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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Andalucia 1st to 14th October,
Participants: Ronnie Irving, Ian Kinley, Derek McAlone and Dave Thexton
This was essentially a repeat of a trip that three of us (RI, IK and DT) had made in October 2002 though an additional five days allowed us more time at each site and an opportunity to explore a new area (the plains of southern Badajoz). Although the dates of the two trips overlapped, we noticed a number of differences; in particular, in 2003 we saw plenty of Purple Herons and Hoopoes (we had none in 2002) while Los Lances (Tarifa Beach) was drier and less productive in 2003 than in 2002.
There were many highlights in two bird-filled weeks but perhaps the abiding memory will be of a spectacular concentration of thousands of Glossy Ibis, storks, egrets, waders and gulls packed into one wet rice field at Isla Menor. It was also interesting to note the change in birds during the course of our trip - in the space of two weeks Meadow Pipits and Serins had gone from non-existent to common while swifts had disappeared.
As last year we failed to find any rare swifts at Bolonia or Zahara, nor could we find any Little Bustards despite plenty of easily visible Great Bustards on the plains of southern Badajoz. We also repeated what is fast becoming a traditional fruitless search for Azure-winged Magpies in the horrendous Algaida Pinewoods (they were, of course, all over the place north of Seville).
Quite mixed with some cool days and a fair amount of rain. Low cloud, rain and unfavourable winds at times hampered raptor migration at Tarifa, which proved less spectacular than in 2002. About half the time however, conditions were ideal; dry, sunny, calm and warm but never too hot to bird. Birding light lasted from about 08.15 (no need for early starts!) to about 20.15.
We flew from Liverpool to Malaga with EasyJet (£100 return, booked over the internet, very efficient and virtually hassle-free). At Malaga airport, we picked up a hired Renault Scenic Diesel from Record Rentacar (342 euros, booked over the internet with Carjet and again very smooth and efficient).
We had not intended to pre-book any accommodation, having had no problems in 2002, but prior to departure we learned that the European Kite Surfing Championships were being held in Tarifa during our time there so decided to book somewhere for the first few nights. We need not have worried; it turned out to be no busier than usual, there is ample choice of accommodation in the area and we would have had no difficulty finding somewhere. However, we did have problems later in the trip - we had to move earlier than planned from our hotel in Fuente de Cantos as it was fully booked the next night (a Saturday, frequently difficult for accommodation in our experience) and, more seriously, we could not find any accommodation at all in, or near, Grazalema. Half a dozen hotels were all full and a radical change of itinerary saw us abandon our stay in the mountains and return to Tarifa. Anyone planning to visit the Grazalema area would be well advised to book in advance, at least at weekends, and be prepared for hordes of noisy tourists.
We stayed at the following: -
Hotel Cortija Las Pinas (set back from the N340 8km west of Tarifa) www.cortijolaspinas.com Four nights, 37 euros per night per twin-bedded apartment. Very comfortable (though the lack of air-conditioning may be a problem in hotter periods) and well situated. No proper restaurant but there was plenty nearby.
Hostal Alcazar (just east of Chipiona alongside road to Sanlucar de Barrameda) Two nights; 30 euros a night per twin-bedded room. Comfortable (with air-conditioning) and good value. Much better than outward appearances suggested. No restaurant but bar open in evenings and owner did get up specially to make us coffee at 07.30.
Hotel El Desembarco at Los Palacios y VillafrancaAvenida de Cadiz, 4. 41.720 Los Palacios. Sevilla.Tel:95 581 31 00 Fax:95 581 23 23. Two nights; 35 euros per night per twin-bedded room. Very comfortable and excellent value. Good restaurant and bar. Sole drawback was difficulty with on-street parking (we managed to pick up a parking ticket!).
Hotel Rural "La Fabrica" at Fuente de Cantos http://www.hrlafabrica.com or email@example.com Two nights; 55 euros per night per twin-bedded room. Very nice indeed if a touch pricey (though not by British standards). Good restaurant. Excellent location with Great Bustards, Black Vultures and Black-bellied Sandgrouse just five minutes drive away and Black-shouldered Kites within 15km.
