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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Andalucia – 23rd September to 7th Oct 2010,
View over Punta Paloma and Tarifa to Africa, Derek McAlone
For some of us, this was the sixth autumn trip to this area though the first since 2007.As always, it proved highly enjoyable. Highlights included Ruppell’s Vulture, Eleanora’s Falcon and Little Swift. One of the most pleasing aspects of the trip was the absence of the very strong winds that have so plagued some of our previous visits to the Tarifa area. Our trip coincided with the three day Tarifa Bird Fair – not really our thing – but this had little impact, other than perhaps slightly increasing the number of birders in the area.
Though familiar with much of the area and many of the sites, we’re grateful to John Cantelo for detailed directions to the Little Swift site at Chipiona and access to his excellent and very detailed Birding in Cadiz Province that enabled us to explore several new areas, especially Bonanza Pools which we’d previously driven past on numerous occasions oblivious to their existence. John can be contacted via the Kent Ornithological Society's forum http://kentosforum.proboards.com/
Predominantly sunny and warm after a cool showery first day. Thankfully, the strong winds that had hampered birding on some previous trips were absent. Much of the time, conditions were ideal though occasionally in the inland areas around Bonanza and Los Palacios it did become too hot to bird in the afternoons. Birding light lasted from about 08.00 to about 20.00
We flew from Liverpool to Malaga with easyJet www.easyjet.com (£130 per person return, booked over the internet, very efficient and, apart from a two hour delay on the outward journey courtesy of a strike by French air traffic control, virtually hassle-free). At Malaga airport, we picked up a hired Ford Focus Diesel from Marbenjo (495 euros, booked over the internet with Economy Car Rentals www.economycarrentals.com and again very smooth and efficient). Economy Car Rental’s much vaunted no excess policy was tested – and found wanting - after a Swiss birder decided to follow us from Los Lances to Algarrobo but did so rather too closely, driving into the back of our vehicle when we stopped at a junction on the outskirts of Tarifa. The police soon arrived on the scene but were only interested in moving us on from the junction though the lack of a police report enabled Economy Car Rentals to refuse our attempts to claim back the 130 euros charged by Marbenjo for the minor damage to our vehicle. However, Marbenjo came to the rescue, pursuing the Swiss driver’s insurers to claim back the damages and thus giving us a full rebate.
Hotel La Torre (7km west of Tarifa)
http://www.hotellatorre.net/eng/index.html Nine nights in total at 65 euros per night per twin-bedded room and including a very good buffet breakfast. Friendly, helpful staff, comfortable, good value, pleasant location and excellent restaurant. Recommended.
Hostal Cristina Chipiona.
www.meligrana.com/.../cadiz/.../hostal.../cristina.asp Two nights at 40 euros a night per twin-bedded room. A touch basic with rather cramped rooms but close to the harbour for the Little Swifts. Chipiona itself, with its labyrinth of narrow, badly-signed one way streets, remains a nightmare to negotiate: as always we got lost several times, on one occasion being stopped by the police for driving in a pedestrianised area.
Hotel Al-Andalus Los Palacios y Villafranca
http://www.hotelalandalus.es/hotellospalacios.htm Three nights at 35 euros per night per twin-bedded room. Very comfortable, friendly family-run hotel and very good value. Though it’s three years since our last visit, we were greeted like long lost friends and the proprietor made sure his son found room for his estemado clientes! No restaurant but a small bar and they’ll do you coffee and tostadas in the morning. On-street parking in Los Palacios remains a problem at any time of day or night unless you do as the locals do, double park and put your hazard warning lights on!
Los Lances (Tarifa Beach) Increasingly disturbed by dog walkers, joggers and kite surfers who ignore the signs prohibiting access to some areas. Consequently, rather less productive than in the past with no gatherings of terns and the lowest numbers of Audouin’s Gulls we’ve seen at this time of year. Nevertheless, always a chance of something good here and species seen included Cory’s and Balearic Shearwaters, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Quail, Audouin’s Gull, Alpine Swift, Bee-eater, Tawny Pipit, Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark and a variety of common waders.
Los Lances, Ronnie Irving Audouin’s Gulls, Los Lances, Dave Thexton
Algarrobo The track up to the observation area has deteriorated to the extent that it can only be driven in a 4x4 though you can still either park at the bottom of the hill and walk or view from lower down.
