Field Trip – Cazorla, Sierra Segura – Malcolm Palmer

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CBBC Four Day Trip – Part Three – On the third morning of our brief Andalucian excursion, we left our comfortable stopover at the Dama de Baza, and drove along a badly potholed road around the big reservoir to the north of Baza before crossing hills to Pozo Alcón. A tedious drive then ensued, as we made our way through Quesada and Cazorla, to lunch at Burunchel. Over, then into the beautiful park, and those who could cope with the rough road headed for a viewpoint opposite the cliff where Lammergeier have been introduced. Almost straight away, Alain announced that he had seen one of the magnificent birds soaring above the cliff, and, although the light could have been more favourable, we had good views for some time. Griffon Vultures were plentiful, but little was to be seen back in the valley, until we ventured further down the Guadalquivir, and there saw two Dippers, Nuthatch and Blue Tit before retiring to our ever- comfortable Hotel Mirasierra. Early next morning Great Spotted Woodpecker was very active, and Song Thrush was an addition to our list.

There was little to report as we made our way over the winding roads across the Sierra de Segura, apart from glimpses of Rock Bunting and a big party of Chough. We had a good lunch after Puebla de Don Fadrique, then just after entering Murcia, paused at a farmstead to find a fine party of Lesser Kestrels occupying the roof! Nearby Rock Sparrows were also nice to see, and, just in case we were still interested, a fine Golden Eagle flew across the motorway as we approached Murcia. It had been a good four days.