Hostal El Pilar at Monesterio One night; 36 euros a night per twin-bedded room. Comfortable and good value but a lot of traffic noise. Very good bar/restaurant just across the road under same ownership. The restaurant menu included some interesting English translations such as "scum" which turned out to be ice cream and "thorns to the brave sauce" which remained unidentified, as none of us was brave enough to order it!
Hotel Cordoniz (alongside N340 just west of Tarifa) La Codorniz, Carretera Nacional 340 - Km. 79, 11380 TARIFA (Cadiz) http://www.lacodorniz.com Tel (34) 956 684744 Fax:(34) 956 684101
Two nights; 70 euros per night per twin-bedded bungalow apartment including, unusually, continental breakfast (served from 08.00, allowing just enough time before it got light enough to bird). Superb, very comfortable, excellent restaurant and brilliant location. Easily the best place we stayed but reflected in the price.
October 1st: Malaga-Tarifa, with most of our half-day's birding at or near Tarifa.
October 2nd-4th: Based at Tarifa with birding done in Tarifa area, La Janda and Sierra de la Plata.
October 5th: Tarifa-Bonanza. Birding at Bonanza Salinas and Laguna de Tarelo.
October 6th: Birding at Trebujena Marismas, Algaida Salinas and Bonanza Salinas.
October 7th-8th: Based at Los Palacios y Villafranca birding sites on the east bank of the Guadalquivir (Brazo del Este/Isla Menor).
October 9th: Los Palacios y Villafranca-Fuente de Cantos birding en route and, in evening, in the Fuente de Cantos area.
October 10th-11th: Fuente de Cantos area including Sierra de Hornachos. Overnight at Monesterio on 11th.
October 12th: Monesterio-Isla Menor. Full morning's birding at Isla Menor before travelling to Grazalema. Failed to find accommodation and continued on to Tarifa.
October 13th-14th: Birding in Tarifa area before travelling to Malaga late morning on 14th.
Los Lances (Tarifa Beach) Superb site that we accessed from several points between the harbour and the football stadium c2km to the north. Rather drier (especially on our second visit) than in 2002 with gulls and terns less obliging but different birds every day and well worth repeated visits. We found seawatching better from the beach near the football stadium and/or the causeway to the island than from the coast on the Mediterranean side of the fort, with birds closer and more numerous (though you do lose the advantage of height). The dunes and rough grassy areas behind the beach were also well worth exploring. Lots of potential for a major "find" here. We also paid several visits to the inlet behind Playa Palomas, which is essentially an extension of Los Lances about 8km north of Tarifa. Though heavily disturbed by surfers, it did have an interesting tidal inlet with potential for good birds.
|Ciguena Negra watchpoint, Tarifa We did our raptor watching from here (which we called Tarifa Observatory in our 2002 report). It's the first viewpoint east of Tarifa (take the first minor track left off the main road near the top of the hill going east out of Tarifa in the direction of an ugly-looking Cepsa compound/building). The small concrete observatory structure (now sporting a nice drawing or two Black Storks on the wall) is situated on a low foothill overlooking the town and coastal strip and affords some protection from the sun and wind. It is manned at times by locals monitoring the raptor and stork migration|
La Janda (pictured right) Excellent plains area, with reedy drainage ditches and rice fields, plenty of potential. Very drivable tracks, with no apparent access problems, at an elevated level to the surrounding fields. Huge numbers of White Storks assembling close to the tracks with raptors constantly in view overhead.
Sierra de la Plata Area of low coastal limestone hills, not brilliant overall though well known for breeding White-rumped and Little Swifts.
Bonanza Salinas Superb site with no access problems (contrary to Gosney). Large concentrations of birds with a network of drivable tracks allowing very close views.
Algaida Salinas Another excellent area. Again there are now no access problems (see Gosney). An extension of the above site with similar birds though the generally deeper water resulted in a subtle difference in the species using the area.
