Trip reports

Latest birding trip reports to southern Spain

 

8-12-2018. Torreguadiaro
Laguna de las Camelias near Sotogrande was full or reeds and in a bad maintenance. However, we managed to see 2x Swamphen, 10x Little Grebe and hear Water Rail. Numbers of Gannets were flying far on the coast. We checked then the nearby estuary of the Guadiaro River, and walking along the promenade we had great views of a pair of Kingfisher and Zitting cisticola. Chiffchaff were abundant and we could also see some dragonflies and Speckled Wood Butterfly.

 

24-11-2018. Guadalhorce estuary
En route spotted a fully winter-furred Red Fox chasing mice near Campillos. Morning birding with photographer Mauricio, MX. Great sights of an Osprey mobbed by a Kestrel. 4x Booted Eagles, incl. a juvenile dark morph. 2x White-headed Duck. 45 sp. Water levels at the lagoons very high after last heavy rains. Awesome weather.

 

23-11-2018. Fuente de Piedra and El Torcal
Full day birding with Helen and Thomas, UK. Great birding in the lagoon, with a roost and subsequent flight of +160 Stone Curlew. Enjoyed long-time views of 2xBluethroats, besides Iberian Shrike, Booted Eagle and Dartford Warbler. Curlew calling as it flew overhead. Afternoon spent in a very foggy and cold Torcal. Far distance views of Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush and Iberian Shrike. Excellent sights of a bachelor herd of Iberian Ibex some 30 m far.

 

20-11-2018. Serranía de Ronda and Fuente de Piedra
Day out with Jari, FI. Rainy morning along the Llanos de Líbar with short range views of 2x pairs of Black Wheatear. Followed by a quick visit to Teba where we saw a very acrobatic Bonelli's Eagle. Fuente de Piedra, really filled up with water after a long dry period, but couldn't get any remarkable sights except Hoopoe, Crag Martin and close views of 2x Marsh Harrier.

 

9, 10-11-2018. La Mancha
Birding en route the N-420 found a Golden Eagle in the Alcudia Valley. Early morning in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park with just a medium level of water. 2x Iberian Shrike, Crane, Greylag Goose, Tree and Spanish Sparrow. Navaseca lagoon provided Swamphen and White headed Duck as expected. Cold and sunny day.

 

29-10-2018. Cádiz side of Doñana
Big day guiding an excellent guest, Garry from the Northern Ireland Ornithologists Club. The itinerary has been designed to target tricky birds mostly. Starting with good views of 16x Little Swift, follwed by birding the saltmarshes south of Doñana National Park. Good to see many new waders coming to spend the winter besides a juvenile Black Stork. Wetland birding provided a sleepy flock of White-headed duck plus 2x Marbled Duck and 2x Swamphen. We got back to the Ronda mountain range just in time for Black Wheatear and some other local specialities. An outstanding journey!

 

28-10-2018. Serranía de Ronda
Mountain photo tour with the Wheeler family, UK. Although it's been a bit of a fresh morning, we've enjoyed local mountain birds, specially Griffon Vulture and Little Owl. It was a bit surprising to still see a decent number of Alpine Swifts along the Guadiaro valley. Iberian Ibex were also around. Nice crew!

 

15-10-2018. Sierra de Grazalema
Birdwatching day out with Jim and his family, USA. Nice to see high numbers of Blue Rock Thrush. Magnificent views of Little Owl being mobbed by smaller passerines. Sunny and rainy morning.

 

14-10-2018. La Janda and Tarifa
Full day out birding with Greta and her family, UK. What it started as a rainy sunrise turned out to be a fantastic sunny day in La Janda. We were wondering if the first Cranes of the year would be around but instead we saw Night Heron and enjoyed distant views of Spanish Imperial Eagle and Black Winged Kite. Other ramarkable sights included a roosting Rüpppell's Vulture in the nearby mountain range. Nice and friendly crew!

 

8-10-2018. El Torcal and Fuente de Piedra
Day out with Jenna and her mother, UK. Despite the very low water level at the lagoon, we had Fantastic views of White headed Duck, Hoopoe and Snipe. El Torcal provided excellent views of a pair of Black Wheatears and a flock of Choughs. Warm weather.

 

7-10-2018. World's bird day
We've organized a small stand on top of famous Ronda's New Bridge to show general public about local birds. Our scope was there to watch out for the Choughs and passerines. Leaflets, ornithological maps and checklists were given to people showing interest. Thanks Virginia for your help!

 

5-10-2018. Montejaque
Twitchers' day with Corinne and Att, NL. We've chanced most of the local birds at this time of the year, except the elusive local pair of Bonelli's Eagle near their hotel. Great weather and a very polite crew.

 

2-10-2018. Grazalema
Naturalists' morning out showing West & Butler families -USA- the variety of natural wonders here near Ronda. We've been to the Llanos de Rabel, a restricted path into the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. A variety of woodland birds and butterflies were present along this charming walk. Sunny morning with the last Reed Deer rotting in the background.

 

23-9-2018. Ronda northern mountains
A cheerful day out with Jeff & Margaret, UK. We went to another restricted path within the Sierra de Grazalema, the Garganta Verde. Jeff's priority was getting a Blue Rock Thrush and so we did. Lots of insects enjoying the wonderful September's weather. As for me, the best sight was a stunning Two-tailed Pasha feeding on some rotten berries.

 

22-9-2018. Strait of Gibraltar
Bird migration day with Liz, John & Karen, UK. Nice and windy day out along the main observatories at the Strait, plus the beaches of Bolonia and Los Lances. At los Lances we got Peregrine Falcon and considerable numbers of Black Stork and Sparrowhawk. La Janda wasn't at its best water levels so we spent more time near the coast. Although this day migration hasn't been dramatically notorious for us, we've enjoyed a bit of everything!

 

8-9-2018. Fuente de Piedra
Ruth and her son Lucas, ES, asked us for an introduction to bird watching and we really enjoyed showing them the basics of this great hobby. Lucas has been very surprised to realize how close a scope can get you to the birds. We've enjoyed the usual birds at the lagoon at that time and we've been lucky to have nice views of Greater Flamingo at just some  20 m far.

 

29-8-2018. Ronda
Day out with David, UK. Or what it's turned out to be a warblers day. Despite we didn't see Spectacled, we gathered a very nice set of local warblers.

 

29-8-2018. Ronda and Teba
Summer birding morning with Quentin and Emilie, FR. We've focused on the limestone gorges and cliffs to benefit from shade and bird activity. Unexpectedly easy views of a pair of Bonelli's Eagle! At this time one can come across juvenile Griffon Vultures that are apparently not scared of humans, so it was very surprising for my guests. A later walk along the bosky gorges near Ronda provided several sights of Booted Eagle besides lots of woodland birds.

 

25-7-2018. Guadalhorce estuary
Brith & Alf -Sweden- asked us for a guided tour near Málaga and they couldn't imagine how many birds were going to see. We've particularly enjoyed Orphean Warbler, Kentish Plover and 3x Woodchat Shrike. Mycket bra!

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We've thought it'd be useful to list our bird sightings during some of our tours and days out. A great bunch of info for those planning the next birding holidays. Enjoy it!

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Álvaro