Monnegre De Arriba

Monnegre by Mary Brazier

The river valley of Monnegre (alternatively Mont Negre – Black Mountain) gives its name to a hamlet in that valley, accessed by a signposted road which runs from near Muchamiel to eventually join the Tibi – Jijona road. This whole road can be a dangerous one to drive – you will need your wits about you!

After you leave civilisation, driving up from Muchamiel, and a small urbanisation, a big curve in the road leads you through low pines where Rufous Bush Robin and Black-eared Wheatear have bred. Then you are in rocky country, and the chances of a Bonelli’s Eagle hunting are good, as a pair nests nearby. Late summer evenings can be interesting, as Red necked Nightjars, Little, Scops & Eagle Owls are all possible here.

Trumpeter Finch by Mike Smith

Beyond the village, ruined farms are often occupied by Red-rumped Swallows, along with the odd Bee-eater colony, and there are often Rock Sparrow to be seen. A ruined house close to the road on the left is a good spot to stop, as Western Orphean Warbler have bred in recent years on hillsides above here, Spectacled Warbler also inhabit the scrub, and a walk (with care) down into the barranco on the right, from a point a hundred metres further on will give you a good chance of the super-elusive Trumpeter Finch, but the more intrepid birder might do well to descend into the barranco here and work along back to towards the sea, branching off to the left after a kilometre . A Rock Sparrow colony and several pairs of ‘good’ Rock Doves, as well as Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear and Thekla Lark, are to be found with patience whilst there is water in the barranco or around the disused olive groves.