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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Birding forum  |  Your Local Patch  |  Topic: Serrania de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema « previous next »
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Author Topic: Serrania de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema  (Read 34645 times)
Peter
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« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2012, 05:54:11 pm »

Very evident migration today, 00's Bee eater flying north also 00's Pallid Swift, Swallow and House Martin. Woodchat Shrike are arriving also good numbers of Black Kite, Short-toed and Booted Eagle drifting northwards. Most of this movement ahead of storm front from southwest.

Peter
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« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2012, 09:52:44 am »

Wow, always something to surprise me here in the Serrania de Ronda. I stumbled upon a 'true' albino young Stonechat, so very rare and I felt privileged to have been witness to this unusual occurrence! Luckily I was able to return the next day along with friend and colleague Pieter Verheij, armed with camera and video! To see video, photos and article please visit this link: http://www.spanishnature.com/birds/72-andalucia/176-albino-stonechat.html

Managed some good photographs and the bird certainly provided me with a lifetime experience, having seen many so called albinos it was good to find this extremely rare example of a 'true' albino and a Stonechat to boot!

Peter
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Peter
For great birding and wildlife tours.
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For day tours in 'my' area see: http://spanishnature.com/serrania-de-ronda.html
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« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2012, 09:49:52 am »

It has been a busy spring, full blown tours and never a dull moment on my local day trips around my mountains here in the Serranía de Ronda, no complaints from me, its been a record year for bookings, but it certainly made time fly by and already we are in the summer months under blue skies and a very hot sun. Certain things stick in mind from April through to the middle of May, namely the unpredictable weather, a strange year so far. Flowers were late, orchids were patchy and some of our migrant birds also chose to delay their appearance, or at least in anything like their normal numbers.

Cold days and rain punctuated the passing of April and a tragedy unfolded as the month wore on. Sure the rains were welcomed by all, the flowers certainly livened-up and the countryside began the transition from multicoloured hues to more greens, but together with the rains, the cold meant a severe lack of insects. I picked-up several dead Bee Eaters around local areas, all showed signs of starvation with breast bones needle sharp and no visible fat, I can only surmise the lack of insects, after such long uninterrupted journeys, led to these beautiful birds perishing at the final hurdle of their migration.

Other bird events of note were the late arrivals of such species as Red-rumped Swallow, Golden Oriole and some of our more common warbler species such as Bonelli’s and Orphean Warbler. Although certain species appeared to be passing through in normal numbers, those returning to breed here seemed reduced. Black-eared Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Booted and Short-toed Eagle have been absent from some of their regular summer territories, also the elusive and increasingly rare Egyptian Vulture seems to have been lost as a breeding bird in my area. I wonder how much poisoning in Africa is to blame for the demise of this rather handsome member of the vulture family?

Plants certainly were stimulated by the long awaited rains and although certain species put on their customary colour extravaganza, they lacked the normal longevity of previous years, except that is for the blood red poppies which have been simply stunning. Hillsides and meadows were swathed in red with wild mustard, fennel and echiums adding to the spectacular colour show. My spirits were further lifted by the late but numerous arrival of both Bonelli’s and Melodious Warblers, Subalpine and Spectacled Warblers occupied their customary territories as they skulked and flitted in deep cover with Nightingales seemingly singing at every stop on my routes.

After a worrying beginning, the spring continued to improve and virtually everyday on tour produced some highlight. Rock hopping Ibex accompanied by playful kids, Rüppell’s Vulture and Long-legged Buzzard put in regular appearances and all my Bonelli’s Eagle nests successfully raised two young to fledging. Spanish Sparrow, normally a rarity in my territory, was discovered in good numbers at two sites and Olivaceous Warbler arrived late but at least in numbers as good as previous years. For the second year running Great Crested Grebe bred on our local reservoir and Black-crowned Night Heron bred on the Rio Guadiaro for the first time, compensating a little for a down turn in the fortunes of Lesser Kestrel, whose numbers were down on previous years.

All in all an interesting spring in my mountains and capped off by discovering an albino Stonechat on a regular route of mine. Time now to wind down, time to write a few articles and generally prepare for a busy autumn. I hope you might be inspired to join me sometime in the Serranía de Ronda.

