Sierra Espuña and the Guadalentin Valley

Wild Boar by Mary Brazier
Wild Boar by Mary Brazier

Sierra Espuña

To access the Mountains you can head for Alhama de Murcia on the A7 motorway and follow the tourist signs for Sierra Espuña. A good road takes you over the top of the mountains and back down to join the main road again at Totana. Alternatively you can start at Totana and go the other way over the mountain. There are two cafes, one on each side of the mountain, both with adjacent picnic areas. It is at the cafes where Wild Boar might be seen as they come to take advantage of ‘free food’ offered by the visitors. The whole area is very scenic and breeding birds include Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Alpine Swift and Rock Bunting. Crossbill, Crested Tit and Ring Ouzel may also be seen here.

Roller by Mike Smith©

Guadalentin Valley

On the other side of the  A7 there is a large area made up of cultivated land and open scrub. The Guadalentin river flows through the valley here, although it is often dry in the summer.  Leave the A7 and join the RM2 towards Cartagena then take the RM23 towards Marazzon and Los Munoces. At the roundabout take the second via de servicio exit which takes you onto a small track. You can then drive around the tracks at your leisure keeping a lookout for bird as you go. Calandra, Short toed and Lesser Short toed Larks, Stone Curlew, Black bellied Sandgrouse, and Rollers breed in the area. Other possible sightings include Little Bustard, and in summer, Bee eater, Red rumped Swallow, Great Spotted Cuckoo and a variety of raptors. Any of the small reservoirs around the area may contain waders and grebes etc.

SAT NAV CO-ORDINATES for general areas on the steppe –

37°46.086’N 1°22.427’W

37°45.970’N 1°23.690’W

37°45.221’N 1°24.653’W

37°45.464’N 1°23.219’W