Trebujena Marismas An interesting area of farmland, marismas and lagoons situated between Trebujena and the Guadalquivir north of Algaida. We saw our only Pin-tailed Sandgrouse here.
Laguna de Tarelo Good access and viewing, with easy White-headed Ducks.
Algaida Pinewoods We again failed to see the promised Azure-winged Magpies here in two visits. Not an enjoyable area to bird due to local "boy racers" on motorbikes and inconsiderate 4xwheel drive owners haring along the rough track. May be more productive when quiet.
Brazo del Este/Isla Menor Superb site that includes the area Gosney refers to as the Pinzon Marshes. Close range viewing mostly from a road level higher than the surrounding habitat gives wonderful views of the full range of marisma species. A must visit site, which, with reports of accessible areas of the Coto Donana being dry at the time of our trip, appears to have more reliable water levels than the Coto itself. In fact, water levels at Brazo del Este were considerable higher than in 2002 with no muddy margins for the Bluethroats or waders seen last year. However, more than adequate compensation was provided by the rice fields at Isla Menor where harvesting was underway and conditions were perfect for feeding waterbirds. Water levels are likely to change constantly - indeed they had done so between our two visits - and it's a case of driving the network of tracks to find where the birds are concentrated. Make sure you continue beyond the Acebuche Bar onto the tracks towards San Vicente Ferrier - we found this the most productive area on our visit.
Plains of southern Badajoz We birded the triangle formed by Fuente de Cantos, Llerena and Usagre but concentrated most on the area east of Fuente de Cantos where we were based and found it excellent for Great Bustards and Black-bellied Sandgrouse though we saw neither Little Bustards nor Pin-tailed Sandgrouse here. It was also pretty good for raptors with Black-shouldered Kite, Bonelli's Eagle, Golden Eagle, Black Vulture, Hen Harrier and lots of Red Kites.
Sierra de Hornachos Disappointing with far fewer raptors on show than the literature had led us to believe.
For details and directions to all the sites we visited we used: -
Gosney's Finding Birds in Southern Spain. Though in most cases the directions and maps were up to the usual high standard, woefully out of date in places, especially re Bonanza and Algaida Salinas. Also in the section on Brazo del Este he regularly refers to Isla Major when he means Isla Menor. No updates were available on the Birdguides website prior to our trip.
Where to watch birds in Southern and Western Spain by Garcia and Patterson. Excellent and up to date, with much useful background information.
Useful extra information was gleaned from trip reports available on the Birdtours website www.birdtours.co.uk/tripreports and we also looked at the Rare Birds in Spain website www.rarebirdspain.net prior to our trip for info on latest rarities.
We used the Michelin map 446 Espagne Sud
We recorded a total of 180 species, listed below. The figures in brackets represent the number of days each species was recorded e.g. (4/14) means that a species was seen on four days during our 14 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 (5/14)Records included 200+ at Trebujena Marismas on 6th
Great Crested Grebe †Podiceps cristatus (5/14)
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis (1/14) -1 at Trebujena Marismas on 6th
Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea (7/14) - Ever present off Los Lances often very close inshore, max. 100 on 14th. Also seen close in at Bolonia and Zahara de los Atunes.
