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Watch Southern Spain - Southern Spain and Istanbul
honours - as the two main
migration routes between Europe and Africa. This commercial website nevertheless
gives an excellent idea of the key birding locations in southern Spain.
in Southern Spain - Where to go... this site has
clickable map to the key
birding locations in Southern Spain.
Delta Nature Reserves web site - there is lots of
on this reserve near Barcelona, not only daily bird sightings at the reserves
(plus information, census, original large format & high quality photographs,
etc...) but also information on rare birds in Spain including a downloadable
list of the birds of Spain. Primarily in Catalan, with some English.
Biological Reserves Network in Extremadura - Some of
the most important natural
ecosystems in Europe can still be found in the 42.000 km2 of Extremadura.
Large areas of Mediterranean forest, holm oak and cork oak pastures, mountains,
plains and wetlands, give shelter to 420 different species of vertebrates;
among them, some so valuables ones as Imperial Eagles (one third of the
world population), Black Storks (150 breeding pairs), Black Vultures (500
pairs), Great Bustard (6.000), lynxes or wolves.
Birding - this commercial website contains a lot of useful
about birds and birding at:
- Birds and Birding - All countries have their natural
and beautiful, special places in which to seek out and enjoy them. Spain
is no exception but to an extent unusual among western European countries.
Most of the country, towns and cities included, offers the naturalist plenty
of interest and it is the barren, spoilt corners that are the exception.
Birds are a favourite element in any national wildlife inventory. Depend
on it, if the bird community is varied and abundant, not too much is wrong
with a place and there will be plenty of other less obvious animals to
find as well, all supported by a healthy plant community.
in Andalusia and Gibraltar - this series of articles by
Banham addresses the main birdwatching highlights and sites for birding
in this southern region of Spain. Andalusia offers outstanding opportunities
for birdwatchers and these articles outline birdwatching and ringing activities,
as well as looking forward a month or so ahead to expected bird activity
of the Plains. An introduction to the Llanos de Cáceres.
are still places in Spain which seem safe from industrial pressures and
changes in agricultural uses. Places where it is still possible
to savour the traditions of people who make a living from what they grow,
from their flocks of sheep and from the work of their hands. And in the
very heart of Extremadura lies one of those magical examples of the
past, a refuge of men and nature in a pure state, a place where time
seems to stand still.
in Spain - by Margo Hearne. Rain has not fallen on Spain's
Andalucian plains since
1988. Many of the rivers which run into the Mediterranean Sea have dried
up completely and the Sierra mountains have not been dusted with snow for
many years. In Spain, you have to travel a long way to see a shorebird.
One of the greatest tragedy's occurring in Europe today is the draining
of the Donana, the Donana is the estuary of the Guadalquiver River which
joins the Atlantic on Spain's south coast. Once one of the richest estuaries
in Europe, teeming with migrant and overwintering birds, over the years
it has been drained and almost all turned into farm land.
in Noia, Galicia, Spain. In Spanish only.
Information on birdwatching on the Portsmouth/Bilbao Ferry.
Natural del Delta de l'Ebre - El Delta ofereix una diversitat
gran riquesa biològica. Although this site is primarily in Spanish
(English paragraph at the end), it does offer a small map of the Ebro Delta
area. More information on the Ebro
delta. And more information on teh Ebro delta as a RAMSAR
Marshes Natural Park - located in the far north-east corner
of Spain, the Marshes have
been designated as both a RAMSAR site and and an Important Bird Area. Birds
are in evidence throughout the Park. So far 329 different species have
been observed, 93 of which nest there.This web-site provides both a bird
checklist and maps of key locations within the park.
Bird Guide - this website provides a lsiting of the birds of the
peninsula, with some photos.
