Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Dear Mr Garcia and Mr Paterson your book 'Where to Watch Birds - Southern and Western Spain...SUCKS!!

Take for example the directions for the DuPont's Larks at Las Cuevas de los Medinas, instead of pristine steppe theres a bloody rubbish tip and recycling plant. Another dip for one of my most wanted WesternPal ticks.
Ah well at least our hotel was a little cracker that even had its own raptor passage to match Gibralter's during our week in sun drenched Andalucia.

The Al Andalus Hotel with the stunning Sierra Tejeda in the back ground.

The balcony list was rather delightful with regular Short-toed Eagle, Red-rumped Swallow and Spotless Starling. In the sierra behind I racked up (from the balcony) Black and Red Kite, Honey Buzzard, Hobby, lots of big raptors sp, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel impersonating a Lesser and several Hoopoes. On one day when the rare cloud descended over 200 Bee-eaters flew over, some viewable from the swimming pool.

Not to be phased by the rather dodgy guide book I ventured out in search of some elusive WesternPal goodies that needed bagging before more Spanish rubbish tips appear.

Having left it too late for the Lesser Flamingo(s) at Fuente de Piedra Laguna (they bugger off post breeding) I still gave it a shot just in case one had lost its sat nav. I arrived to find this premier Spanish reserve 'closed' for the day the staff probably having an extended siesta somewhere. Still I did see lots of Greater Flamingos (whoopy!) but non of its African counterpart.

and found this lost soul in a nearby field...can you spot the 'Iberian' Yellow Wagtail ?

Did what all photographers do and got too close...


On another expedition I ventured up into the Sierra Nevada passing Little Hollywood where they made all those memorable Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns (cool) in search of a bit of a Euro tarts tick but hey we all have one or two unless your Cheshire's finest now of Rotherhithe. 3000 feet up and its pine forest and dodgy ski resorts the home to a nice flock of 19 CITRIL FINCH...whap a doodle do!! unblocked at last.

sorted as we say in table topping Manchester.

Penultimate day and I forgo the pool, sangria and boobies and take to the hills for a final boost to the trip list.
For once the guide sort of gets it right and I'm on a disused railway heading into a mountain?

A view to nearly die for. On the bare rock above the tunnel 2 Rock Bunting, 4 Blue Rock Thrush and a Black Wheatear now thats more like it.

Spot the Blue jobby, could easily be the one I had on Scilly perched on Taylor's Island way back in 1999 from the mail boat before it was flushed by Knobski!!! shame.
One last try for DuPont's drew a blank but as Arnie said...''I'll be back''

'strewth give us a clue, the truth is out there somewhere. A case of One Steppe Beyond!!...groan.

One last piccy that just had to be taken (possible comment on the guide book maybe?)

adios amigos...

ps trip list a nice round 100.

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