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus (5/14) - Birds seen heading into the Mediterranean every day off Los Lances with a maximum count of 50 (including 33 in 30 minutes) on 4th. Also seen off Zahara de los Atunes
Gannet Morus bassanus (6/14) - Recorded every day off Los Lances
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (6/14)
Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax (7/14) - 1 juv at La Janda on 2nd; 2 juvs at La Janda on 4th; 8 at Laguna de Tarelo on 5th; 1 juv at Trebujena Marismas on 6th; c15 at Brazo del Este on 7th; c30 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 8th; c10 at Isla Menor on 12th
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides (4/14) - 1 at Laguna de Tarelo on 5th; 40+ (including a flock of 32) at Brazo del Este on 7th; c30 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 8th; c20 at Isla Menor on 12th
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis (14/14) - Widespread.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta (12/14) - Widespread. Especially numerous at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor
Great White Egret Ardea alba (1/14) - 1 at Algaida Salinas on 6/10.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea (13/14)
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea (3/14) - 1 at La Janda on 4th; c6 at Brazo del Este on 7th; 3 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 8th
Black Stork Ciconia nigra †(8/14) - A flock of 23 over Tarifa on 1st; 10 at La Janda on 2nd; 11 over Tarifa on 3rd; 1 at Bonanza Salinas on 5th; 1 at Trebujena Marismas on 6th; c30 at Brazo del Este on 7th; 2 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 8th; 6 at Isla Menor on 12th
White Stork Ciconia ciconia (9/14) - Widespread. Most notable records comprised many hundreds on the ground at La Janda on 2nd (far fewer there on 4th); 1000+ at Brazo del Este on 7th; and 8th; c1000 including hundreds in a field that was being ploughed; lots roosting on nests at San Roque railway sidings at dusk on 12th. We saw none north of Seville though there were plenty of deserted nests.
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus (3/14) - 3 at Brazo del Este on 7th; 1000+ at Isla Menor on 8th (a magnificent spectacle); c300 at Isla Menor on 12th
Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia (7/14) - 1 at La Janda on 2nd; a flock of 22 over the sea at Zahara de los Atunes and 3 at La Janda on 4th; 20+ at Bonanza Salinas on 5th with small numbers there on 6th; 50+ at Trebujena Marismas on 6th; small numbers at Brazo del Este on 7th; c20 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 8th; just 1 at Isla Menor on 12th
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber (4/14) - 500+ at Bonanza Salinas on 5th; several hundred at Trebujena Marismas and 1000+ at Bonanza Salinas on 6th; c250 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 8th; c300 at Isla Menor on 12th
Greylag Goose Anser anser (2/14) - 20 at Trebujena Marismas on 6th; 50 at Isla Menor on 12th
Wigeon Anas Penelope (2/14)
Gadwall Anas strepera (3/14)
Teal Anas crecca (1/14)
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (9/14)
Pintail Anas acuta †(4/14)
Garganey Anas querquedula (1/14) - 1 drake at Brazo del Este on 7th
Shoveler Anas clypeata (5/14)
Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris (3/14) - 6 at Trebujena Marismas on 6th; 20+ at Brazo del Este on 7th and 30 there on 8th
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina (2/14) - 3 at Laguna de Tarelo on 5th; 6+ at Trebujena Marismas on 6th; 1 at Isla Menor on 12th
PochardAythea farina (1/14)
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (2/14) - 13 at Laguna de Tarelo on 5th (much lower numbers here than last year); 41 at Trebujena Marismas on 6th
Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus (5/14) - 5 at Tarifa on 1st; 2 at Tarifa and 1 at La Janda on 2nd; 10 at Tarifa and 1 at Bolonia on 3rd; 15+ at Zahara de los Atunes on 4th; 1 at Tarifa on 14th
Black Kite Milvus migrans †(3/14)- 3at Tarifa on 1st; 1 at La Janda on 2nd; 2-3at Tarifa on 3rd
Red Kite Milvus milvus (4/14) - 2 at Algaida/Trebujena Marismas on 6th; quite common in southern Badajoz with up to 30 seen in a day
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus (2/14) - Up to 3 birds seen early morning and late evening 9/10-10/10 at site 14km east of Fuente de Cantos alongside road to Llerena .
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus (3/14)† - 3 at La Janda on 2nd; 3 at Tarifa on 3rd; 1 at Tarifa on 13th Videograb above.
