Birding Big Day around The Route of 100 Birds (Costa del Sol, Malaga, Andalucia, Southern Spain)

It is a pity days are so short in winter as there is not enough time to enjoy so many birds and stunning places here...

Have a look at more pictures and the complete list of 95 species observed below!

It is difficult to reach all the birding spots during the short days of the end of autumn and beginning of winter. I had normally left the Mouth of the Guadalhorce for the end of the trip and, most of the times, you either call it in a rush or even do not have time to do it. Today, I decided to start with the Mouth of the Guadalhorce and rush, if necessary, along the Valley on the way back to the coast.

I always try to start the day with owls, you know me! And there is one of them there that can we watched in the dark (though there is always a lot of light pollution at the Mouth of the Guadalhorce that helps you see something). It is a white ghost flying like a butterfly over the little flats among the pools: the Barn Owl. It did not take long to spot it from the bridge. It was a white spot on a bush that soon took off and flew around for a while. I had not seen the Barn Owl for quite a long time, so it was a very happy start for me.

A visit to this fantastic place is always rewarding. This time, I got 57 species before 10 o’clock with Hoopoe, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Cetti’s Warbler, Black-winged Stilt, Zitting Cisticola, Crested Lark, Sardinian Warbler, Spotless Starling, Greater Flamingo, a nice roost of Cattle Egrets, White-headed Duck, apart from the Barn Owl, among others. I could also see some birds that are more common during the migration like Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Dunlin, Grey Plover and a beautiful White Stork.

Next stage was Montes de Malaga, at almost noon, so I missed some of the early morning calls that help you identify many birds in the depths of the forest. Anyway, I added 13 more species to the list, including Short-toed Treecreeper, Cirl Bunting, Crested Tit, Siskin and Common Crossbill.

Let’s go for the mountains then! El Torcal gave me most of the typical riparian birds I was looking for there: Ring Ouzel, Blue Rock Thrush, Iberian Grey Shrike, Griffon Vulture, Thekla Lark, Black Wheatear, Dartford Warbler and Rock Bunting.

I thought I would not see many new birds around the Visitors Centre at Fuente de Piedra, so I went direct around the lake and into the farmlands. It was very productive, with birds like Hen Harrier, Black-winged Kite, Spanish Sparrow, Crane (beautiful flocks both foraging and flying!) and Little Bustard.

It was very late after all these fantastic places and I decided to stay until dusk in front of the Peñarrubia cliff, which can always give you “something”. And it really did! I was looking for the Peregrines in the cliff when a big flock of Choughs arrived. I saw another very big bird among the Griffons, it was a Golden Eagle, and it was being mobbed by the Peregrines! I did not expect the Golden there at the end of the day! And then, five minutes later, a haughty Bonelli’s Eagle showed up, until it was again expelled by the Peregrines... Lovely end for a great birding day around The Route of 100 Birds.

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Complete list of birds observed:

1 Barn Owl Tyto alba
2 Black Redstart  Phoenicurus ochruros
3 Black Wheatear  Oenanthe leucura
4 Blackbird  Turdus merula
5 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
6 Black-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus ridibundus
7 Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
8 Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
9 Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus
10 Blue Rock Thrush  Monticola solitarius
11 Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus
12 Bonelli’s Eagle  Aquila fasciata
13 Booted Eagle  Hieraaetus pennatus
14 Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis
15 Cetti’s Warbler  Cettia cetti
16 Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs
17 Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita
18 Chough  Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
19 Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
20 Coal Tit  Periparus ater
21 Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
22 Common Buzzard  Buteo buteo
23 Common Crossbill  Loxia curvirostra
24 Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos
25 Coot  Fulica atra
26 Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo
27 Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
28 Crag Martin  Ptyonoprogne rupestris
29 Crane  Grus grus
30 Crested Lark  Galerida cristata
31 Crested Tit  Lophophanes cristatus
32 Dartford Warbler  Sylvia undata
33 Dunlin Calidris alpina
34 Flamingo  Phoenicopterus roseus
35 Gadwall  Anas strepera
36 Gannet  Morus bassanus
37 Golden Eagle  Aquila chrysaetos
38 Golden Plover  Pluvialis apricaria
39 Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis
40 Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopos major
41 Great Tit  Parus major
42 Greenfinch  Chloris chloris
43 Greenshank  Tringa nebularia
44 Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea
45 Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
46 Griffon Vulture  Gyps fulvus
47 Hen Harrier  Circus cyaneus
48 Hoopoe  Upupa epops
49 House Sparrow Passer domesticus
50 Iberian Grey Shrike  Lanius meridionalis
51 Jackdaw  Corvus monedula
52 Jay  Garrulus glandarius
53 Kentish Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus
54 Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus
55 Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus
56 Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus
57 Linnet Carduelis cannabina
58 Little Bustard  Tetrax tetrax
59 Little Egret  Egretta garzetta
60 Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis
61 Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos
62 Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus
63 Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis
64 Monk Parakeet  Myiopsitta monachus
65 Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus
66 Nuthatch  Sitta europaea
67 Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus
68 Pochard  Aythya ferina
69 Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
70 Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
71 Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
72 Robin Erithacus rubecula
73 Rock Bunting  Emberiza cia
74 Ruff Calidris pugnax
75 Sanderling  Calidris alba
76 Sandwich Tern  Thalasseus sandvicensis
77 Sardinian Warbler  Sylvia melanocephala
78 Shelduck  Tadorna tadorna
79 Short-toed Treecreeper  Certhia brachydactyla
80 Shoveler  Anas clypeata
81 Siskin Spinus spinus
82 Skylark  Alauda arvensis
83 Snipe  Gallinago gallinago
84 Song Thrush  Turdus philomelos
85 Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis
86 Spotless Starling  Sturnus unicolor
87 Stonechat  Saxicola rubicola
88 Teal  Anas crecca
89 Thekla Lark Galerida theklae
90 White Stork Ciconia ciconia
91 White Wagtail Motacilla alba
92 White-headed Duck  Oxyura leucocephala
93 Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus
94 Yellow-legged Gull  Larus michahelis
95 Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis
1 Hoopoe  Upupa epops
2 Snipe  Gallinago gallinago
3 Short-toed Treecreeper  Certhia brachydactyla
4 Booted Eagle  Hieraaetus pennatus
5 Golden Eagle  Aquila chrysaetos
6 Bonelli’s Eagle  Aquila fasciata
7 Hen Harrier  Circus cyaneus
8 Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus
9 Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
10 Gannet  Morus bassanus
11 Iberian Grey Shrike  Lanius meridionalis
12 Skylark  Alauda arvensis
13 Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos
14 Gadwall  Anas strepera
15 Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos
16 Greenshank  Tringa nebularia
17 Jay  Garrulus glandarius
18 Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus
19 Crag Martin  Ptyonoprogne rupestris
20 Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis
21 Griffon Vulture  Gyps fulvus
22 Common Buzzard  Buteo buteo
23 Great Tit  Parus major
24 Coal Tit  Periparus ater
25 Teal  Anas crecca
26 Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus
27 Cetti’s Warbler  Cettia cetti
28 Sandwich Tern  Thalasseus sandvicensis
29 Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
30 Kentish Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus
31 Golden Plover  Pluvialis apricaria
32 Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
33 Chough  Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
34 White Stork Ciconia ciconia
35 Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus
36 Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis
37 Crested Lark  Galerida cristata
38 Thekla Lark Galerida theklae
39 Black Redstart  Phoenicurus ochruros
40 Black Wheatear  Oenanthe leucura
41 Ruff Calidris pugnax
42 Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo
43 Dunlin Calidris alpina
44 Sanderling  Calidris alba
45 Monk Parakeet  Myiopsitta monachus
46 Shoveler  Anas clypeata
47 Sardinian Warbler  Sylvia melanocephala
48 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
49 Dartford Warbler  Sylvia undata
50 Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
51 Rock Bunting  Emberiza cia
52 Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
53 Spotless Starling  Sturnus unicolor
54 Flamingo  Phoenicopterus roseus
55 Coot  Fulica atra
56 Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus
57 Little Egret  Egretta garzetta
58 Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis
59 Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea
60 Yellow-legged Gull  Larus michahelis
61 Black-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus ridibundus
62 Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus
63 House Sparrow Passer domesticus
64 Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis
65 Jackdaw  Corvus monedula
66 Crane  Grus grus
67 Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus
68 Crested Tit  Lophophanes cristatus
69 Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus
70 Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis
71 White Wagtail Motacilla alba
72 Barn Owl Tyto alba
73 Siskin Spinus spinus
74 White-headed Duck  Oxyura leucocephala
75 Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
76 Blackbird  Turdus merula
77 Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita
78 Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus
79 Linnet Carduelis cannabina
80 Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
81 Robin Erithacus rubecula
82 Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopos major
83 Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs
84 Common Crossbill  Loxia curvirostra
85 Pochard  Aythya ferina
86 Blue Rock Thrush  Monticola solitarius
87 Little Bustard  Tetrax tetrax
88 Stonechat  Saxicola rubicola
89 Shelduck  Tadorna tadorna
90 Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
91 Nuthatch  Sitta europaea
92 Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
93 Greenfinch  Chloris chloris
94 Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis
95 Song Thrush  Turdus philomelos
Last modified onWednesday, 20 December 2017 15:00

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