Algarrobo, Ian Kinley Booted Eagle (dark phase), Algarrobo, Dave Thexton
Cazalla On our last visit in autumn 2007 this was closed off so that a new information centre could be built. Construction was completed more than two years ago but the buildings remain closed and the access track has been fenced off. Viewing, therefore, continues from a basic shelter on the opposite side of the road accessed by a rough track. Limited parking..Despite the access problems, this remains perhaps the best of the raptor watchpoints in terms of number of birds, at least in calm conditions, and in autumn 2010 was the most reliable for Ruppell’s Vulture.
Cazalla, Dave Thexton Ruppell’s Vulture, Cazalla, Dave Thexton
Trafico A new watchpoint for us, thanks to John Cantelo’s directions. Whilst perhaps not producing the number of birds as Cazalla or Algarrobo, this is a sheltered site and you do tend to get very good views.
Trafico, Dave Thexton Short-toed Eagle, Trafico, Ronnie Irving
We also spent a little time looking from one or two wind turbine access tracks east of Cazalla.
Species recorded at the raptor watchpoints included Ruppell’s, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Black Kite, Red Kite, Booted and Short-toed Eagles, Hobby, Eleanora’s Falcon, White and Black Storks, Pallid and Alpine Swifts, Bee-eater, Blue Rock Thrush..
Punta Paloma A couple of evening visits produced the likes of Alpine Swift and a small assortment of waders.
Punta Carnera/Secreta One morning visit brought Cory’s and Balearic Shearwater, Marsh Harrier and Osprey.
Montagu’s Harrier, La Janda, Dave Thexton Hoopoe, La Janda, Ian Kinley
La Janda Rather drier than on some previous visits but, as always, an excellent site. Unfortunately, the track from Fascinas through to Benalup remains in too poor a condition to be negotiated in an ordinary vehicle, making a circular route of the area impossible. Birds seen during the course of several visits included White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Sacred ibis, Griffon Vulture, Black-shouldered Kite, Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Short-toed and Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Alpine Swift, Bee-eater, Red-rumped Swallow, Calandra Lark, Woodchat Shrike, Southern Grey Shrike, Spanish Sparrow and Bluethroat.
Cattle Egrets, La Janda, Ronnie Irving Black-shouldered Kites, La Janda, Dave Thexton
Sierra de la Plata/Bolonia/Atlanterra/Zahara de los Atunes Species seen included Cory’s and Balearic Shearwaters, Honey Buzzard, Montagu’s Harrier, Peregrine, Booted Eagle, Audouin’s Gull, Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush and Cirl Bunting.
Thekla Lark, Los Alcornocales, Ronnie Irving Booted Eagle, near Benalup, Dave Thexton
Los Alcornocales We merely skimmed the surface of this vast area, seeing the expected range of raptors and our only Thekla Larks but a disappointing lack of passerines generally..
Audouin’s Gull, Chipiona, Dave Thexton Osprey, Bonanza Salinas, Dave Thexton
Chipiona Harbour Surely the most reliable Little Swift site in Cadiz Province, with birds present all year round, breeding and roosting in an old warehouse type building at the edge of the harbour. Plenty of parking on the rough ground next to the harbour from where you can scan over the beach and the harbour itself. Apart from the main target, Little Swift, this site also produced Great White Egret, Audouin’s Gull and a few waders.
Red Kite, Bonanza Salinas, Ronnie Irving Slender-billed Gulls, Bonanza Salinas, Dave Thexton
Bonanza Salinas Fewer small waders and lower numbers of Slender-billed Gulls than on some previous visits but still an excellent site with loads of good birds including Black-necked Grebe, Black Stork, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Red Kite, Osprey, Booted Eagle, Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Tern and an assortment of waders.
Bonanza Salinas, Ian Kinley Bonanza Pools, Ronnie Irving
Bonanza Pools A new site for us. We must have driven past it on every previous visit, oblivious to its existence, but thanks to John Cantelo’s site guide, not this time. On the road from Sanlucar to Bonanza Salinas, look out for a white industrial building about a mile before you reach the entrance to the saltpans and then take a minor road (Camino Truncosa) on your right opposite a small white villa. Quickly bear right and this takes you to two small pools on your right. Not the most salubrious of locations but well worth a look as it produced the only White-headed Ducks and Little Bittern of our trip as well as Squacco Heron, Purple Gallinule and Slender-billed Gull.