Black Vulture Aegypius monachus (2/14) - A wasp sting to IK brought about an unscheduled and fortuitous stop near Fuente de Cantos on 9th resulting in the sighting of 2 close range Black Vultures. Despite the insignificant/great* pain, IK stoically suffered in silence/yelped like a stuck pig*. A single east of Fuente de Cantos later the same day and 1 in the Fuente de Cantos/Llerena/Usagre triangle on 10th. *delete as applicable
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus (10/14) - Recorded, usually in small numbers, at several sites, most notably 60+ at Algaida Pinewoods on 5th; a migrating flock of 87 over Tarifa on 13th; at least 80 at a carcase c12km west of Tarifa on 13th giving stunning close range views
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus (6/14) - Our first was seen over the streets of Algeciras while we were in traffic on 1st, then seen at Tarifa whenever weather conditions allowed including 100+ on 3rd and 50+ on 13th. Also 10+ at Sierra de la Plata on 4th and smaller numbers Brazo del Este/Isla Menor
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (8/14) - Particularly numerous at La Janda and Brazo del Este/Isla Menor where it was often possible to have 6 in the scope at once. One near Fuente de Cantos on 11th.
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus (1/14) -At least 2 (a male and a ringtail) east of Fuente de Cantos on 10th
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus (1/14) - 1 juv at La Janda on 2nd was our only sighting
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus (10/14) - Records included 30 at Tarifa on 3rd
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo† (9/14)
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos (2/14)- 1 imm near Usagre on 10th and an adult at Sierra de Hornachos on 11th
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus (10/14) - Seen at Tarifa whenever weather conditions allowed including 25 on 1st and 60+ on 3rd. Also c10 at La Janda on 2nd; 10+ at Sierra de la Plata on 4th and small numbers at Bonanza Salinas, Sierra de Hornachos and Brazo del Este/Isla Menor. These included stunning views of a dark-phase juv perched in a tree at Brazo del Este that we showed to 2 members of the Gardia Civil who were taking a keen interest in the contents of our boot!
Bonellis Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus (4/14) - Superb views of an adult being mobbed by a Marsh Harrier at La Janda on 2nd; 2 adults near Usagre on 10th; 1 near Grazelema on 12th, 2 adults c12km west of Tarifa on 13th
Osprey Pandion haliaetus (3/10)- 2at Trebujena Marismas/Algaida Salinas on 6th; 1 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 7th; 2 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 8th
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (13/14) - However hard we looked all the Kestrels we were able to view closely turned out to be Common
Hobby Falco subbuteo (3/14) - Lovely close views of 3 at Tarifa on 3rd; 1 near Fuente de Cantos on 9th; 1 over our hotel at Tarifa on 13th
Peregrine Falco peregrinus (4/14)
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa (6/14)
Pheasant Phasianus colchicus (2/14)
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus (1/14) 1 heard at Isla Menor on 8th.
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (8/14)
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio (4/14)- 2 at Laguna de Tarelo on 5th; very common and easy to see at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor, including 50 in one rice field on 12th†
Coot Fulica atra (6/14)- Scrutiny of the Coot flocks at various sites failed to reveal any Crested Coots
Great Bustard Otis tarda (2/14) - 46 (3+24+15+4) in the Fuente de Cantos area on 9th and 26 (16+3+7) in the Fuente de Cantos/Llerena/Usagre triangle on 10th
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (6/14) - Present in good numbers at Bonanza Salinas, Algaida Salinas and Brazo del Este; small numbers at La Janda and large numbers at Isla Menor including 1891 in just one wet field.
Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta (4/14) - Present in good numbers at Bonanza Salinas (1000+ on 6th), Algaida Salinas and Isla Menor (c200 on 12th)
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (4/14)
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (11/14)
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (9/14)
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola (5/14)
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus (7/14)
Knot Calidris canutus (3/14)
Sanderling Calidris alba (7/14)
Little Stint Calidris minuta (3/14) - Hundreds at Bonanza Salinas; 50+ at Isla Menor on 12th †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii (1/14) - Super close views of 7 birds in a shallow corner of a wet field at Isla Menor on 8th. Water levels had been raised and birds had moved on by 12th.
