Birding in Fuente de Piedra lagoon
Welcome to the largest lagoon in Andalusia and also largest colony of flamingoes in Spain, second in Europe after France Camargue. This saline lagoon is some 4 miles long and preserves old dykes, walls and canals which were built to aid salt extraction are today essential to the nesting of the flamingo colony. We love birding here in winter and spring, where water levels are usually higher.
TOP TEN BIRDS
Flamingo, (Lesser Flamingo), Crane, White-headed Duck, Lesser Kestrel, Avocet, Gull-billed Tern, Great Reed Warbler, Bluethroat, Stone Curlew.
Bird watching trip
ITINERARY: We will start having a look at the surrounding farmland for Stone Curlew, harriers and larks. Then we will enjoy easy short walks around the lagoon, checking a viewpoint and some bird hides at the neighbouring smaller lagoons. Our favourite hide is named "El Laguneto" and it holds water year round. White-headed duck is recently been seen everyday too. After a short visit to the new visitor centre we will head to the southern side of the lagoon, check a few locations and if times allows, visit the surrounding farmlands. Fuentepiedra lagoon is a great site for birdwatching, renown throughout the country. So far Álvaro has identified here over 120 species of birds.
PACE: This trip is very accessible. Most of the birding is done by foot on an easy short path. There is a couple of places to sit down and an interesting visitor centre with washroom. In winter we will scan the surroundings on the vehicle looking for Cranes. Likewise, scanning in summer can produce Black-winged Kite, Bee-eater and the very threatened Little Bustard.
TIMING: The standard trip takes around 4 h, besides transportation time. If we start in Ronda the tour must take 7h. And 5 to 6 h if we start in Antequera. If you'd like a longer trip, you may query us for a trip extension.
It is recommended to link this tour with a visit to El Torcal de Antequera Nature Reserve and its unique karstic landscapes. In this case, the tour duration is 9h from/to Ronda or 7 to 8h if we start in Antequera.
SEASONALITY: This tour needs certain levels of water in the lagoon. The water relies very much on the rains and as a general rule, it is a good choice in winter and spring. Even early summer can be very interesting too.
MEETING: For this trip we can meet either in Antequera or Ronda. If you are based in Málaga or at the coast, no problem, please read below:
- Ronda, then 1h10min drive.
- Fuente de Piedra lagoon main car park. Directions here.
- Antequera Santa Ana train station, then 15 min drive.
Based in Málaga or the coast? No problem!
Málaga María Zambrano train station has great connections to the lagoon. At just 23 min by train you can get to Antequera Santa Ana train station and meet us there. Return tickets from 8,70 eur. Train tickets here. We recommend the following train itinerary:
Take the 08:35 train in Málaga María Zambrano and meet us at Antequera Santa Ana at 08:56. After birding, you will be on time at Antequera Santa Ana station to catch the 14:17 train that will bring you back to Málaga at 14:45 with a great bird list in your pocket.
- Transportation (for free)
- Local birding guide fluent in English
- Use of binoculars and scope
- Checklists and guidebooks
- Accidents insurance
- All taxes
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Meals and drinks
- 1 person: 200 €
- 2 to 3 people: 250 €
- 4 to 7 people: 300 €
OUR FARES (if including El Torcal)
- 1 person: 250 €
- 2 to 3 people: 280 €
- 4 to 7 people: 330 €
TIPS FOR BIRDING
- The lagoon water level is very fluctuant and determinant for bird sights
- Normally birding is great from November till June
- A good spoting scope is essential in Fuentepiedra, we'll provide one
CHOSE THIS TRIP FOR
- being the largest flamingo colony in Spain
- crane watching in winter
- possibility of Lesser Flamingo (spring)
- possibility of Bluethroat (winter)
- its very well equiped Visitor Centre
- possibility to link the trip with El Torcal or other nearby mountains
BIRDS IN FUENTE DE PIEDRA LAGOON
Residents: Avocet, Black Redstart, Black-headed Gull, Black-winged Kite, Black-winged Stilt , Calandra Lark, Cattle Egret, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Collared Dove, Common Buzzard, Common Sandpiper, Coot, Corn Bunting, Crested Lark, Flamingo, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Hoopoe, House Sparrow, Iberian Grey Shrike, Jackdaw, Kentish Plover, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser Flamingo, Linnet, Little Bustard, Little Grebe, Little Owl, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Pochard, Purple Swamphen, Raven, Red-crested Pochard, Red-legged Partridge, Sardinian Warbler, Serin, Spanish Sparrow, Sparrowhawk, Spotless Starling, Stone Curlew, Stonechat, White Wagtail, White-headed Duck, Zitting Cisticola
Winter birds: Bluethroat, Chiffchaff, Crane, Golden Plover, Grey Heron, Hen Harrier, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Meadow Pipit, Merlin, Red Kite, Reed Bunting, Ringed Plover, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Snipe, Song Thrush, Starling, Teal, Water Pipit, Yellow-legged Gull
Summer birds: Barn Swallow, Bee-eater, Booted Eagle, Great Reed Warbler, Gull-billed Tern, House Martin, Lesser Kestrel, Little Ringed Plover, Montagu’s Harrier, Nightingale, Pallid Swift, Quail, Red-necked Nightjar, Red-rumped Swallow, Reed Warbler, Short-toed Eagle, Short-toed Lark, Slender-billed Gull, Swift, Turtle Dove, White Stork, Woodchat Shrike
On passage: Black-tailed Godwit, Collared Pratincole, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, Glossy Ibis, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Knot, Little Stint, Redshank, Ruff, Squacco Heron, Temminck’s Stint, Tufted Duck, Whiskered Tern, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail
RARE BIRD SIGHTINGS IN FUENTE DE PIEDRA, MÁLAGA
We've come across the following remarkable bird sighting while birding fuentepiedra lake and surroundings:
2017: Aquatic Warbler.
2018: Lesser Flamingo, Mediterranean Gull (nesting behaviour).
2019: Little Crake, Spotted Crake, leucistic Black-necked Grebe.
2021, 2022: Lesser Flamingo, Marbled Duck (after reintroduction).
Attention! There's lately being some robberies at the lagoon's car parkings, particularly on those at Cantarranas and Las Latas. We recommend to always bring a small bagpack with you and do not leave anything valuable nor visible in the car!