Last week's trip to Andalucia was a 'familiarisation' trip designed to stimulate inland tourism around the area of Seville in Andalucia. The organising company had lined up an international group of birders, tour leaders and journalists (four UK, four Dutch, one German, one US) to show what Seville had to offer for birding/nature tourism. Over a series of posts I'll describe our visit and show some of the images I took whilst there.
Arriving at Malaga Airport, some three hours south of our evening accommodation we were met by Sergio Asian one of two local guides that stayed with us throughout the week. Trevor Blake the Field Trip Organiser from Northumberland & Tyneside Bird Club arrived on the same Easyjet flight; together we noted our first species in the airport car park, White Wagtail and House Sparrow.
The journey north through the hills behind Malaga, added Yellow-legged Gull. As we drove on through agricultural land and rolling hills criss-crossed with lines of Olive Trees we had a few roadside sightings typical of the habitat including small parties of Goldfinch and Common Kestrel. Common Stonechat of the rubicola race prominent on fences and tall roadside weeds, small tight groups of Jackdaw (nominate monedula)appeared around telegraph poles and buildings and several Starling (sp) were noted. By the time we stopped mid-afternoon for Tapas in a small traditional Tapas bar in a village nestled beneath imposing rocky outcrops near Campillos we swiftly confirmed the Starlings as Spotless Starling. Collared Dove and the first of several Red-backed Shrike were also noted in this area. A brief look at a small flock of Serin as we stopped for directions wetted our appetite for more.
We arrived at our first accommodation ‘La Posada de Montellano’ with maybe an hour of light at most left. After check in we took the little time left to wander a few hundred metres away from Montellano toward the large wooded area that lies to the north east. Our reward for avoiding the temptation of sleep was, first one, then two Griffon Vulture over the edge of the wood.