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (3/14) - 100+ at Bonanza Salinas; 1 at Isla Menor on 12th
Dunlin Calidris alpina (8/14)
Ruff Philomachus pugnax (5/14) - 20+ at Bonanza Salinas; 500+ at Isla Menor on 8th
Snipe Gallinago gallinago (5/14)
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (5/14) -500+ at Bonanza Salinas and c1000 at Isla Menor on 8th
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (4/14)
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (1/14)† - 2 at Tarifa on 13th
Curlew Numenius arquata (1/14)
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythopus (4/14) -Records included 20+ at Bonanza Salinas and 10+ at Isla Menor
Redshank Tringa tetanus (8/14)
Greenshank Tringa nebularia (6/14) - Records included 20+ at both Bonanza Salinas and Isla Menor
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus (8/14) - Seen at several sites including c20 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola (3/14) - 10+ at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos† (7/14)
Turnstone Arenaria interpres (5/14)
Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus (1/14)- 1 juv chasing an Audouin's Gull off Los Lances on 3rd
Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus (1/14) - 1 off Los Lances on 4th
Great Skua Catharacta skua (2/14) - Singles off Zahara de los Atunes on 4th and Los Lances on 14th
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus (11/14)
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei (2/14) -30+ at Bonanza Salinas on 5th but just 1 there next day
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii (7/14) -Ever present on Los Lances including 71 on 3rd, 78 on 4th and 134 on 13th. Also small numbers on the beach at Atlanterra on 4th and 3 at Bonanza Salinas on 5th
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus (12/14)
Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans (12/14)
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia (2/14) - 1 at Los Lances on 1st and 6 at Bonanza Salinas on 6th
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis (8/14)- Ever present in small numbers at Los Lances, with small numbers also seen at Bonanza Salinas
Common Tern Sterna hirundo (4/14) - Up to 3 at Los Lances; 1 at Bonanza Salinas; 12+ at Trebujena Marismas
Little Tern Sterna albifrons (1/14) - 10+ at Trebujena Marismas
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus (4/14) - c20 at Trebujena Marismas/Algaida Salinas on 6th; 2 at Brazo del Este on 7th; 20 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor on 8th and 2 there on 12th
Black Tern Chlidonias niger (2/14) - 1 at La Janda on 2nd; 10 at Trebujena Marismas on 6th
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata (1/14) - 9 (8+1) at Trebujena Marismas on 6th
Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis (3/14)- 9 (6+3) in the Fuente de Cantos area on 9th and a total of 41 in the Fuente de Cantos/Llerena/Usagre triangle on 10th, 6 near Fuente de Cantos on 11th.
Feral Pigeon Columba livia (14/14)
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus (4/14)
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto (11/14)
Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur (3/14)
Barn Owl Tyto alba (1/14) - 1 hunting after dark in front of our hotel at Tarifa on 13th
Little Owl Athene noctua (3/14)
Eagle Owl Bubo bubo (2/14) - 2 heard calling at dusk at the "Black-shouldered Kite site" east of Fuente de Cantos on 9th with one heard there next night
Nightjar sp. (1/14) - 1 flushed from the road near Bolonia in the dark on 3rd; probably Red-necked but not positively identified.
