Birding in Andalucía: 6 areas to visit with your binoculars on hand
The National Park of Doñana
It deserves a separate mention, and it is not for less, since it is the main ornithological destination of Andalusia. In Doñana you will find a multitude of different bird species. Among the raptors, highlights the Iberian imperial eagle, one of the great predators, along with the Iberian lynx, of this National Park. There are also different types of herons and several endangered species such as the Marbled Teal or the Moorina Coot.
Tariff and the Strait
Located between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, between Europe and Africa, the Strait of Gibraltar is an important place of passage for many species in their migratory routes. There it is possible to see, among other things, several raptors. The same happens with the nearby lagoon of La Janda, in Tarifa. In these places you can also see cranes, bitterns or the threatened black stork.
The lagoons of Málaga
In Malaga, near Antequera, is the largest wetland in Andalusia. The Fuente de Piedra Lagoon Nature Reserve gives shelter to many species that find their home there during part or all of the year. The wigeon duck, the white jar or the duck spoon are some of them, in addition to the omnipresent flamingos.
The Jaen mountain ranges
The Andujar and Despeñaperros mountain ranges, in the Sierra Morena jiennense, are two magnificent enclaves to observe raptors. Multiple types of eagle, for example, and the third largest black vulture colony in Andalusia, await you in these mountains.
The village of Aldeaquemada opens the door to the spectacular Cascada de la Cimbarra, a tectonic fault that crosses the river Guarrizas, offers a unique landscape within the Sierra Morena. Predominant vegetation of dense oak groves are only interrupted by the vegetation of riverside trees like the alder and ash, used by the endangered Spanish Imperial Eagle for their nesting.
On the other hand, you can also make observations in the Natural Park of Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas. Some interesting proposals are the routes to discover nocturnal raptors or the departures in search of the lammergeyer, reintroduced in the Park in 2006.
Granada, from the beach to the mountain
In the National Park of Sierra Nevada there are many enclaves that ensure good ornithological observations; especially in regard to alpine birds. Some of the small but striking birds that you can see are Capuchin tits, listed wrens, pipits or alpine accents.
On the other hand, leaving the mountain behind, in the middle of the Costa Tropical, is the Concerted Natural Reserve of the Charca Suárez where four small lagoons are home to many interesting species, highlighting, without doubt, the Moorian coot.
The desert and the coast of Almeria
Those who visit Almeria in search of birds can decide to visit the Salinas de Cabo de Gata, in the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata-Níjar, where you can find such unique species as the black wheatear or the gray marbled teal. Another option is to go to the Natural Area of the Tabernas Desert, which, among other species, has the royal swift or the trumpeter bullfinch.