I lead a tour group from the the US Audubon Naturalist Society in April to southern Spain. We had a great time apart from the awful windy weather. The famous Levante wind just would not stop for almost the whole eight days.
We did however have a great time, saw lots of birds and other wildlife as well as many of the famous towns and cities dotted through the famous Andalucian landscape.
Our Hotel above Barbate in Cadiz Province was El Palomar de La Breña, a quiet place by Spanish standards where there’s a wonderful thriving colony of Lesser Kestrels at the rear of the buildings in the old dovecot.
The old dovecot
Little Owls call at night, as indeed do Barn Owls
Female Lesser Kestrel. Females look very similar to Common Kestrels and are difficult to separate although if you manage to get a look at the colour of their talons you’ll see they are ivory coloured and not black as with the Common Kestrel
Male Common Kestrel
Red-rumped Swallow preening
A Short-toed Eagle
Our group checking out local ancient sarcophagi at Betis, near the town of Tarifa
Church in Tarifa’s old town
Pied Flycatcher (f) on migration
A Booted Eagle flying with a freshly caught Common Starling
Sandstorm down at Tarifa
The majestic Collared Pratincole
Stone Curlew in flight
Our group walking along the sandy track between fields of poppies at Mesas de Asta, near Trebujena
Spring poppies in the cornfields
Military road between Algeciras and Gibraltar (in the distance) and Tarifa. A great place to explore the coastal stretches of The Strait of Gibraltar that separates Europe and Africa.
This was a scene on The Strait at the Sierra de La Plata, with a huge amount of dust in the air caused by the constant Levante wind blowing out of the Mediterranean sea into the Atlantic Ocean, in front of us. Normally you can see Morocco a mere 14 kms across The Strait, but…
Griffon Vulture at the Sierra de La Plata
Western Bonelli’s Warbler
Greater Flamingoes, Common Shelduck, Glossy Ibis and a Black-winged Stilt
A European rarity, the White-headed Duck
Pied Avocets in flight
Waders flying around the salt-pans and river Guadalqivir, part of the Coto Doñana
A male Spanish Sparrow sits in the morning sunlight
Dawn over the famous ‘Pueblo Blanco’ of Vejer de la Frontera
Male Kentish Plover
Collared Pratincole showing off the rich rust colour of its underwing
Vineyards at Trebujena
Iberian Yellow Wagtail
White Storks on their church top nest
Myself and our happy group on a relief model of The Strait of Gibraltar at the visitor center, Huerta Grande, Pelayo.