Bird Watching in the Valley

Hoopoo

Hoopoo

Todays weather in The Lecrin Valley. Click here

Bird Watching in Andalucia. Southern Spain
Andalucía, at the southern end of Spain, is an ornithologists dream. With the Atlantic Sea to the West, the Mediterranean Sea to the East, the peaks of the Sierra Morena to the North and the Strait of Gibraltar to the South, there is a profusion of habitats varying from desert to wetlands, coastal to mountains and there is a huge change in climatic fluctuation. Consequently, this delightful area of Spain is rich in avian diversity and offers a wealth of unique experiences throughout the year.

 

Southern Grey Shrike

Southern Grey Shrike

Being so close to the Strait of Gibraltar, Andalucía is a pivotal area for studying the migration of birds between Africa and Europe; indeed it`s probably one of the busiest migration  routes on Earth. Just imagine a flock of 3000 storks crossing and you`ve got the scale of it! Vast, precipitous limestone cliffs provide a perfect viewpoint for these amazing spectacles.  Throughout the area there are special breeding grounds, such as the Costa de la Luz that is now freely breeding rare varieties such as the Northern Bald Ibis, the Black-shouldered  Kite, Osprey, White-rumped Swift and the Spanish Imperial Eagle.

 

Trumpeter Finch

Trumpeter Finch

Andalucía as a whole is home to 13 native raptors including Egyptian and griffon vultures, harriers, red kite and the black vulture (whose colony at Paraje Natural Sierra Pelada y Rivera del Aserrador in the Sierra Morena is thought to be the largest in Europe with a few hundred breeding pairs).

The wetlands areas along the Atlantic coast provide fantastic opportunities  to see flamingos, cranes and wild ducks especially at La Fuente de Piedra (where there are thought to be five thousand breeding pairs of flamingos – possibly the highest number in  Europe). The peaceful woodlands of the area, such as Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, provide a wonderful habitat for hoopoes, oriole, bee-eater, owls and woodpeckers. To see the startling colours of these amazing species in their natural habitat will be a memory that will stay with you for a long time.

Ibiss

Ibiss

Many of these magnificent sites have visitor centres such as El Acebuche at the immense Parque Nacional de Doñana, which offer helpful information and offer trips around the area.

Resident and regular visitors to The Lecrin Valley include The Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis). The Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax). Squacco H. (Ardeola ralloides).  Cattle Egret. (Bubulcus ibis). Little Egret. (Egretta garzetta). Grey Heron. (Ardea cinerea). Purple Heron. (Ardea purpurea). Common Teal. (Anas crecca). Mallard.  (Anas platyrhynchos). Northern Shoveler. (Anas clypeata).

 

Honey Buzzard

Honey Buzzard

Marsh Harrier. (Circus aeruginosus). Hen Harrier. (Circus cyaneus). Eurasian Sparrowhawk. (Accipiter nisus).  Bonelli’s Eagle. (Hieraaetus fasciatus). Common Kestrel. (Falco tinnunculus). Merlin. (Falco columbarius). Peregrine Falcon. (Falco peregrinus). Quail. (Coturnix coturnix).  Water Rail. (Rallus aquaticus). Spotted Crake. (Porzana). Moorhen. (Gallinula chloropus). Common Coot. (Fulica atra). Little Ringed Plover. (Charadrius dubius). Northern  Lapwing. (Vanellus vanellus). Jack Snipe. (Lymnocryptes minimus). Common Snipe. (Gallinago gallinago). Common Redshank. (Tringa totanus).  Green Sandpiper. (Tringa ochropus). Common Sandpiper. (Actitis hypoleucos).

 

Purple Egret

Purple Egret

Common Woodpigeon. (Columba palumbus). Eurasian Collared Dove. (Streptopelia decaocto). European  Turtle Dove. (Streptopelia turtur). Barn Owl. (Tyto alba). Little Owl. (Athene noctua). Red-necked Nightjar. (Caprimulgus ruficollis). Common Swift. (Apus apus).  Alpine Swift. (Apus melba). Common Kingfisher. (Alcedo atthis). European Bee-eater. (Merops apiaster). Hoopoe. (Upupa epops). Crested Lark. (Galerida cristata). Sky Lark. (Alauda arvensis). Sand Martin. (Riparia riparia). Crag Martin. (Ptyonoprogne rupestris). Barn Swallow. (Hirundo rustica). Red-rumped Swallow. (Hirundo daurica).  House Martin. (Delichon urbicum). Meadow Pipit. (Anthus pratensis). Water Pipit. (Anthus spinoletta). Yellow Wagtail. (Motacilla flava). Grey Wagtail. (Motacilla cinerea). White Wagtail. (Motacilla alba). Robin. (Erithacus rubecula). Rufons Nightingale. (Lusccinia megarhynchos).

 

Falcon

Falcon

Bluethroat. (Luscinia svecica). Black Redstart. (Phoenicurus ochruros). Whinchat. (Saxicola rubetra). Common Stonechat. (Saxicola torquita). Blackbird. (Turdus merula). Song Thrush. (Turdus philomelos). Cetti’s Warbler. (Cettia cetti).  Buitron. (Cisticola juncidis). Grasshopper Warbler. (Locustella naevia). Savi’s Warbler. (Locustella luscinioides). Sedge Warbler. Acrocephalus schoenobaenus).  Reed Warbler. (Acrocephalus scirpaceus). Great Reed Warbler. (Acrocephalus arundinaceus). Melodius Warbler. (Hippolais polyglotta). Sardinian Warbler. (Sylvia melanocephala). Garden Warbler. (Sylvia borin). Blackcap. (Sylvia atricapilla). Common Chiffchaff. (Phylloscopus collybita). Willow Warbler. (Phylloscopus trochilus).

 

Spanish Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Blue Tit. (Parus caeruleus). Great Tit. (Parus major). Penduline Tit. (Remiz pendulinus). Southern Grey Shrike. (Lanius meridionalis). Woodchat Shrike. (Lanius senator). Spotless Starling. (Sturnus unicolor). House Sparrow. (Passer domesticus). Spanish Sparrow. (Passer hispaniolensis). Red Avadavat. (Amandava amandava).  Common Chaffinch. (Fringilla coelebs). European Serin. (Serinus serinus). Greenfinch. (Carduelis chloriss). Goldfinch. (Carduelis carduelis). Linnet. (Carduelis cannabina).  Reed Bunting. Emberiza schoeniclus). Corn Bunting. Emberiza calandra).

Wall Creeper

Wall Creeper

All these plus a wonderful climate, great food and very friendly people. And for the non birders there is so much else to do. Walking, golfing, ski-ing or just relaxing in the sun.