Andalucia Trip Part Three – Malcolm Palmer

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It was the third morning of our trip, and, although some clouds hung over the mountains, it was fine, as we set off from Baza. The dam of the Embalse de Negretín was our first stop, and House Martins were around, as was a rather elusive Wren. We carried on and drove onwards through the busy little town of Cazorla, just pausing to see a few Griffon Vultures circling near Quesada. We took the winding ascent to the Mirador, where a Woodlark was new, then down into the lovely Tranco Valley, and lunch at Arroyo Frio. We ate on the terrace, and watched Blue Tits and Nuthatch as we did so, before heading for the watchpoint, where last year we had been fortunate enough to see Lammergeier. No such luck, so it was just as well we had seen one the evening before. We had Short-toed Treecreeper and Mistle Thrush there, and Peregrine flew out from the distant crags.

We made our way to the comfort of the Hotel Mirasierra, where Great Spotted Woodpecker never fails, and some members were lucky enough to see Cirl Bunting and Jay.

The next morning’s departure began with the long drive down to the Tranco Dam, where a fine Golden Eagle was soon seen, then few birds of interest accompanied our drive over the Sierra de Segura, to lunch beyond Puebla de Don Fadrique. We finished off by taking a fruitful detour across the Plains of Caravaca, seeing Rock Sparrow, Song Thrush and Chough, all at close range. It had been a very pleasant four days, with a good variety of wildlife seen.