Common Swift Apus apus (1/14) - Several on first visit to Tarifa
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus (3/14)†- At Tarifa, 1 on 2nd; 4 on 3rd and 3 on 4th
Alpine Swift Apus melba (2/14) - 2 at Tarifa on 3rd
Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (8/14)
Hoopoe Upupa Epops (5/14) Small numbers in most areas.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis sharpiei (3/14)
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major (3/14)
Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra (3/14) - 3 at Trebujena Marismas on 6th; 30+ in the Fuente de Cantos area on 9th; small numbers in the Fuente de Cantos/Llerena/Usagre triangle on 10th; 2 at Los Lances on 13th
Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla (2/14)- 4 at Los Lances on 4th and 20 flying over on 14th
Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufesc/ens (2/14) - 4 at Bonanza Salinas on 5th and 50+ in) small flocks at Trebujena Marismas on 6th
Crested Lark Galerida cristata (14/14)
Thekla Lark Galerida theklae† (3/14)- Common in suitable habitat
Woodlark Lullula arborea (5/14) - Recorded at several sites and quite common in Sierra de Hornachos with plenty of song
Skylark Alauda arvensis (5/14)
Sand Martin Riparia riparia (4/14)
Crag Martin Hirundo rupestris (3/14) - Quite widespread in small numbers
Swallow Hirundo rustica (12/14)
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica (5/14) - Widespread in small numbers right up to our last day
House Martin Delichon urbica (6/14)
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis (14/14)- 2 at Tarifa on 14th
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis (7/14) -All our sightings came after 7th.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava (10/14)- Records included 100+ in a ploughed field at La Janda on 2nd
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea (5/14)
White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba (4/14)
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes (1/14)
Robin Erithacus rubecula (2/14)
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros (4/14) - Singles near Llerena on 10th; Sierra de Hornachos on 11th and Los Lances on 14th
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus (2/14)
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra (6/14)
Stonechat Saxicola torquata (14/14)
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe (8/14)
Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura - 5+ in the Sierra de Hornachos on 11th and a single during our flying visit to Grazalema on 12th (2/14)
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius (6/14) - Ones and twos at Tarifa and Sierra de la Plata
Blackbird Turdus merula (3/14)
Song Thrush Turdus philomelus (1/14)
Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus (2/14)
Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti (10/14)
Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis (14/14)
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus†(3/14)
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans (1/14) - A male at Algaida Salinas on 6th
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala (12/14)
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (2/14)
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita (4/14)
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus (2/14)
Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus (1/14) - 2 in the Sierra de Hornachos on 11th
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa sriata (3/14)
Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca (1/14)
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus (2/14)
Great Tit Parus major (5/14)
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus irbii (1/14)
Nuthatch Sitta europaea (1/14)- 2 in the Sierra de Hornachos on 11th
Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus (2/14) - At least 2 alongside the Rio Guadaira from the road to Isla Menor on 8th and at least 1 there on 12th. This was exactly the same spot where we found the species in 2002.
Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis (5/14) - Small numbers at La Janda and Brazo del Este/Isla Menor. Much commoner in Southern Badajoz with up to 10 per day seen.
Jay Garrulus glandarius (1/14)
Magpie Pica pica (4/14)
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyana (3/14)- None seen in Algaida Pinewoods but widespread and numerous north of Seville. Several sizeable flocks seen but the largest gathering was at the Black-shouldered Kite site east of Fuente de Cantos where c200 were seen going to and leaving a roost.
Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax (1/14) - Several seen and heard whilst looking for accommodation in Grazalema
Jackdaw Corvus monedula (2/14)
Raven Corvus corax (5/14)
Common Starling Sternus vulgaris (3/14) - Small numbers seen amongst the Spotless Starling flocks at La Janda and around Tarifa
Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor† (14/14)- Very numerous
House Sparrow Passer domesticus (14/14)
Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis (5/14) - Small numbers found amongst the large sparrow flocks at several sites whenever we could be bothered to look through them
Tree Sparrow Passer montanus (2/14) - 1 at Brazo del Este on 7th
Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia (1/14) - 3 on wires below the dam at embalse west of Monesterio on 11th
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (2/14)
Serin Serinus serinus (4/14) - 1 at Bolonia on 3rd was our only record until we got north of Seville where they were more common. On our return to Tarifa on 13th/14th, they had become quite numerous with birds often passing overhead.
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris (3/14)
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis (12/14)
Linnet Carduelis cannabina (13/14)
Corn Bunting Miliaria† (11/14)- In sharp contrast to home, very common and numerous, often still to be heard singing
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild (6/14) - Flocks of up to 20 at Brazo del Este/Isla Menor and 1 at Tarifa on 13th/14th
Golden Bishop Eupletes afer (1/14) - A stunning male at Brazo del Este on 7th