Pink Lagoon - Surrounded by a vast, monotonous
Lagoon of Fuente de Piedra
appears like a glorious oasis in the extensive Llanure de Antequera, considered
to be one of the largest natural lagoons in Spain. Breeding place of the
around Tarifa, Spain - The Cadiz coastal area
is not only
situated at the meeting
of two continents, but also its shores are wetted by two seas with very
different characteristics. Here the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic
Ocean communicate through the Strait of Gibraltar. The Strait of Gibraltar
(southern tip of Cádiz province, Spain) is the most important “bottle-neck”
for central and western Europe migratory birds crossing the Mediterranean
sea, travelling towards and from their wintering quarters in the African
continent. Their only 14 km of maximum wide made this area specially important
for soaring birds (storks, vultures, eagles...), which during fall migration
concentrates by hundreds of thousands in the area of Tarifa waiting for
suitable winds to allow them crossing to Africa. See also this
Itineraries In the Catalan area of Spain - immediately south of
World Heritage Site - Doñana is a land
of contrasts. It is
Europe but is influenced by Africa; it is by the Atlantic Ocean but is
affected by the Mediterranean. It lies between two continents and supports
many species which it is hard to imagine coexisting in the same territory.
National Park - Located in Andalusia, Doñana
occupies the right bank
of the Guadalquivir River at its estuary on the Atlantic Ocean. It is notable
for the great diversity of its biotopes, especially lagoons, marshlands,
fixed and mobile dunes, scrub woodland and "maquis". It is home to 350
species of birds, incuding five threatened bird species. It is one of the
biggest heronries in the Mediterranean region and is the wintering site
for more than 500,000 water fowls each year.
Birding Sites - This page gives a taste of the birding
that can be found in the Doñana area and are some of the best birdwatching
sites in Andalucia. Although the main Visitors Centres at Doñana
are easily accessible to the public there are many excellent sites that
the average visiting birder would have great difficulty finding. These
are the sites that I describe as "the hidden Donana" as most of these are
not described in guide books and information on their whereabouts is not
Spain - Three Natural Treasures - Both the marvelous
wild Spain -- and the tension between wild Spain and settled Spain -- can
be seen in three amazing national parks. In the Pyrenees, Ordesa National
Park. In the Picos de Europa, the lush green mountains along the
north Atlantic coast, the National Park of La Montana de Covadonga. And
in the very south, Donana, a stunning, but oh-so-fragile, bird sanctuary.
with Bill Oddie in Mallorca - The world's favourite holiday
is also one of the best places in Europe to experience the spectacle of
spring migration. Millions of birds pass through the island, stopping off
on their long and arduous journey north from their African wintering grounds
to breeding areas in Britain and northern Europe.
places for birding in Mallorca - site includes a map.
and Bird Watching on Menorca - Menorca is one
the best spots for bird watching in the whole Mediterranean. There are
more than 25 species of birds of prey and more than 700 mating couples
on the island. That's far more than any other Mediterranean system. The
reasons are the wide variety of ecosystems concentrated in a small area,
the well preserved countryside, the
abundance of prey...
the Last Paradise for the European Fauna -
Extremadura represents an
outstanding fauna interest region, either on a national or on a European
or World level. The low density of population and its varied orography,
defining a continuous series of mountains and plains, fertile lowlands
and riversides, with large areas of natural vegetation alternating with
harmonically with crops, pastures and rocks, permits the survival of a
varied and abundant fauna, many of those species having become extinct
in many places.
Puerto de Santa María - situated in the
middle of the Parque
de Cádiz. Its fauna is very important and includes waterfowl,some
of which are in danger of extinction. They choose this place to breed and
to spend the winter.
Reserves Network in Extremadura - provides brief
25 Biological Reserves in the Extremadura region.
de l'Empordà Natural Park - Birds are in evidence
Park in the Spanish Pyrenees. So far 294 different species have been observed,
90 of which nest there.
de Grazalema Natural Park - The Sierra de Grazalema
the first area in Andalusia
to be declared a Natural Park. With its annual rainfall of 2000 litres/sq.
meter, it is the rainiest point of the Iberian Peninsula.
de Piedra Natural Park - Fuente de Piedra Lake together
the wetland sites at Campillos
(made up of six lakes) and the Ratosa lake at Alameda, constitute a series
of lakes of similar characteristics with regard to their origin and animal
and plant communities. Given the closeness of these, all act together as
complementary units within the whole lake complex for the maintenance of
aquatic waterbird communities.
de Malaga Natural Park - The national park of Los
Malaga spans the municipalities
of Malaga and Casabermeja. Birdlife is spectacular.