Trebujena Marismas and Algaida (Los Portugueses) salinas Despite a surprising absence of White-headed Ducks, still plenty of interest with species including Black Stork, Greater Flamingo, Red Kite, Marbled Duck and Lesser Short-toed Lark, plus a variety of raptors and waterbirds..
Laguna de Tarelo Disappointing with no White-headed Duck for the first time in our experience of this site and little else of note.
Algaida Pinewoods Totally predictably, no Azure-winged Magpies! Species we did see included Short-toed Treecreeper and Pied Flycatcher.
Algaida Pinewoods, Ronnie Irving Whiskered Tern, Embalse de Tablezule, Dave Thexton
Embalse de Tablezule Another new site for us consisting of two plastic-lined pools with some emergent vegetation located about 100m east of the minor road between Algaida village and the A471 Trebujena road. Easily combined with the more well-known sites in the area, on our two visits it produced Squacco Heron, Purple Gallinule and Whiskered Tern.
Laguna de la Mejorada The egret roost was disappointing with just a few hundred birds instead of the several thousand we’ve seen in the past, perhaps linked to the water level being easily the lowest we have ever seen it. Still a worthwhile site though with species including Night Heron, Pallid Swift, Common Waxbill and small numbers of passage waders.
Brazo del Este/Isla Menor. As always, plenty of birds. The rice harvest had yet to get underway but seemed imminent at Isla Menor, judging by the amount of activity. Two visits produced Spoonbill, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Black Stork, Red Kite, Black Kite, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Osprey, Booted Eagle, Purple Gallinule, Marbled Duck, Temmink’s Stint, Penduline Tit, Bluethroat, Woodchat Shrike, Southern Grey Shrike, Spanish Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Golden Bishop and much more.
Brazo del Este with Glossy Ibis, Derek McAlone Black Kites, near Brazo del Este, Ian Kinley
We also made brief visits to Huerte Grande, near Algeciras (Crested Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper and a few common woodland species), the golf course at Montenmedio just south of Vejer where we failed to see the reintroduced Bald Ibis that favour the site, Barbate Reservoir (Red Kite, Osprey, Spoonbill) and the Barbate estuary area where, as on previous occasions, we found access difficult and soon gave up, though the subsequent drive down the coast road to Zahara did produce flight views of the aforementioned Bald Ibis flock.
Site details can be found on our previous trip reports at http://www.birdtours.co.uk/tripreports/Spain and/or in Where to watch birds in Southern and Western Spain by Garcia and Patterson. On this trip, as mentioned previously, we also made extensive use of Birding in Cadiz Province kindly provided by John Cantelo. See also John’s blog at http://alcalabirding.blogspot.com/
The Rare Birds in Spain website www.rarebirdspain.net gives info on the latest rarities. Other websites that provide useful background information and some details of recent sightings include www.andalucianguides.com whilst trip reports - always a useful source of information - can be found at http://www.travellingbirder.com amongst other sites.
September 23rd Liverpool-Malaga-Tarifa. Half day’s birding spent at Algarrobo and Punta Paloma. Overnight at Tarifa.
September 24th Birding at Los Lances, Algarrobo, near Cazalla and La Janda. Overnight at Tarifa.
September 25th Birding at Bolonia, Sierra de la Plata, Atlanterra and Los Alcornocales Overnight at Tarifa.
September 26th Birding at Punta Secreta/Carnero, Algarrobo, near Cazalla and Trafico. Overnight at Tarifa.
September 27th Moved from Tarifa to Chipiona. Birding at Bonanza Pools, Bonanza Salinas, Laguna de Tarelo and Algaida. Overnight at Chipiona.
September 28th Birding at Chipiona, Trebujena Marismas Algaida Salinas, Algaida Pinewoods and Embalse de Tablezule. Overnight at Chipiona
September 29th Moved from Chipiona to Los Palacios y Villafranca. Birding at Bonanza Pools, Bonanza and Laguna de la Mejorada. Overnight at Los Palacios.
September 30th Birding at Brazo del Este. Overnight at Los Palacios.
October 1st Birding at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor. Overnight at Los Palacios..
October 2nd Moved from Los Palacios to Tarifa. Birding at Barbate Reservoir, La Janda and Sierra de la Plata. Overnight at Tarifa
October 3rd Birding at Los Lances, Algarrobo, Cazalla, Trafico and Los Alcornocales. Overnight at Tarifa.
