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Wildlife watching trip 5 january – 15 january 2023

Andújar and Doñana trip

Clients: Tim, Roy and friends (up to 8 persons).

Key-points of the tour

Arrival at Málaga airport: 10 June ¿what time?

  • Up to 10 days of activities in the field
  • 10 nights hosted in rural hotels in double rooms
  • Lunch in the field picnic
  • Departure in Málaga airport: 4 June 
  • Not included: transportations.

Circuit aiming at observing dragonflies (and other wildlife passing by) in the area of Málaga-Cádiz and searching for most species present. Program based on : https://g3-guides.com/en/what-to-see-in-andalusia/species-in-andalusia/dragonflies-of-andalusia/

Typical day

  • 9:00 Leaving hotel
  • (1h drive)
  • Visit of 2-3 sites a day
  • (1h drive)
  • 18:30 Arrival at hotel
  • 20:00 Dinner

January, thursday the 5th

Glossy ibis in Spain
DAY 1 | Airport transfer - Brazo del Este

See you in Seville at noon. We will dedicate a few days to explore Doñana (trip ressources). Today is unexpected since the visit brings us to a highly transformed agricultural landscape and to the former eastern branch of the Guadalquivir (Brazo del Este) that could not be completely drained… an exceptional wealth of avifauna awaits us. The best starter for 10 days discovering Andalusia.

Brazo del Este polders and wetlands

Accomodation near Sevilla for two nights

January, friday the 6th

slender-billed gull  / Larus genei at Doñana
DAY 2 | Southern Doñana

An intense day will allow you to explore a remarkable diversity of aquatic habitats and already produce a long list of birds. A permanent lagoon will be ideal for searching for the most endangered avifauna: white-headed duck and if luck smiles on us, marbled teal or Red-knobbed Coot. To add more thrill, we will be able to visit the best panoramic view over the whole Doñana region and enjoy a spectacular sunset over the marshes.

Marine birds – Bonanza salt pan – Tarelo permanent lagoon – Pinar La Algaida – Trebujena marshes

January, saturday the 7th

slender-billed gull  / Larus genei at Doñana
DAY 3 | Eastern Doñana

In the morning, we will quickly check a few rewarding sites nearby Brazo del Este for aquatic diversity, exploring the banks of the Guadalquivir, visiting an adjoining hill with species rich temporary Mediterranean ponds (best site I know for large branchiopods) and a former gravel pits with permanent water.

Dirt track along the Guadalquivir – Dehesa La Atalaya – Corta de Los Olivillos

Around 3 pm, we will move to Córdoba (a 2h drive), and search for amphibians and the spectacular morenica subspecies of Fire salamander in the evening (if weather is favorable).

Accomodation in Córdoba for the night

January, sunday the 8th

Anfibios de Andujar
DAY 4 | Reaching Sierra de Andújar

A quick and early walk to famous Cordoba Mosk is recommended before starting serious field work. Another intense day, with the visit in the morning of a nice small stream next to Córdoba, where Sympetrum sinaiticium are seen regularly, and a temporary lagoon good for branchiopods. We will reach Sierra de Andújar (trip ressources) in the afternoon and move directly to classical sites along the Jándula river at Encinarejo reservoir.

Arroyo Pedroches – Encinarejo

Accomodation at Andújar for three nights

January, monday the 9th

Sierra Morena
DAY 5 | Finca privada

The best opportunities for Iberian Lynx observations is definitively entering large private estates. Those were previously dedicated to large game hunting but more recently, some of them prefered to focus their interest to Sierra Morena and lynx ‘safari’. We colaborate with very dedicated local conservationists.

January, tuesday the 10th

Glossy ibis in Spain
DAY 6 | Finca privada, second day

Not only we want to actually see the lynx, but we would like to have nice observations, if possible. This is only possible with luck and much field work. In the Natural Park, Iberian lynxes are totally free and not fed near viewing points… so this is wildlife at its best. Nevertheless, this species is confident and quite active during day time in winter, so chances are as good as they get.

January, wednesday the 11th

Glossy ibis in Spain
DAY 7 | Public observatories

Our last day in Andújar will permit us to explore another best area for wildlife and lynxes, at public observatories in direction to the Jándula reservoir. Of course, we will have good chance to see Imperial eagle, Black vultures and more wildlife.

In the afternoon, we will move to Málaga mountains for more excitment (2 h drive).

Los Escoriales – Jándula

Accomodation at Antequera or Ardales for two nights

January, thursday the 12th

Torcal de Antequera amazing geology
DAY 8 | Torcal de Antequera

At this point of the trip, we will focus on some of the best area for Sympetrum sinaiticum in Andalusia. We will do a bit of driving near Antequera and Ardales. Sightings are a bit unpredictable… but we must search the species for success. Later in the afternoon, we cannot miss one to the most famous Iberian limestone landscape: the Torcal de Antequera, a maze of cliffs and eroded rocks scattered with small trees. This karst is good for Spanish ibex, Blue Rock-Thrush and Black Wheatear.

January, Friday the 13th

Torcal de Antequera amazing geology
DAY 9 | On the road, in the Guadalquivir Valley

This morning program is a little bit open: We can dedicate more time for Sympetrum search ; visit Fuente de Piedra lagoon (if it is not dry!). In direction of Sevilla, we need to check Great bustards at Osuna and maybe other steppe birds if chances accompagnies.

Accomodation near Sevilla for two days.

January, saturday the 14th

Isla Mayor
DAY 10 | Northern Doñana round-trip

A very intense day awaits us as Doñana Nord offers, once again, exceptional sites for bird watching. Some novelties: Heronry, colonies of Glossy ibis and white storks; huge expanses of rice paddies, natural salt marshes and deep freshwater canal. Note that the surrounding forests are home to several lynx territories.

Isla Mayor – Centro J.A. Valverde – Caño Guadiamar – Dehesa Abajo.

January, sunday the 15th

Doñana sunset. Little swift (Apus affinis)
DAY 11 | Back to the airport

If times allows, we’ll have a final visit in a nice site next to Sevilla.