in Málaga Province - When one thinks of Málaga
and the Costa del Sol in general, one thinks of warms seas, unlimited sunshine
and beaches full of alcoholic tourists turning a bright red and nary a
bird to be seen. Right? No, wrong. Something over 350 species of
birds have been recorded in the province over the years, some of extreme
rarity. Many of these species may be seen in many areas but obviously some
places just happen to be better than others.
guide to birding sites around Alora, Malaga - Alora is
located within easy reach of diverse habitats from the wetlands of Fuente
de Piedra and Campillos to the mountainous regions of the Teba Gorge, El
Chorro and Ronda, and the river valley of the Rio Guadalhorce and its estuary
mouth at Malaga. This, together with easy accessibility from Malaga and
its airport, makes it an idea place for the birding enthusiast on holiday.
This website gives an illustrated guide to the best birding locations,
and contains links to detailed trip reports by visiting birders. See also
Ornitologico Sterna - Ferrol - join a group of birdwatchers in
Spain in their migration monitoring!
National Parks - brief information is provided
on a sampling of
Report - A few days of birding - by Christer Jakobsen. While
we were in Spain I got time
for some birding in the areas of Monfrague (Extremadura) and Aiguamolls
'le Empuria (Catalonia). Includes map.
Reports - Spain - follow the Europe, then Spain, links on John
website to read 11 trip reports on:
Report: South England and Spain (Almeria and Granada),
del Sol (3 reports)
de Doñana National Park (2 reports, including one from April, 2000)
of Biscay (Pelagic from the Plymouth Santander Ferry)
and Mallorca (follow the The Balearic Islands link)
2-17, 1993 by Mark Oberle.
Report: Spain, April 7 - 13, 1996 by Per Stensland. A group
20 Norwegians, all members of the local ornithological society in the Oslo
area, have been on an intensive birding-trip to "inland-Spain". We started
in Alicante, went through Castillia-La Mancha to Extremadura. Then down
to the northern parts of Andalucia, and back to Alicante via the region
of Murcia. As one can imagine, a very intensive week. But this is almost
a necessity, when a main goal is to see as many species as possible over
a short time-period.
Report: Southern Spain, June 13-20, 1996 by Mark Dennis
Report: Spain, December 26, 1996 - January 7, 1997 by
Marcone. This is the report of the trip I and three other Italian birdwatchers
made in South-western Spain (Extremadura and Andalucia) from Dec. 26, 96
to Jan 7, 97. We saw 125 species of birds in a very successful trip, even
if the weather was not very good, with plenty of rain, and pretty cold
(for Spanish standards) with temperatures around 3-5 C in Extremadura and
8-10 C in Andalucia. The "muy frio" feeling was enhanced by the fact that
in most hotels where we stayed heating was at best discontinuous.
Report: Andalusia and Extremadura (Spain), March 12-21, 1997 by
and Eliana Ruggieri. This is a brief report of a 10 day birding trip to
Andalusia and Extremadura (Spain). Although the trip to Spain was not esclusively
focused on birdwatching, we had a trip list of 102 species, with 22 species
seen which were completely new for me.
Report: Picos de Europa (Northern Spain) - 4th - 14th September
birding trip to Spain - January 7-14, 2000: Andalucia and
- by Heikki Karhu & Olli Karhu. Our species total for seven days was
147 if we do not count the parrot. Should we?
Report: Costa Almeria (Spain), April 15-22, 1997 by Dirk Raes.
Report: Southwestern Spain, April 16-25, 1998 by Richard Dunn.
Report: Extremadura (Spain), April 25 - May 2, 1998 by Yves
Report: Extremadura (Spain), 1-6 May 1998, by John van der
Extremadura in mid-West Spain was extreme for us mainly in the sense that
the roads were nearly all extravagantly good, and that the birding was
extremely interesting. See also John's 1999
report on NE Spain and France.
Report: Extremadura (Spain), May 15-29, 1998 by Neil Money.
