Europe - Spain - Andalusia


Andalusia is one of the most attractive areas around the Mediterranean, owing to the good climate and its natural beauty as well as its rich history and culture. But its impressive historic and cultural heritage are outshone by some of the richest natural areas in the Paleartic; a meeting point of Europe and Africa, which still offer breathtaking landscapes and an unusual fauna and flora.

Iberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus ibericus ©Birding Ecotours

The mild Mediterranean clashes, in Tarifa, with the wild waves coming from the Atlantic Ocean, extensive salty lagoons and wide rivers, the highest ranges in Iberia climbing more than 12,000 feet above sea level, evergreen forests, badlands, fertile plains, wild olive trees, oaks, pinsapo firs, high cliffs, wild beaches and the most important sand dunes and marshes in Europe can be found in the region.

While the region is excellent for reptiles and mammals most are shy and retiring and inhabit areas difficult for the tourist to access, but the birds are everywhere and so are butterflies and dragonflies.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea ©Birding Ecotours

A rich avifauna have settled here, more than 250 species are present throughout the year. Doñana area and other important areas offer Andalusian and Iberian specialities: Andalucian Hemipode, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbills, White-headed Duck, Red-knobbed Coot and many others… but which are the best places for birdwatching in this land?

You can enjoy a dream birdwatching holiday in Andalucía - remember that summers are hot, so its best to avoid the midday heat and relax with a cool drink and enjoy birding mornings and late afternoon and evenings.

Wetlands in Donana ©Technische_Fred Wikimedia

Practically the whole of Andalusia has good birding, below are just a few of the very best places to see the special birds.

Donana National Park (Map
Considered as the most important wetland in Europe and one of the best places for birds in the whole of the Palaearctic region, both for the number of species recorded and for its breeding & wintering importance. Between 300,000 & 400,000 birds settle in Donana every winter. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded in Donana, being the most important area in Europe for wintering geese and the second most important breeding area for Spanish Imperial Eagle in the world. Hundreds of birds including raptors, passerines, and sea or wetland birds are seen here, including 80% of all endemic Iberian birds, which are not as easy to see outside the area. Best times to go birding there is from November to June.

Dry Plains of Granada & Almeria (Map)
The Eastern part of Andalucía has some of the best badlands and dry plains in Iberia, unbeatable areas for discovering Larks and other arid area specialities. Try to avoid summer season as it is best from November to June, and watch in the first hours of the day. It is not an easy place for birdwatching, however, it is a rewarding experience. The Hoya de Baza & Guadix (Granada) or Tabernas & Cabo de Gata are the best spots. You need know bird calls sound to easily locate them. Some of the most attractive birds of the area are Great Spotted Cuckoo, Red-necked Nightjar, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Dupont's Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Thekla Lark, Spanish Sparrow, Trumpeter Finch and recently, for the first ever time in Europe, a small breeding population of Cream-coloured Courser.

Marismas Del Odiel & environs (Map)
This wetland with wide marshes, sandy spits, coastal dunes, pinewood forests and freshwater lagoons is outstanding for its breeding colonies of Spoonbill (more than 400 pairs) & Little Tern (more than 350 pairs). It is an excellent site for watching plovers, seabirds, cormorants and migrant passerines.

Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris ©Birding Ecotours

Serran­a de Ronda (Map)
Comprising of high limestone mountains, river valleys and ancient forests this gem of a birding site has been largely overlooked. The local infrastructure allows for ease of travel and investigation throughout the whole range of diverse habitats present here. Over 240 species have been recorded in the area, being a particularly high number in an inland zone with no wetlands. The mixed oak forests are home to a range of interesting warblers such as Subalpine, Bonelli’s and Orphean Warbler with the elusive Iberian Chiffchaff also present. Of course the extensive forests are also favoured nesting places for both Booted and Short-toed Snake Eagle. Elsewhere Bonelli’s Eagle is common along with typical passerines such as Black Wheatear, both rock thrushes et al. Good at all times of the year.

Tarifa Area (Map)
Tarifa is the European side of the Straits of Gibraltar and the shortest crossing to Africa. Thousands of birds rest and mass here on their way to Africa, before crossing the 14km of water and reaching the Moroccan coastline. Raptors, Passerines, Swifts, Bustards, Plovers, Sandpipers and many other bird families arrive from all over Europe and can be easily seen from August to November, in their post-nuptial migration.

