Andalucia dubbed a birdwatcher’s paradise

LAST UPDATED: 12 Jan, 2015 @ 06:55
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Andalucia dubbed a birdwatcher’s paradise

ANDALUCIA is promoting itself as a birdwatcher’s paradise after tourism chiefs travelled to the UK to highlight what the region has to offer.

The delegation attended the British Birdwatching Fair in Rutland, the largest of its kind in the world and often described as the birdwatchers’ Glastonbury.

Representatives from the Junta joined birdwatching companies at the fair to highlight Andalucia’s main areas for twitching and the key species visitors can expect to see.

Andalucia boasts around 150 natural protected areas totalling 3.3 million acres, more than 60 Special Protection Areas for birds which together are home to over 300 species of birds.

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  1. Andalucia really is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

    One one hand Andalucia is slap-bang on the migration routes between Europe and Africa so we get thousands of migratory species twice a year as they make their way to their destinations. Some of them stay in Andalucia: others just fly through the region.

    Just two examples of this. We get flocks of several hundred Black Kites flying through in Montejaque as they fly to/from other parts of Spain, often following the Guadiaro river for their route line. One of the most impressive sights is when flocks of White Storks, sometimes numbering up to three thousand, fly through en masse.

    On the other hand, Andalucia is home for countless resident species. For example there are 13 species of raptors (birds of prey) that spend their whole year in the region, including European rarities such as the Bonelli´s Eagle, the Spanish Imperial Eagle and the Black Vulture.

    Many visitors are not aware of the Laguna (lake) de Fuente de Piedra near Antequera, the breeding ground for thousands of Greater Flamingos. Some years the whole lake seems to covered by these magnificent pink birds.

    It seems a bit unfair when people ask me the best places to see birds in Andalucia, a region that takes several hours to drive across in a car. However, I admit to being partial to the area where I live. The mountains and villages of the Sierra de Grazalema provide an ideal place to bird watch with plenty of accommodation, hotels and self-catering, to suit all budgets. You also have access to several good birding guides. One or two, such as Eva (www.rondamountains.com), cater for complete beginners who don´t even own a pair of binoculars.

    So hats off to the Junta officials who travelled to Rutland. They deserve our thanks.

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