Spain: Southern Spain, Andalucia, Cadiz Province and the Straits of Gibraltar.
18th - 24th April 1999
A list of birds recorded by A Cockroft, N C Dawtrey, D J Prest
We flew from Manchester to Malaga, Price £139 return each, our car hire cost £135 and our accommodation cost £250 split between the four of us. We stayed self-catering between Tarifa and Algeeiras at Finca El Bornizo, El Bujeo and found the accommodation excellent value. Being situated on the main migration route with regular raptors such as Montagu's Harriers seen from the house while Bee-eaters flew over most days and Firecrests were nesting in the garden. The weather was very good being warm and sunny on most days, temperature about 70 degrees. There are also plenty of restaurants in the area and several shops in Tarifa and Algeeiras. We stayed for just one week but to do the area justice a 2 week stay would be advisable. Nevertheless we totalled 159 species and had a very enjoyable time birding the surrounding areas.
Itinerary for the week.
18th April Ojen Valley, Tarifa Beach, El Mirador Watch Point, Punta Carnero.
19th April Tarifa Beach, La Janda, El Mirador Watch Point, Sierra de la Plata, Bolonia,
20th April Pinar Di Monte Algaida, East Bank Guadalquivir, Laguna de Medina, Facinas area,
21st April Puerto del Bujeo, Los Barrios Rubbish Tip, El Mirador Watch Point, Tarifa Beach, Punta Carnero.
22nd April La Janda, Atlanterra, Zahara, Barbate Pines, Trafaiga, Puerto del Bujeo, Facinas area.
23rd April Ronda area, Puerto del Bujeo.
24th April Puerto del Bujeo.
Sites for selected species.
Also recorded were the following species:
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron. Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Pochard, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Sanderling, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Cuckoo, Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.
We missed Rufous Bush Chat, Red-necked Nightjar, Scops Owl and Eagle Owl. The Bush Chat we were told were becoming rarer every year, while the Nightjars had not yet arrived. Eagle Owls we were told were best seen by driving around the dirt tracks of La Janda at night and with a bit of luck one might be seen perched on a fence post. Scops Owls we found out at the end of our holiday were best looked for in the Palm Trees in Tarifa.
Sites in Cadiz Province, Main species only.
Where to watch birds in Southern Spain by Garcia and Paterson site number in brackets. Note many of the roads have now been renumbered, we used the Michelin road map 446 Andalucia Costa del Sol. While the main roads are in good condition we found that many of the dirt tracks were almost impassable. Particular bad ones were the Ojen Valley, East Bank of river Guadalquivir in parts and Puerto del Bujeo which became impassable after 2 or 3 miles although work was just beginning to repair the surface.
Tarifa West Beach Recommended (C1)
Audouins Gull, Waders including Kentish Plovers, Little Stints and a Grey Plover, 1 Egyptian Vulture, Turtle Doves, 2 Short-toed larks, Pallid Swifts, 2 Ortolan Buntings, Spanish Wagtails, Crested Larks, Bonelli's Warbler, Crag Martin, Spotless Starlings, Woodchat Shrikes, Finches etc.
El Mirador Recommended (C2b)
Raptors including Griffon Vultures, Short-toed Eagles, Booted Eagles, Black Kites, Montagu's Harriers, Marsh Harriers, Sparrowhawks, Buzzard, Kestrels and Lesser Kestrels. White Storks, Bee-eaters, Swifts, Hirundines. Probably best during easterly winds
Puerto del Bujeo Recommended (C2e)
White Storks, Griffon Vultures, Black Kites, Montagu's Harriers, 2 Goshawk, Sparrowhawks, Honey Buzzards, Buzzards, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, 1 Bonelli's Eagle, Kestrels, lesser Kestrels, Turtle Dove, Bee-eaters, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Cuckoo, Nightingale, Redstart, Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Dartford Warbler, Blackcaps, Sardinian Warblers, Bonelli's Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Firecrests, Crested Tits, Short-toed Treecreepers, Spotless Starling, Jay, 2 Hawfinch, Serin, 2 Rock Buntings, Finches etc. This site proved to be very productive for Bonelli's Warbler later in the week.
Punta Carnero / Punta Secreta Recommended (C3) Probably best during westerly winds.
2 Gannets, Puffins, Razorbills, White Storks, Black Kites, Griffon Vultures, Montagu's Harriers, Marsh Harriers, Sparrowhawks, Honey Buzzards, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, Kestrels, waders included 2 Black-winged Stilts, Turnstones, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Audouin's Gulls, Lesser-black Backed Gulls, 1 Gull-billed Tern, Little Owl, Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatears, Red-rumped Swallows, Cetti's Warblers, Blackcaps, Garden Warblers, Sardinian Warblers, Woodchat Shrikes, Spotless Starlings, Finches. Most Warblers were found in a garden with fruit trees.
Bolonia and Sierra de la Plata Recommended (C5)
White Stork, Black Kites, 2 Eygptian Vultures , Griffon Vultures nesting, 2 Montagu's Harriers, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, lesser Kestrels, Kestrels, Little Owl, 1 Roller, Green Woodpecker, Crag Martins, Hirundines, Nightingales, Black-eared Wheatears, Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrushes, Blackcap, Fan-tailed Warbler, Sardinian Warblers, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Pied Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrikes, Spotless Starling, 2 Rock Buntings.
Cape Trafalgar and Barbate Pines. (C10)
Not much found here, new birds for the trip were Rock Doves and Jackdaw. The pines held Sardinian Warblers and Serins,
A small river estuary produced Little Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Black-winged Stilts, Ringed Plovers, Kentish Plovers, Sanderlings, Dunlins, Redshanks, 1 Mediterranean Gull, Gull-billed Terns, Sandwich Terns. The CA 2211 to Zahara produced a Montagu's Harrier and 2 Red-rumped Swallows.
