Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Costa del Sol - Estepona (July '99),
We stayed near Estepona in late July 1999 and
had a pretty good time whilst not encountering anything really special. Having
said that, I twice saw "Swifts with white rumps", whilst driving from
the airport but, despite all efforts failed to connect with anything similar
again. I am very familiar with martins and these were definitely swifts - next
The two trips that we found particularly rewarding were
to La Janda and to Laguna de Medina.
La Janda is an absolute must and should be tried
reasonably early. There was an abundance of common species with excellent sightings
of Collared Pratincole (from 10 feet!) and Montagu's Harrier, again very confiding.
The area is particularly good, everything that you hope to encounter in Spain
and it would seem that we didn't see anything like the best of it. There are
Great and Little Bustard reasonably accessible in the area and their favourite
habitats are easily viewed. The day that we were there, there was farm work
going on in the area so no joy. Additionally we didn't connect with many raptors
there which is unusual. Other sightings included Fan-tailed Warbler, Short-toed
Eagle (sitting on a lamp-post), Marsh Harrier, lots of White Stork and Turtle
Laguna de Medina is a longish drive but worthwhile.
White-headed Duck were readily seen, as were Marbled Teal (Duck?) after some
searching. Greater Flamingo were very impressive. Others seen there included
Black-eared Wheatear, Short-toed Lark, Sandwich Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Cetti's
Warbler, R-C Pochard, Griffon Vulture (en route) and B-T Godwit.
The road to Ronda via Coin is a very interesting
journey, but, the weather was not with us that day so we were limited
to lesser kestrel and a party of chough.
Around Estepona itself there is some good walking
possible. If you take the turning to the golf course off the main road then
park IMMEDIATELY in a small lay-by you can enjoy a rewarding walk up to the
clubhouse. Nothing really special but including Pallid Swift, Red-rumped Swallow
in numbers, Wheatear, Hoopoe, Serin, Bee-eater, Woodchat, Peregrine and Olivaceous
Opposite our apartment just after the westernmost roundabout
leading into the town there is a road to the Valle Romana, a failed tourist
development. Up here there were Pallid Swift, Woodchat, Bee-eaters, Red-rumped
Swallow, Sardinian Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler and Booted Eagle. Outside our
apartment we had Red-necked Nightjar feeding on many evenings and Kentish Plover
nesting on the beach.
Estepona is a good base for birding if you have a planned
itinerary (and a wife who also likes birding). The apartment that we rented
(1 bedroom only) was ideal as it has a birding log together with details on
many sites left by previous occupants.
Alf King Alf@kingofam.u-net.com
Where to watch birds in Southern and Western