 

Text Source: Fatbirder

Map Source: Googlemaps™

Photo Source: ©Birding Ecotours


Companies Offering Services to this Destination


Company Type Company Name
Tours Alvaro - WILD ANDALUCIA
Tours Andalucia Nature Trips
Tours BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez
Tours Birding The Strait
Tours Orcadian Wildlife
Tours Pelican Travel
Tours Steve Sankey/Orcadian Wildlife


Trip Reports for this Destination


Company or User Destination Sub destination Description Trip Start Date
Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays Spain - Andalusia A mixed natural history holiday, based near Tarifa and also visiting Gibraltar. Wildlife holiday in Tarifa, Spain and Gibraltar March 09, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Montes de Malaga (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Early morning trip to the Montes de Malaga July 06, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Early morning trip to the mouth of the Guadalhorce July 24, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Rio Grande (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Early morning trip to Rio Grande July 29, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Early morning trip to the mouth of the Guadalhorce August 08, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Early morning trip to the mouth of the Guadalhorce August 16, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia The Strait & La Janda (Cadiz) Birding at The Strait of Gibraltar and La Janda September 03, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at El Chorro September 10, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at the mouth of the Guadalhorce September 26, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Guadalhorce Valley (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at the Guadalhorce Valley October 10, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching at the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra October 16, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching at the mouth of the Guadalhorce November 11, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Montes de Malaga & El Torcal (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birdwatching at Montes de Malaga and El Torcal November 16, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Malaga province (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birdwatching tour around Malaga province November 26, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Sierra de Camarolos (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birdwalking at Sierra de Camarolos December 05, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Sunrise and Vultures at El Chorro December 17, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Malaga birding tour to Montes de Malaga and the mouth of the Guadalhorce December 17, 2015 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Zapata (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at Zapata January 14, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Rio Grande (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at Rio Grande and the mouth of the Guadalhorce January 20, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Two Birdwatching tours at El Chorro (2016.01.29-30) January 30, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra February 13, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching at the mouth of the Guadalhorce (2016.02.23-24) February 24, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge March 08, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Osuna (Sevilla) Birding at Osuna March 15, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching at El Chorro March 26, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birdwatching at the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra and farmlands March 28, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Torcal (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching at El Torcal March 30, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at El Chorro April 01, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Rio Grande (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birdwatching at Rio Grande and the mouth of the Guadalhorce April 06, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Osuna (Sevilla) Birdwatching at Osuna April 13, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Torcal (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at El Torcal and the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra April 15, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Bird Watching Challenge April 22, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Torcal (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birdwatching at El Torcal May 04, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at the mouth of the Guadalhorce May 07, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birdwatching Challenge May 18, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Osuna (Sevilla) Bird watching at Osuna May 24, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at El Torcal and the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra June 13, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching at Zapata and the mouth of the Guadalhorce June 14, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge June 17, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at El Chorro June 20, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Malaga province (Costa del Sol, Malaga) 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Bird Watching Challenge July 20, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at Zapata and the mouth of the Guadalhorce August 02, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga Bird Watching Challenge August 17, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at El Chorro and the Mouth of the Guadalhorce September 06, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga bird watching tour September 14, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching tour around Malaga September 22, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga Birding Tour September 28, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at the Mouth of the Guadalhorce October 12, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga Bird Watching Tour October October 14, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding around Malaga province October 26, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) A birding trip to the Caminito del Rey in search for the Wallcreeper... November 15, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga Birding Tour November 16, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Mouth of the Guadalhorce river (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching at the mouth of the Guadalhorce December 09, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga Bird Watching Tour December December 21, 2016 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga Bird Watching Tour January 25, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga Birding Tour February 27, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Montes de Malaga (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching tour around Malaga province. Stage 1. March 03, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching tour around Malaga province. Stage 2 March 08, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Sierra de Camarolos (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birdwalking across the Sierra de Camarolos March 11, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching tour arround Malaga. Stage 3. March 13, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia 100+ Birds Costa del Sol Birding Challenge (Malaga) 100+ Birds Malaga Bird Watching Tour March 17, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Torcal (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at El Torcal from Malaga Harbour April 10, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Birding at El Torcal, Fuente de Piedra Lake and Farmlands April 18, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia The Route of 100 Birds Birding Big Day around the Route of 100 Birds April 25, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia The Route of 100 Birds Birding Big Day around The Route of 100 Birds May 09, 2017 Download Report
BIRDAYTRIP - Luis Alberto Rodriguez Spain - Andalusia El Chorro (Costa del Sol, Malaga) Bird watching at El Chorro May 19, 2017 Download Report


Checklist of birds for Europe - Spain - Andalusia
Birding hotspots for Europe - Spain - Andalusia