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Transfer from Malaga Airport to Tarifa: with stops at Estepona Golf Club and Cazalla Bird Observatory, Tarifa

I had two flights to meet this morning about 3 hours apart. So after collecting Dave at 11am I drove us to a local birding spot to pass some time.

We noted several species from the bus during the short trip to a supermarket and then to some beach-side scrub. Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Monk Parakeet, Barn Swallow, Yellow-legged Gull and a few Spotless Starlings.

the eastern arm of the Guadlahorce Reserve

A visit to the eastern side of the Desembocadura de Guadlahorce produced a few more sightings, we spent a nice hour by the side of the bus watching waders, warblers and such-like. Dave spotted a apir of Booted Eagles high over the reserve with some swift species and more Barn Swallows. We watched Common Ringed Plovers, Dunlin and a nice male Yellow wagtail (Iberiae) feeding very close to us.

Yellow Wagtails (Iberiae)

Lots of Monk Parakeets were dashing too and fro across the reserve and we also noted Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Woodchat Shrike, Willow Warbler, many Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls and lots of House Sparrows and Starlings. A Hoopoe flew over us as we were leaving and a group of around 100 Glossy Ibis circled high above us before drifting westward.

I collected the rest of the group at 2pm and by 2:30pm we were on our way towards Tarifa. After an hour on the road we stopped at Estepona Golf Club and spent a good hour there. It was very hot by then too, 30C in the shade! We found a few species but not that many.

Stonechats and Spotted Flycatchers were in good numbers, we also saw Red-rumped Swallows, Crag Martins and Booted Eagles. On the greens we scanned for Wagtails and Hoopoes, we found both White Wagtails and Eurasian Hoopoe. Other species noted were Sardinian Warbler, Serin, Mallard, Blackbird, Turtle Dove and Wood Pigeon.

Eurasian Hoopoe

Butterflies noted were Monarch and Scarce Swallowtail and we also noted Red-veined Darter, Lesser Emperor Dragonflies and some pond Terrapins.

We continued our journey heading southwest, passing Gibraltar and then Agleciras before we stopped at a Raptor Observation Point just above Tarifa. During the 30 minutes we spent there we had a taste of things to come. Short-toed Eagles and Black Kites were perched on pylons, Booted Eagles and small groups of Honey Buzzards climbed the last remaining thermals before drifting off towards Morocco. The light was terrific and we could easily see the Moroccan landscape, the Rif Mountains and the towns of Cueta and Tanger Port.

Juvenile Woodchat Shrike

A single Egyptian Vulture (sub-adult) circled above, as did several Eurasian Sparrowhawks, groups of Black Kites, small numbers of Booted Eagles kept appearing and large groups of Bee-eaters, Starlings and Swift species (1 Alpine Swift was identified) dashed past us.

counts the dots and see if get 96 Glossy Ibis

We left the observatory after 6pm and arrived at our hotel 10 minutes later, good numbers of Bee-eaters could heard flying over the hotel as we got ready for dinner.