Report: Central Spain, 13-17 May, 1999, by Ian Reid. I first
the idea of a long weekend in Spain to old university mate and fellow birder
Steve Young in early March. Although at that stage I had no particular
knowledge of good sites or even a comprehensive check-list of species,
it seemed like a good opportunity given that I would be in Madrid later
that month for work. See also Ian's 2000
Report: Spanish Pyrenees, May 22 - June 1, 1998 by Peter Jones.
Report - Central Spain, 13-17 May, 1999, Ian Reid and Steve
Report: Birding on Menorca, Spring 2001, by Dylan Wrathall.
was not the plants that had created the inner expectancy, but birds. Those
known only from the pages of field guides and magazines, yet now within
my reach. I was here to enjoy every encounter to the full.
Report: Menorca, 22 May to 5 June, 2000 - by David Newman.
was a family holiday so most of the birding was done early in the morning
as, understandably, my wife didn`t want to be left in charge of our three
young children on her own for most of the time.
Report: Birding in Spain, 6-14 May 2002, by Jim Willson.
Spain provides an extensive
range of habitats and some of the most exciting birding in Western Europe
Two main bases were chosen.Potes in the North West,a lovely town in the
Picos de Europa and Trujillo,in central Spain,an equally delightful area.
Report: Spain (Extremadura & Western Andalucia) - 19 April to
May 2003, by Gavin Edmondstone. This was our fist birding trip to Spain.
Since our previous European birding experience was limited to England we
did not have to try too hard to see lots of new birds.
Report: Majorca and Menorca (Spain), by Mark Hancock.
Report: Mallorca, March 2-16, 1996 by Gunnar Engblom
Report: Mallorca , April 11-17, 1998 by Adrian Kettle
Report: Mallorca (Spain), May 8-15, 1998 by Dirk Raes
Report: Mallorca, April 4-10, 1999 by Ted Reed
Report: Mallorca, April 14-20, 1997 by James J. Packer
Report - Mallorca - by Paul Wetton. Sarah and I visited Mallorca
two weeks in autumn 1999, arriving on the 11th and leaving on 25th of September.Port
de Pollenca is probably the ideal place to stay if you are bird watching
in Mallorca as it is situated close to most of the best birding sites.
Generally the north of the island is fairly unspoilt and provides much
better birding, walking and scenery than the rest of the island. The beauty
of Mallorca, especially in the north, is that many of the best birding
spots offer good scenery for the less ardent birders who may be accompanying
a bird watching visitor.
Report: Spain and France, May 13-27, 2000, by Phil Cruttenden.
Jackson and I drove from England to Extremadura and back taking in the
Pyrenees, Zaragoza, Monfrague, Trujillo and Caceres, Picos de Europa, La
Brenne, Fontainebleau and Calais.
report: North eastern Spain, September 9 - 16, 2000, by
Geiregat. In september 2000, my girlfriend and I travelled to north eastern
Spain. Our time was limited to one week. Our main goal was birdwatching.
However the combination of these three elements (girlfriend - limited time
- birdwatching) proved to be a real challenge at some times… especially
for her… Since she preferred looking for the bigger birds, I neglected
the smaller ones too. Don’t expect Spanish people to understand or
speak French or English, even if you’re close to the French border or at
the mediterranian coast.
Report - Andalucia, Southern Spain - 10 - 16 June 2001. By Bob
Newman and Diane Major.
This was not an "eyeballs out" birding trip as we were visiting friends
who live near Estapona, also it was a little late in the year for the best
birding in Southern Spain.
Report: Culture & Vultures, Spain - 25 May - 10 June 2002,
Ian Broadbent. I can thoroughly recommend Spain as a birding destination;
in addition to the Iberian specialities the quality of the birding was
excellent throughout, with many of the classic
Report: Spanish Pyrenees: July 2002. By Steve Bird and Nick
species (Bee-eater, Hoopoe, shrikes etc.) being fairly common. Spain has
an excellent road network, making it easy to travel fairly long distances,
and there seemed to be plenty of places to stay and eat.
128 Species of birds seen, 69 Species of Butterfly and much more! On reflection,
we had an excellent trip in which we saw all the specialities of the Pyrenees
and were able to enjoy a very light-hearted and fun tour. A Birdseekers
Report - Almeria,Spain: 24th-29th January, 2002. By John Malloy