Being back from guiding a birding-trip (15.04-22.04.97) to Costa Almeria - Andalusia - Spain, I would like to give you some information on this very good birding place. This birding-trip for the Ornithological Society De Wielewaal was organised by the travel-agency Ro-Travel (firstname.lastname@example.org) located in Sint Genesius Rode (Belgium).
An ideal place to stay is Hotel Sabinal / Urb. Roquetas de Mar. You can contact the reception (Kazimiero or Paco) or the direction (Antonio Magan) on tel. (9) 50.33.36.00 or fax (9) 18.104.22.168. These people are very helpful. I gave the director a Spanish birdbook. He promised to learn 10 birds daily :-)
The hotel is situated in the center, although you can find Hoopoe (U. epops) early in the morning around the swimming-pool. Just go out by the garden and do some sea-watching. This resulted for us in several Cory's Shearwater (C. diomedea) and Mediterranean Shearwater (P. yelkouan). Every day we saw also see Northern Gannet (M. bassanus), Little Tern (S. albifrons), Common Tern (S. hirundo), Sandwich Tern (S. sandvicensis). Special was on 21.04 the Razorbill (A. torda). Walking around in the center you can find easy Sardinian Warbler (S. melanocephala), even already with young birds, Hoopoe (U. epops) and passing over groups of Little Egret (E. garzetta). We saw on 16.04 a group of 36!
Hereby some of the most 'special' observations during the excursions made to:
Night Heron (N. nycticorax), Little Egret (E. garzetta), Grey Heron (A. cinerea), Purple Heron (A. purpurea), Greater Flamingo (P. ruber), Shelduck (T. tadorna), Red-crested Pochard (N. rufina), White-headed Duck (O. leucocephala) several also with young, Marsh Harrier (C. aeruginosus), Kentish Plover (C. alexandrinus), Little Stint (C. minuta), Dunlin (C. alpina), Ruff (P. pugnax), Spotted Redshank (T. erythropus), Redshank (T. totanus), Greenshank (T. nebularia), Wood Sandpiper (T. glareola), Black-winged Stilt (H. himantopus), Avocet (R. avosetta), Stone Curlew (B. oedicnemus), Pratincole (G. pratincola), Mediterranean Gull (L. melanocephalus), Little Gull (L. minutus), Black-headed Gull (L. ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (L. fuscus), Yellow-legged Gull (L. cachinnans), Audouin's Gull (L. audouinii) even four colour-ringed, Black Tern (C. niger), Bee-eater (M. apiaster), Short-eared Owl (A. flammeus), Hoopoe (U. epops), Short-toed Lark (C. brachydactyla), Lesser Short-toed Lark (C. rufescens), Calandra Lark (M. calandra), Crested Lark (G. cristata), Thekla Lark (G. theklae), Woodchat Shrike (L. senator), Great Grey Shrike (L. excubitor), Sardinian Warbler (S. melanocephala), Subalpine Warbler (S. cantillans), Fan-tailed Warbler or Zitting Cisticola (C. juncidis), Black-eared Wheatear (O. hispanica), Black Wheatear (O. leucura), Spanish Sparrow (P. hispaniolensis), Spotless Starling (S. unicolor), Golden Oriole (O. oriolus).
Several other excursions have been made - in target of specific birds:
Most of the already mentioned Larks and Warblers. Additional: Peregrine (F. peregrinus), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (P. orientalis), Great Spotted Cuckoo (C. glandarius), Bee-eater (M. apiaster), Hoopoe (U. epops), Woodchat Shrike (L. senator), (Mediterranean) Great Grey Shrike (L. e. meridionalis), Pied Flycatcher (F. hypoleuca), Spotted Flycatcher (M. striata), Whinchat (S. rubetra), Black-eared Wheatear (O. hispanica).
In the afternoon we visited the Salinas Cabo de Gata: the same birds as in the Salinas close to Roquetas were found but as extra Roller (C. garrulus) and very good sightings of Stone Curlew (B. oedicnemus).
Birding-result: Golden Eagle (A. chrysaetos), Rock Dove (C. livia), Red-rumped Swallow (H. daurica), Blue Rock Trush (M. solitarius), Crag Martin (H. rupestris).
We had some time left to go to the Ramblas (dry riverbed) of Tabernas.
Some of our observations: Red-legged Partridge (A. rufa), Nightingale (L. megarhynchos), Sardinian Warbler (S. melanocephala), Subalpine Warbler (S. cantillans), Woodchat Shrike (L. senator) and incoming migration from Bee-eater (M. apiaster).
Along the beach some migration of Turnstone (A. interpres), Sanderling (C. alba), Curlew (M. arquata), Whimbrel (N. phaeopus). Due to the rainy weather Swift (A. apus) was flying very low. This gave us the occasion to observe several Pallid Swift (A. pallidus). In the afternoon we made a visit of the Alcazba, a high situated fortress. Worth to visit as a cultural aspect, for the birders we had very good (being higher) view of Pallid Swift (A. pallidus) and a male Subalpine Warbler (S. cantillans).
If you want to visit this area - just do it - , you can always mail email@example.com for more info.
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