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Winter in Andalusia

Lynx, Doñana and sierras

Wildlife watching
Expert Nature Guide
Wildlife watching
Expert Nature Guide

Visited Parks

Doñana, Andújar, Osuna, Fuente de Piedra, Antequera

Season

Winter

Classic tour

10 days

Bird watching in Doñana

– Usually, a sunny winter tour
– Birds, mammals, amphibians and more
– Doñana and Andújar highlight

Region

Spain / Andalusia

Meeting point

Seville

Specialized service

Small parties

When winter is harsh and days are short in Northern Europe… there is nothing like a trip to the Mediterranean region to fill with the energy of sunny days and to be testimony of true natural shows. Actually, the season is at its peaks in Andalusia for lynxes, wetland birds, amphibians and large raptors.

The winter Andalusian trip brings great rewards

This tour is a true ‘Best of’ nature in Europe, joining the experience of the Lynx Safari in Sierra Morena (On the lookout for the Iberian lynx in Spain: Sierra de Andujar tour) and the exploring of famous Doñana National Park when its wetlands are at their highest levels and aquatic avifauna gathering more than 500 000 birds (a summary of a dedicated winter wetland tour).

Andalusia will offer you some very rare species, often difficult to see outside the Iberian Peninsula at an afforable cost.

Check the previous trip report for this tour.

Spanish imperial eagle in display
Andalusia winter trip

More than 120 species of birds

When winter is harsh and days are short in Northern Europe… there is nothing like a trip to the Mediterranean region to fill with the energy of sunny days and to be testimony of true natural shows. Actually, the season is at its peaks in Andalusia for lynxes, wetland birds, amphibians and large raptors.

The winter Andalusian trip brings great rewards

Spanish imperial eagle in display

This tour is a true ‘Best of’ nature in Europe, joining the experience of the Lynx Safari in Sierra Morena (On the lookout for the Iberian lynx in Spain: Sierra de Andujar tour) and the exploring of famous Doñana National Park when its wetlands are at their highest levels and aquatic avifauna gathering more than 500 000 birds (a summary of a dedicated winter wetland tour).

Andalusia winter trip

Andalusia will offer you some very rare species, often difficult to see outside the Iberian Peninsula at an afforable cost.

More than 120 species of birds

Check the previous trip report for this tour.

January, day 1

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, day 2

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, day 3

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, day 4

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, Day 5

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, day 6

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, day 7

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, day 8

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, Friday the 13th

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, 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.