The scrub near the Light House Car Park held an Olivaceous Warbler and Sardinian Warblers while the rocks around the Light House held Black-eared and Northern Wheatears. Short-toed Eagle, Crag Martin and Kestrel were also recorded.
La Janda Recommended (C4)
A large area of mainly farming land north of the CN 340 between Vejer and Tarifa. Cattle Egrets, Grey Herons, White Storks, Mallards, Griffon Vultures, Black Kites, Marsh Harriers, Buzzards, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, Kestrels, Lesser Kestrels, Red-legged Partridges, Pheasants, Moorhens, Little Bustards 2 males, Stone Curlews heard, Turtle Doves, Little Owl, Bee-eaters, Crested Larks, Calandra Larks, Short-toed Larks,Tawny Pipits, Spanish Wagtails, Nightingales, Reed Warblers, Cetti's Warblers, Melodious Warblers, Spectacled Warbler 1 male, Whitethroat, Sardinian Warblers, Woodchat Shrikes, Spotless Starlings, Finches, Corn Buntings everywhere.
CA2213 just east of Facinas, Los Alcornacales (C6)
Area between the Ojen Valley and Tarifa only visited once in the evening, looked good for Nightjars although we had none. White Storks, Griffon Vultures, Short-toed Eagles, Red-legged Partridges, Cuckoos heard, Bee-eaters, Crested Larks, Nightingales, Stonechats very common here and almost everywhere else in the region, Sardinian Warblers, Woodchat Shrikes, Finches, 1 Crossbill, Corn Buntings
Los Barrios Rubbish Tip (Tarifa tip no longer in use)
At least 500 Black Kites, maybe as many as 2000 present, Griffon Vultures, White Storks, Cattle Egrets, Cetti's Warblers and the very common Yellow-legged Gulls.
Ojen Valley Recommended (C6)
An excellent area but the roads are terrible, recommend a four wheel drive vehicle, we barely managed to get through in a ford Fiesta. Cattle Egrets, White Storks, Black Kites, Griffon Vultures, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, Kestrels, Cuckoo, Bee-eaters, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Thekla Larks, Tawny Pipits, Nightingales, Blue Rock Thrush, Fan-tailed Warblers, Melodious Warblers, Subalpine Warbler 1 male, Blackcaps, Sardinian Warblers, Bonelli's Warblers, Woodchat Shrikes, Spotless Starlings, Finches, 2 Cirl Buntings, Corn Buntings.
Laguna de Medina Recommended (C15)
Great Crested and Little Grebes, Lots of Black-necked Grebes, White Storks, Greater Flamingos, Gadwall, 1 Teal, Shovelers, White-headed Ducks, Red-crested Pochards, Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Black Kites, Griffon Vultures, Kestrel sp, Red-legged Partridges, 3 Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, Swifts, Hirundines, Crested Larks, Nightingales, 1 Redstart, Cetti's Warblers, 4 Great Reed Warblers, Reed Warblers, 1 Olivaceous Warbler, Melodious Warblers, Blackcaps, Sardinian Warblers, Bonelli s Warbler, Finches.
Pinar de la Algaida Recommended (C17)
Black Kites, Booted Eagles 6 birds displaying, Griffon Vultures, lesser Kestrel, Kestrel, Collared Pratincoles, Nightingales, Sardinian Warblers, Bonelli's Warbler, 2 Pied Flycatchers, Azure-winged Magpies at least 6 probably 20 present, 1 Magpie.
Marismas de Trebujena Recommended (C17)
Cattle Egrets, Purple Herons, While Storks, Spoonbills, Grey-lag Geese, Red-crested Pochard, Black Kites, Griffon Vultures, Marsh Harriers, Black-winged Stilts, Collared Pratincoles, Kentish Plovers, Lapwings, Dunlins, Little Stints, Redshanks, 1 Greenshank, Common Sandpipers, Gull-billed Terns, Whiskered Terns, Swifts, Crested Larks Hirundines, Tawny Pipit, Spanish Wagtail, Sardinian Warbler, Woodchat Shrikes, Finches.
Sites in Sevilla Province
East bank of the river Guadalquivir Isla Menor Recommended (S1)
5 Night Herons, Cattle Egrets, 1 Squacco Heron, Grey Herons, Purple Herons, White Storks, Spoonbills, 7 Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingos, Gadwall, Red-crested Pochards, Black Kites, Griffon Vultures, Marsh Harriers, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, Kestrel sp, Red-legged Partridges, 200+Purple Gallinules, Black-winged Stilts, Collared Pratincoles, Ringed Plovers, Kentish Plovers, 3 Whimbrels, Gull-billed Terns, 1 Caspian Tern, Whiskered Terns, Turtle Doves, Bee-eaters, Crested Larks, Spanish Wagtails, Nightingales, Black-eared Wheatears, Fan-tailed Warblers, 3 Great Reed Warblers, Reed Warblers, Sardinian Warblers, Woodchat Shrikes, Finches.
Sites in Malaga Province
Serrania de Ronda Recommended (MI 1)
A site about 40 km along the road from San Pedra - Ronda produced Griffon Vultures, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, lesser Kestrels, Kestrels, Thekla Larks, 2 Woodlarks 6 Black Redstarts, 5 Black Wheatears, Black-eared Wheatears and Northern Wheatears, 1 Rock Thrush male, 3 Southern Grey Shrikes, Choughs, 1 Raven, 6 Rock Sparrows, 1 Rock Bunting, linnets.
Lesser Kestrels, 2 Alpine Swifts, Swifts, Crag Martins, 1 Grey Wagtail, Blue Rock Thrushes.