October 4th Birding at La Janda, Barbate and Punta Paloma. Overnight at Tarifa.
October 5th Birding at Huerte Grande, Algarrobo, Cazalla and Trafico. Overnight at Tarifa.
October 6th Birding at Los Lances, Cazalla and Trafico. Overnight at Tarifa
October 7th Birding at La Janda before travelling to Malaga airport for return flight to-Liverpool
We recorded a total of 169 species, listed below. The figures in brackets represent the number of days each species was recorded e.g. (4/15) means that a species was seen on four days during our 15 day trip (bearing in mind that the first and last days were really only half-days of birding) and gives a crude indication of how easy each species was to see. More details are given of the rarer or more interesting species.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis, (5/15)
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus (1/15)
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis (3/15) Up to six at Bonanza Salinas and two at Trebujena Marismas.
Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea (5/15) Seen in small numbers off Los Lances, Tarifa, Bolonia and Atlanterra; most numerous off Punta Secreta with c50 there on 26/9.
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus (4/15) Seen, usually in small numbers, off Los Lances Tarifa, Punta Secreta and Atlanterra with the best count being 100+ off Bolonia on 28/9.
Gannet Morus bassanus (7/15) Recorded in small numbers e.g. at least 10 off Atlanterra on 25/9.
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (5/15)
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus (1/15) A single bird at Bonanza pools on 27/9.
Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax (6/15) Low single figures at Bonanza Pools, Laguna de Tarelo, La Janda and Brazo del Este plus 15 leaving the roost at dusk at Laguna de la Mejorada on 29/9.
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides (4/15) 10+ at Brazo del Este and low single figures at Bonanza Pools and Trebujena Marismas.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis (15/15) Widespread and numerous. Noteworthy records included 1000+ following the plough at La Janda and a disappointing total of just a few hundred in the evening roost at Laguna de la Mejorada.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta (15/15) Widespread. Especially numerous at Brazo del Este
Great White Egret Ardea alba (3/15) Six flew past Chipiona harbour on 28/9; one at Brazo del Este on 30/9 and three there on 1/10.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea (14/15)
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea (1/15) Just a single at Brazo del Este on 30/9.
Black Stork Ciconia negra (11/15) Records comprised ten at Algarrobo on 23/9; 67 at Algarrobo on 26/9; three at Bonanza Salinas on 27/9; 15 at Bonanza Salinas on 29/9; ten at Brazo del Este on 30/9; 30 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 1/10; four at Cazalla on 3/10; 24 at Cazalla on 5/10 and 11 at Cazalla on 6/10.
White Stork Ciconia ciconia (11/15) Widespread. Most notable records comprised 240 at La Janda on 24/9 and several hundred at Isla Menor on 1/10.
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellust (6/15) Records included up to 450 at La Janda on 24/9, several hundred at Brazo del Este on 30/9, c.1000 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 1/10 and c.250 at La Janda on 4/10.
Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus (1/15) One seen in flight with 20 Spoonbills at Brazo del Este on 24/9.
Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita (1/15) A flock of c75 reintroduced birds seen in flight between Barbate and Zahara on 4/10.
Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia (9/15) Up to 30 seen at La Janda and Brazo del Este with c.100 at Bonanza Salinas on 29/9.
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber (4/15) Around 200 at Bonanza Salinas and 1000+ at Algaida (Los Portugueses) Salinas.
Shelduck Tadorna tadorna (1/14)
Wigeon Anas Penelope (1/15)
Gadwall Anas strepera (1/15) One at Brazo del Este on 30/9.
Teal Anas crecca (2/15)
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (9/15)
Pintail Anas acuta (4/15)
Garganey Anas querquedula (1/15) Just a single at Brazo del Este on 1/10.
Shoveler Anas clypeata (5/15)
Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris (3/15) 14 at Trebujena Marismas on 28/9, two at Brazo del Este on 30/9 and 1/10.
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina (3/15) Two at Bonanza pools on 27/9 & 29/9 and five at Trebujena Marismas on 28/9.
Pochard Althea farina (3/15)
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (2/15). A poor showing, with none at either Laguna de Tarelo or Trebujena Marismas; up to four at Bonanza Pools being our only sightings.
Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus (5/15) Still passing through in small numbers including c.30 at Algarrobo on 26/9.
