Honey Buzard


Andalucia in Autum

(Birding the Straits)

Dates: 5th - 12th September 2020

Booted EagleShort-toed EagleBee-eater

A trip to the Straits of Gibraltar in the autumn is a must for anyone interested in birds of prey, visible migration or just shear natural spectacle. This new trip is desinged to coincide with the peak migration for Honey Buzzards and diversity of raptors. You can expect to see thousands of Honey Buzzards as well as masses of Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles and Black Kites streaming out over the sea to North Africa. These are joined by lesser numbers of Montagu's Harrier, Marsh Harrier and Egyptian Vulture. Griffon Vultures soar overhead whilst there's a good chance of catching up with immature Ruppell's Vulture which have become an almost regular sight in small numbers in this part of Spain in autumn. Spanish Imperial Eagle are a distinct possibility nearby as are Bonelli's Eagle and Black-winged Kite amongst many other species of raptors. You can expect to see at least 16 species of raptor or maybe more but it's not just the variety; the sight of thousands of birds heading out over the straits to Morocco won't be forgotten in a hurry.

Aswell as the migrating birds of prey both White and Black Storks can also be seen departing around this time and flock after flock of Bee-eaters heading to warmer climes. Not that it's likely to be cold in early September as the temperatures regularly hover around 26 - 30 degrees at this time of year. This means that there's still plenty of insect life around to feed hungry migrants such as warblers, flycatchers and redstarts that can be found in nearby valleys and woodland. Some of the insects themselves are spectacular and include the stunning Two-tailed Pasha butterfly, Swallowtail butterfly and Monarch.

There's plenty of other goodies in the area too with La Janda usually holding good numbers of Glossy Ibis as well as one or two waders. Spanish Sparrows are common here and both Montagu's and Marsh Harriers are easy to find hunting the fields. Spanish Imperial Eagle is a possibility as are Black-winged Kites that are most active in the evenings whilst with a bit of luck we should also hopefully be able to find a roosting Red-necked Nightjar. Audouin's Gull, terns and waders are normally present at Los Lances which also hosts a flock of Calandra Larks as well as Tawny Pipits and Yellow Wagtails.

We'll also take a boat trip for a couple of hours on the Straits of Gibraltar to look for cetaceans which normally include Long-finned Pilot Whale and various dolphins including Striped Dolphin. This will also allow us to see a few seabirds which will include Cory's and Balearic Shearwaters as the raptors continue to stream overhead.

Ruppell's VultureTwo-tailed PashaRed-necked Nightjar

Short list of species: Cory's Shearwater, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Ruppell's Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Black-winged Kite, Lesser Kestrel, White-rumped Swift, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Red-necked Nightjar, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-eared Wheatear, Melodious Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Spanish Sparrow, Cirl Bunting. Butterflies should include Two-tailed Pasha and Monarch. Ceteaceans seen regularly inlcude Long-finned Pilot Whale amd Striped Dolphin.

A full printable itinerary coming shortly

Dates: 5th - 12th September 2020

Cost: £1,150 (not including flights) We can help arrange flights if required.

Price includes 7 nights accommodation, all meals and transport throughout the tour.

Accommodation: We'll be staying in a comfortable hotel near Tarifa

Group size: 8 (maximum)

Booking: Please email: steveduffield70@gmail.com

Where to meet: Meet in Malaga International airport

Trip report: 2019