Southern Spain 3rd to 10th June 2013

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Bird Watching, Birding

Along with my wife and daughter we had a week’s  holiday in Torremolinos,Spain staying at the Puente Real Hotel which is situated on the eastern end of town and just across from the beach.The hotel was a good family type hotel,excellent food and well set out.We hired a car on arrival at Malaga  airport and drove to our hotel, after a few wrong turns, in about 20minutes. A birding friend of mine from Rossendale,Peter Fyldes was staying in a hotel about a quater of a mile away,so, we arranged a couple of trips out. We began by going to Desembocadura de Guadalahorce reserve,about a 10 minute drive past the airport from our hotel. The reserve is in between the “split” River Guadalahorce as it used to be a old gravel extraction area,so, has about 3 pools these being fairly shallow at this time of year.I went to the reserve 5 times out of 7 days and always managed to find a new species for the trip on each visit. I really enjoyed this reserve and met a few English birders who live in Spain on a couple of occasions.There are also Spanish birders and photographers visiting the reserve.My highlights on the reserve being:-Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Red Crested Pochard,WhiteHeaded Duck,Booted Eagle, Slender Billed Gull ,Mediterranean Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Gull Billed Tern, Black & Whiskered Tern’s, Roller, Red Rumped Swallow, Dartford Warbler and close up view’s of the noisy Monk Parakeets. Lots of the more “common” species are also seen here. Around 73 species were seen on the reserve in total. Me and Peter had a full day out and visited around Ronda, Teba, Campillos, El Chorro area’s,  stopping of as and when as species were seen.The highlights being:-Great Crested Grebe, Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle, Iberian Imperial Eagle(before anyone comments,yes it was one! ) Bonelli’s Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Alpine Swift, Thekla Lark, Sand Martin, Crag Martin,Black Redstart, Black Eared Wheatear, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Spectacled Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Chough, Rock Sparrow, Rock Bunting. A really enjoyable day’s birding and as Peter commented much better than Clough Bottom Reservoir in Rossendale. Another area visited was Montes de Malaga.Its a nice drive up the motorway,but, going down into Malaga is not for the feint hearted on the way back down! This is a very wooded area and you will find species here by stopping all along the road and walking in to the woods via the chainlinked paths. Highlights being:-Short Toed Eagle, Booted Eagle,Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Wood Pigeon(yes not seen anywhere else) Cuckoo, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin (only this bird seen all the trip) Melodious & Bonelli’s Warbler, Long Tailed Tit (of the race irbii) Crested Tit, Short Toed Treecreeper, Azure Winged Magpie, Jay, Golden Oriole, Crossbill, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting. Really relaxed birding during the early part of the day and best avoided at weekends as it gets a little busy. All in all a nice relaxing holiday that we all enjoyed with a splendid amount of birding seeing around 118 species in total.

Dave Ousey.

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