Illustrated article on this link: http://spanishnature.com/birds/72-andalucia/177-back-over-my-shoulder.html
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Peter
For great birding and wildlife tours.
www.worldwidebirdingtours.com

Articles are published on my blog: http://spanishnature.blogspot.com/
For day tours in 'my' area see: http://spanishnature.com/serrania-de-ronda.html
Colin Skeoch
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« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2012, 04:43:51 pm »

Hi Peter
Had a great two days with you serrania de Roda on the 3&4th of Aught thank you for showing me al the wonderful birds on the Ronda area the two day where fantastics and you are a fantastic guide even Kyra enjoyed herself which surpised her from the bonelli Eagle toThekla  larch and ever thing it was a fantastic two days
Leon fr (Colin & Kyra)
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« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2012, 10:07:56 pm »

Hi Peter
Had a great two days with you serrania de Roda on the 3&4th of Aught thank you for showing me al the wonderful birds on the Ronda area the two day where fantastics and you are a fantastic guide even Kyra enjoyed herself which surpised her from the bonelli Eagle toThekla  larch and ever thing it was a fantastic two days
Leon fr (Colin & Kyra)

Thanks Colin and Kyra, really enjoyed our couple of days together and great to hear you too enjoyed the days out birding. Look forward to seeing you both again...

Peter
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Peter
For great birding and wildlife tours.
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Articles are published on my blog: http://spanishnature.blogspot.com/
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Colin Skeoch
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« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2012, 10:21:18 pm »

You and us both
Colin & kyra
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Colin Skeoch
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« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2012, 10:31:25 pm »

Hi Peter
Just to let you know we followed the route you gave us for Sevilla and we were not disappointed lots of storks and also egrets and Bonellis and a short toed eagle and some flamingos at a small holding unfortunately the reserve we seen the Storks at was closed and also the reserve past vent de Casa was also closed but were lucky enough to still get good views from roadside. Thanks again for everything Colin & Kyra.
PS. we will be in touch again at some point and will highly recommend you to other bird enthusiasts.
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Colin Skeoch
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« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2012, 07:07:48 pm »

Have just seen a honey buzzard and what can only be the biggest amount of griffin vulture in one place at least 30 maybe even 40 that I have ever seen Fantastic ;D
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Colin Skeoch
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« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2012, 05:04:00 pm »

Two Golden Eagles I have just seen in the sky above Canar Fantastic on the last off my Hols to Fantastic Andalucia  :D
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Peter
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« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2012, 11:12:50 pm »

Sounds like you have had a great time Colin, so I'll be expecting to see you Kyra again in the future. So pleased you managed a good range of species.

Keep well you 2.

Peter
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Peter
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Articles are published on my blog: http://spanishnature.blogspot.com/
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Colin Skeoch
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« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2012, 10:57:41 pm »

Thanks Peter
We both had a fantastic time and I saw lots of different species and the last two were  a spotted fly catcher and the two golden eagles a great end to a fantastic  holiday
Colin
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« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2012, 05:42:04 pm »

As an offshoot from an interest in birding you become acutely aware of the changes in the seasons. Subtle changes to dramatic sudden change, from the dry summer here in Andalucia to an absolute deluge which produced 10 inches of rain in 2 hours (Sierra de las Nieves). Of course the onset of autumn also means a change to our local avifauna, not least the southward migration of so many much loved birds, whose absence is mourned and a longing for their return burns ever brighter as autumn progresses and slowly ebbs into winter.

It is a difficult time to go birding here in my mountains (Serranía de Ronda), a kind of transitory period with so many summer residents departed for Africa and a wait for winter birds to arrive. Taking people around the area can be tough, as we struggle to find remnants of migration, still late birds including Whinchat, Tawny Pipit and the occasional Short-toed or Booted Eagle help to give spice to our days. Some magnificent birds remain all year as residents such as Bonelli’s Eagle, Black Wheatear and the constant songster the Blue Rock Thrush, but things definitely quieten down for a few weeks during October.

Quite apart from looking forward to winter arriving birds, now is time for drawing breath and reflecting on a very hot and dry summer. As mentioned in previous blogs/articles, the breeding season has been hard for many birds, especially insectivores; with the late flowering of many plants having effects on insects appearing much later than normal and in reduced numbers. Warblers, Bee eaters and many others found life hard, but the emergence of late insects eventually led to successful broods being raised during the late summer. Other species such as Bonelli’s Eagle had a great year with most nests producing 2 fledged young. Not such a bad summer after all.