Black Kite Milvus migrans (8/15) Still passing through in small numbers. c.40 seen inland from Los Lances on 24/9 were probably emerging from a roost. Most notable record was of 51 together in a field east of Brazo del Este on 30/9.
Red Kite Milvus milvus (6/15) More widespread than on past trips with small numbers seen at sites such as Algarrobo, La Janda, Bonanza Salinas, Algaida, Trebujena Marismas, Brazo del Este and Barbate Reservoir.
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus (2/15) Three perching on the sprinkler systems and bushes and hunting over the fields at La Janda on 4/10 and two there on 7/10.
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus (2/15) One over Los Lances on 24/9 and six at Trafico on 26/9 were the only ones we saw.
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus (12/15) Recorded at a number of sites, most notably Cazalla where 200+ were to be seen at times.
Ruppell's Vulture Gyps rueppellii (4/15) Singles from a wind turbine access track just east of Cazalla on 24/9 and at Cazalla itself on 26/9, 3/10 and 5/10. At least two different individuals were involved. We’ve now seen this species on each of our last four autumn trips to this area.
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus (11/15) Strong passage at times with, for example, 150 at Cazalla on 5/10. Also seen in small numbers at sites away from the main raptor watchpoints such as La Janda.
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (10/15) Particularly numerous at La Janda and Brazo del Este A displaying pair, including a food pass, at La Janda on 1/10.
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus (1/15) Two at Brazo del Este on 30/9.
Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus (4/15) Two at Algarrobo on 23/9, two or three at La Janda on 24/9, single ringtails at Atlanterra on 25/9 and La Janda on 7/10.
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus (7/15)
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (11/15)
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus (15/15) Strong passage at times with 100+ on some days at Algarrobo and Cazalla in particular. Also seen in small numbers at quite a few sites away from the main raptor watchpoints.
Osprey Pandion haliaetus (6/15) Widespread in small numbers. Most common at Brazo del Este and Bonanza Salinas.
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (6/15) Up to 100 at La Janda on most visits and smaller numbers at a several other sites.
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (15/15)
Hobby Falco subbuteo (1/15) One at Trafico on 6/10 provided our sole sighting.
Eleanora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae (1/15) A dark morph bird at Algarrobo on 23/9 was a pleasant surprise.
Peregrine Falco peregrinus (8/15)
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa (2/15)
Pheasant Phasianus colchicus (5/15)
Quail Coturnix coturnix(1/15) One flushed from rushes at Los Lances on 24/9.
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus (4/15) Heard at several wetland sites.
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (8/15)
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio (6/15) Small numbers at La Janda, Bonanza Pools, Embalse de Tablezule and Trebujena Marismas, common at Brazo del Este but, as on our last visit, none at Laguna de Tarelo.
Coot Fulica atra (5/15)
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus (1/15) One at Playa de Los Lances on 6/10.
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (6/15)
Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta (4/15) Most numerous at Bonanza Salinas
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (4/15)
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (13/15)
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (9/15)
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus (5/15)
Knot Calidris canutus (3/15)
Sanderling Calidris alba (10/15)
Little Stint Calidris minutas (5/15) Lower numbers than in the past at Bonanza Salinas.
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii (2/15) Three at Brazo del Este on 30/9 and two there next day.
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (3/15) Lower numbers than in the past at Bonanza Salinas with a maximum of c50.
Dunlin Calidris alpina (5/15)
Ruff Philomachus pugnax (4/15)
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago (4/15)
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (5/15) Records included 500+ at Bonanza Salinas on 27/9.
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (7/15) Records included 20 at Los Lances on 24/9.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (1/15)
Curlew Numenius arquata (1/15)
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythopus (5/15)
Redshank Tringa tetanus (7/15)
Greenshank Tringa nebularia (5/15)
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus (6/15)
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola(2/15) Numerous at Brazo del Este.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos (7/15)
Turnstone Arenaria interpres (5/15)
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus (10/15)
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei (2/15) 10 flew over Bonanza Pools on 27/9 and much smaller numbers than on previous trips at Bonanza Salinas with just 29 on 29/9.
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii (8/15) Ever present at Los Lances but in much smaller numbers than in the past with a maximum of just 49 on 24/9. Smaller numbers at Bolonia. A juvenile at Chipiona harbour on 27/9 had been colour ringed on the Ebro Delta.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus (11/15)
Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans (15/15)
Little Tern Sterna albifrons (4/15) .
