The Strait of Gibraltar is perhaps the most famous place for birdwatching in Andalucia, because it provides the perfect short sea crossing for migrants to and from Africa.
The numbers of raptors, storks and smaller migrating bird make it an attraction for birders from all across the world.
|Migration Strait of Gibraltar|
The wetlands of the Coto Doñana offer many birdspecies! Magpies, Ibis, Purple, Black-crowned Night and Squacco Heron, Cattle and Little Egret. Raptors also attract attention and in particular the elusive Spanish Imperial Eagle. It is also possible to find odd breeding pairs of local water birds such as White-headed Duck, Marbled Teal and Crested Coot.
Sierra de Grazalema and the Serranía de Ronda will not only provide a range of typical mountain birds, but scenically it is an area of outstanding natural beauty with the fauna and flora of particular interest. Here Bonelli’s Eagle has one of its highest densities in the world and in summer you can see also Booted and Short-toed Eagle. The resident Golden Eagle are increasing in this part of Andalucia and vie for breeding sites with Bonelli’s. Also different vultures are to be seen, such as the Griffon Vulture,and sometimes the Black and Egyptian Vulture or Rüppell’s Vulture. Also the Long-legged Buzzard is to be seen.
The terrain near the village of Fuente de Piedra near Antequera is an area dotted by lagoons. This agricultural area has olive and cerals production. In the cultivated areas we can still find Montagu’s Harrier, Little Bustard and lark species such as Calandra Lark. A small lagoon, the Laguna Dulce, is always worth a visit, but the real star site of this region is Fuente de Piedra with the largest breeding colony of Greater Flamingo in Europe, in spring normally in excess of 30,000 individuals. Different species of Terns have breeding colones here. Waders also use this lagoon during periods of migration and often rarities are reported.
|Fuente de Piedra|
Sierra Nevada, has the highest mountain peak (3,482 metres) in all of mainland Spain. The higher areas of the province Granada have many Alpine Accentor and within the Sierra we can find Ortolan Bunting and Citril Finch and Kestrels. Even the Lammergeier one of the biggest vultures which were reintroduced some years ago are sometimes to be spotted.
On the plains Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Little Bustard make a journey here worthwhile, with Dupont’s Lark still remaining as a resident bird.
See for more details also: Birdwatching in the Alpujarras
The areas Parque Natural de la Sierra de Andújar and the Sierra de Cazorla in Jaen province are very noteworthy for their birdlife,
Inland mountain ranges are good for Great-spotted Cuckoo and on the higher and more sparsely vegetated areas Tawny Pipit and Northern Wheatear are common. Bonelli’s Eagle is frequent in the area and the recent breeding attempts by Cream-coloured Courser just add to the attraction of the region.
A visit to the wonderfully colourful region of Andalucia will really be gratifying for birdwatchers!
This article is based on information of Peter Jones,
Le Chien Andalous offers many holiday rentals near the the afore mentioned birdwatching spots. Please check out our website www.lechienandalus.com.
Further information can you find on the following websites:
A lovely blog for birding is Peter Jones’s
In Spanish for the Malaga area, the new blog: www.birdingmalaga.com
and in Cadiz: www.birdcadiz.com
In Spain in general: www.avesibericas.es/index.htm