Now, as I ponder late autumn, winter birds are just about starting to make an appearance, my fig tree is currently being ravaged by hordes of Blackcap and Spotless Starling with the occasional late migrant such as Garden Warbler joining in the feast. Chiffchaff are starting to arrive along with a few early White Wagtail, soon I am expecting large numbers of Ring Ouzel to feast on the plentiful fruits of local Hawthorn, these were well below normal last winter due to the lack of hawthorn berries, so I am expecting thrushes aplenty this winter. Alpine Accentors should arrive very soon as snows fall on higher mountain ranges and I guess the big question for me is will we be graced with Wallcreeper this winter? Richard’s Pipit sometimes accompanies the large winter contingent of Meadow and Water Pipit, so plenty to look forward to!

Seasonal changes to the weather offer exciting opportunities for birding here and not least the winter months, when large numbers of our avian friends choose to spend their time here in the temperate climbs of Andalucia. Common Crane will arrive in their thousands, whilst local populations of Little Bustard and Great Bustard will flock together making observation easier. Stone Curlews too gather into huge wintering flocks that can number in excess of 1000, so spectacles as well as thrills await the winter birder!

Peter
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Peter
For great birding and wildlife tours.
www.worldwidebirdingtours.com

Articles are published on my blog: http://spanishnature.blogspot.com/
For day tours in 'my' area see: http://spanishnature.com/serrania-de-ronda.html
Peter
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« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2012, 01:39:47 pm »

Interesting note from a friend Robert yesterday!

Quote:

Hi Peter,
 
yesterday we were at Montejaque and first met Mike and his wife, than saw an adult Short toed, which was always looking up - and above it was the reason: a juvenile Spanish Imperial (I think a female, because it almost had the same wingspan like the Griffs) circeld and than glided toward the Bonelli's nest rock, where it was attacked by an adult Golden Eagle. I was nearly to a heart attack! ...one thing I forgot: a long-legged Buzzard was also there!

Later we saw 4 Goldies between Serrato and El Burgo, an adult pair and two younger birds, male and female - and a Bonelli's. This species was also found perched on the tower behind Cuevas del Becerro.
 
 
Best wishes, Robert
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Peter
For great birding and wildlife tours.
www.worldwidebirdingtours.com

Articles are published on my blog: http://spanishnature.blogspot.com/
For day tours in 'my' area see: http://spanishnature.com/serrania-de-ronda.html
Oliver Reville
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« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2012, 03:41:32 pm »

Interesting note from a friend Robert yesterday!

Quote:

Hi Peter,
 
yesterday we were at Montejaque and first met Mike and his wife, than saw an adult Short toed, which was always looking up - and above it was the reason: a juvenile Spanish Imperial (I think a female, because it almost had the same wingspan like the Griffs) circeld and than glided toward the Bonelli's nest rock, where it was attacked by an adult Golden Eagle. I was nearly to a heart attack! ...one thing I forgot: a long-legged Buzzard was also there!

Later we saw 4 Goldies between Serrato and El Burgo, an adult pair and two younger birds, male and female - and a Bonelli's. This species was also found perched on the tower behind Cuevas del Becerro.
 
 
Best wishes, Robert

That is one heck of a list of birds!
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Peter
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« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2012, 11:47:12 am »

Interesting note from a friend Robert yesterday!

Quote:
Hi Peter,
yesterday we were at Montejaque and first met Mike and his wife, than saw an adult Short toed, which was always looking up - and above it was the reason: a juvenile Spanish Imperial (I think a female, because it almost had the same wingspan like the Griffs) circeld and than glided toward the Bonelli's nest rock, where it was attacked by an adult Golden Eagle. I was nearly to a heart attack! ...one thing I forgot: a long-legged Buzzard was also there!
Later we saw 4 Goldies between Serrato and El Burgo, an adult pair and two younger birds, male and female - and a Bonelli's. This species was also found perched on the tower behind Cuevas del Becerro.
Best wishes, Robert

That is one heck of a list of birds!

One heck of a list for sure Oliver, but Robert is a raptor nut and will spend hours in one place giving birds a chance to show! I went up to the site the next day, but dipped on everything other than Griffon (00's) and Black Vulture (2 adults), plus the pair of Bonelli's getting rather fruity with each other! Did have Imperial (immature) near Old Ronda on Saturday.

Peter
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Peter
For great birding and wildlife tours.
www.worldwidebirdingtours.com

Articles are published on my blog: http://spanishnature.blogspot.com/
For day tours in 'my' area see: http://spanishnature.com/serrania-de-ronda.html
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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Birding forum  |  Your Local Patch  |  Topic: Serrania de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema « previous next »
 


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