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia (2/15) Two at Bonanza Salinas on 27/9 and 12 there on 29/9.
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus (2/15) 12 at Embalse le Tablezo on 27/9.
Black Tern Chlidonias niger (1/15) A single at Trebujena Marismas on 28’9 was our only record.
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis (10/15)
Feral Pigeon Columba livia (15/15)
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus (5/15)
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto (15/15)
Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur (3/15)
Little Owl Athene noctua (4/15)
Common Swift Apus apus (1/15)
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus (2/15) One at Laguna de la Mejorada on 29/9, two at Algarrobo on 5/10 and two at Cazalla on 5/10.
Alpine Swift Apus melba (7/15) Some spectacular gatherings including 30 at Hotel la Torre on 23/9, 500 over Los Lances on 24/9, 50 at the Sierra de la Plata on 2/10, 300+ at Algarrobo on 3/10 and 300 at Punta Paloma on 4/10.
Little Swift Apus affinis (2/15) At least nine at Chipiona harbour on 28/9 and 29/9. On both mornings, contrary to our expectations, the first bird appeared by 08.00 and before sunrise (who said they were late risers?) and our last sighting was around 08.20. With no further sign in the next 15-20 minutes, we left for pastures new so the birds may have reappeared later in the day.
Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (6/15)
Bee-eater Merops apiaster (4/15) Quite numerous initially but becoming scarcer as time went on. Most records involved flocks passing over.
Hoopoe Upupa epops (3/15) Seen in small numbers.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis sharpei (1/15)
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major (1/15)
Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra (4/15) Records included c300 at Trebujena Marismas on 28/9 and 250 at Los Lances on 3/10.
Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla (1/15) c. 40 at Los Lances on 24/9.
Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens (3/15) Common in the Trebujena Marismas area though very few showed well on the ground.
Crested Lark Galerida cristata (14/15)
Thekla Lark Galerida theklae (1/15) Four by the Embalse de Almodovar in Los Alcornocales on 26/9.
Sand Martin Riparia riparia (11/15)
Crag Martin Hirundo rupestris (2/15) 30 at Sierra de la Plata on 2/10 and one at los Lances on 6/10.
Swallow Hirundo rustica (15/15)
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica (8/15) Widespread in small numbers.
House Martin Delichon urbica (15/15)
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris (1/15) Three or four at Los Lances on 24/9.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis (1/15)
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava (13/15)
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea (8/15)
White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba (3/15)
Dunnock Prunella modularis (1/15)
Robin Erithacus rubecula (1/15)
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica (4/15) Two at Brazo del Este on 30/9 and another two in a different area there on 1/10 followed by one at La Janda on 4/10 and at least three there on 7/10.
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus (1/15)
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra (6/15)
Stonechat Saxicola torquata (14/15)
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe (9/15)
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius (4/15) One at Atlanterra on 25/9, four at Sierra de la Plata on 2/10 and one at Cazalla on several occasions.
Blackbird Turdus merula (13/15)
Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti (11/15)
Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis (14/15)
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus (5/15)
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (1/15)
Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis (3/15)
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala (14/15)
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita (3/15)
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus (3/15)
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa sriata (7/15)
Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca (6/15)
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus (2/15)
Great Tit Parus major (1/15)
Crested Tit Parus cristatus (1/15) Two at Huerte Grande on 5/10.
Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla (2/15) Seen in Algaida Pinewoods and at Huerte Grande.
Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus (2/15) At least three seen at Brazo del Este on 30/9 and heard from several locations there on 1/10.
Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis (3/15) At least one seen on most visits to La Janda on and one at Brazo del Este on 1/10.
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator (3/15) Single juveniles at several sites including La Janda and Brazo del Este.
Jackdaw Corvus monedula (4/15)
Magpie Pica pica (1/15)
Raven Corvus corax, (7/15)
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris (2/15)
Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor (15/15)
House Sparrow Passer domesticus (15/15)
Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis (5/15) Some large flocks in places.
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (3/15)
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris (4/15)
Serin Serinus serinus (3/15)
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis (14/15)
Linnet Carduelis cannabina (8/15)
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus (1/15) One at Bolonia on 25/9.
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra (12/15)
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild (3/15) Common at Laguna de la Mejorada and Brazo del Este.
Golden Bishop Eupletes afer (2/15) Common, including some spectacular males, at Brazo del Este.