Visit your favourite destinations
Western Europe
North America
Eastern Europe
South America
Middle East
East Indies

A Report from

Malaga Province, Spain    (29th May - 7th June 2000),

Colin Davies

Cortijo Blanco, San Pedro  29-May-2000

Weather: 0% cloud cover, hot (32'C), no wind.

Main species seen:

Black-winged Stilt 3
Little Ringed Plover a few
Pallid Swift  many
White Wagtail a few
Spotless Starling a few
Serin many

Also seen:  Sardinian Warbler, Turtle Dove (a few), Yellow-legged Gull

Most of the species were seen along the almost completely dry river bed and I suspect that the plovers were breeding. There were quite a few White Wagtails, including a few juveniles.


Gibraltar    31-May-2000

Weather: 0% cloud cover,very hot (35'C), no wind.

Pallid Swift many
Blue Rock Thrush 1   ad m
Spotless Starling many

Also seen:  Sardinian Warbler, Swifts, Yellow-legged Gull

A fairly disappointing visit to the Rock, with the only good views being the apes!


Cortijo Blanco, San Pedro    03-June-2000

Weather: 0% cloud cover,very hot (36'C), no wind.

Main species seen:

Little Stint 1
Red-rumped Swallow  2+

Also seen:  Little Ringed Plover(2+), White Wagtails, Pallid Swifts, Spotless Starling, Serin

Ronda  06-June-2000

Weather: 0% cloud cover,very hot (36'C), no wind (though breezy on the coast).

Main species seen:

Lesser Kestrel 2  
Alpine Swift a few
Crag Martin a few
Blue Rock Thrush 2+
Chough a few        ads and juv.s

Also seen: Serin(many), Pallid Swift(many), Swifts, Spotless Starling(many)

In spectacular surroundings, I saw some great birds at Ronda, including excellent views of the Lesser Kestrels, both sitting on the cliff face and flying around the gorge. Possibly the most pleasing view was a male Blue Rock Thrush which I saw in perfect light, for a couple of minutes, and at close range. Not bad for a species that I normally only see in silhouette.

Sierra Palmitera, Serrania de Ronda    06-June-2000

Weather: 0% cloud cover,very hot (36'C), no wind.

Main species seen:

Griffon Vulture 3+
Woodlark 1
Crag Martin a few
Rock Thrush 3
Stonechat a few
Woodchat Shrike 1
Rock Bunting 1 m

Also seen:  Pallid Swift, Sardinian Warbler, Blue Tit(2)

I had excellent views of the singing male Rock Bunting, my only new species on the holiday, and a long overdue addition to my list. It was sitting on the fence that bordered a parking area. The Rock Thrushes were also good, and somewhat unexpected, being my first since Greece in 1988. The Woodlark was a good view, standing at the side of the road.

Casares / Sierra Crestellina, near Estepona   07-June-2000

Weather: 0% cloud cover,very hot (34'C), no wind (though breezy on the coast).

Main species seen:

Bonelli's Eagle 1
Booted Eagle 1
Egyptian Vulture 2        ads
Griffon Vulture 30+
Lesser Kestrel  1 m
Black Wheatear 1 m

Also seen:  Kestrel, Little Owl(3), Spotless Starling (many), Sardinian Warblers, Stonechat (a few), Pallid Swift (many), Swift (many), Corn Bunting (many)

I took my son, James, out on an early morning visit to this impressive site. Most of the birds were seen well in and around the beautiful village of Casares, including the Black Wheatear which was sitting on top of a rooftop in the centre of the village.

About two miles to the north of the village, at the northern end of the cliffs, there is a Griffon Vulture colony, and we saw the spectacular sight of at least 23 Griffons soaring in the air together, easily the most I have ever seen.

The Bonelli's Eagle was flying with the Griffons, though higher, and I was pleased to identify it with its pale / white body and dark / black underwing.

On the way home, we were just to the south of the village, when, with great excitement, we spotted a couple of superb Egyptian Vultures rising from the ground near to the road. We watched them for a few minutes as they circled quite low down, and near to the car, before we continued on our way.

A report by Colin Davies

Where to watch birds in Southern and Western Spain
Ernest Garcia and Andrew Paterson: Buy from or

  • "The reprint and update of this excellent book have been long awaited. I have birded in this region of Spain many times and yet I still have much to learn, Garcia and Paterson are the experts. Where else in Europe can you see five species of swift in one day? Did you know that Ruppel's Griffon Vulture is now regular in part of the region? New sites have been added and access details thoroughly updated. Areas covered include birding hotspots such as Extremadura, Gibraltar and Ronda. A "must buy" if you are traveling to Southern Spain."


Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?