 7 days we saw 158 species including some real rarities the best of which were bald ibis,rufous bush robin and marbled duck.we visited all types of terrain from seashore,lagoons,saltpans and rivers to woods,mountains,rocky valleys and lakes.also visited a sand quarry and a sewerage works!the best of the birds were
black-necked grebe,little bittern,squacco heron,little egret,cattle egret,purplr heron,white stork,glossy ibis,bald ibis,spoonbill,greater flamingo,marbled duck,red-crested pochard,white-headed duck,red kite,black kite,egyptian vulture,griffon vulture,short-toed eagle,bonellis eagle,booted eagle,marsh harrier,montagus harrier,honey buzzard,lesser kestrel,purple swamphen,avocet,black-winged stint,stone curlew,kentish plover,grey plover,sanderling,curlew sandpiper,wood sandpiper,whimbrel,slender-billed gull,med gull,yellow-legged gull,audouins gull,little,sandwich,gull-billed,black,and whiskered terns,rock dove,turtle dove,monk parakeet,pallid swift,hoopoe,bee-eater,wryneck,crested,thekla,wood,short-toed,and calandra larks,crag martin,red-rumped swallow,tawny pipit,white and yellow wagtail,nightingale,black redstart,black wheatear,black-eared wheatear,stonechat,blue rock thrush,orphean warbler,sardinian warbler,spectacled warbler,subalpine warbler,zitting cisticola,cettis,reed,great reed,melodious,olivaceous,and bonellis warbler,firecrest,spotted and pied flycatcher,crested tit,short-toed treecreeper,southern grey shrike,woodchat shrike,red-billed chough,raven,spotless starling,golden oriole,rock sparrow,tree sparrow,serin,hawfinch,cirl,corn and rock buntings and little stint.heard but not seen cuckoo.the ones that got away according to our guide were woodlark,little bustard and iberian chiffchaff.we were based in gaucin one of the white villages in the mountains north of marbella.the accomodation was excellent the weather glorious and the lager 2 euros a pint.i thoroughly recommend wingspan tours and bob buckler is brilliant.we went out every day for up to ten hours.so we certainly got our moneys worth.



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