Trip to Andujar – Barry Chambers

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TRIP TO ANDUJAR 6th – 9th MARCH 2023


We made our way towards Andujar exactly five years to the day after we did the same trip to find the Iberian Lynx without success!! Just before we arrived at our hotel we stopped for a picnic and Carol spotted a large group of raptors overhead, there were approximately 150 Black Kites, 25/30 Red Kites and a Spanish Imperial Eagle in the distance, a great start to our trip. We booked in at our hotel Los Pinos and quickly got back on the road to the area where the bulls are kept and then on to the reservoir. There was no sign of a Lynx but we did add to our bird list observing 2 Great Spotted Cuckoos, Black and Griffon Vultures, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and scores of Azure Winged Magpies. A number of Red Deer were also seen.


We had arranged a guide to assist us in locating a Lynx; unfortunately he had car problems so we didn’t arrive at the spot where two Lynx had been sleeping close to the road earlier in the day. The guide did try to make up for our disappointment but was unable to relocate the Lynx. He did manage to find us some great birds including, Golden Eagle, several Spanish Imperial Eagles, Black and Griffon Vultures, 2 Great Spotted Cuckoos, Little Owls, Red Billed Chough, Rock Bunting and Dartford Warbler, plus Red and Fallow Deer and Ibex. Our Guide returned us to our hotel so after a quick snack we decided to drive to the river and reservoir, where we saw a number of common bird species but very few new additions to add to our growing list.


In the morning we awoke to rain but we had already planned to return to the area where the Lynx had been seen the previous day. As we approached the area the weather conditions were poor with mist and drizzle. We approached a Spanish guide who was already on site and he told us to follow him as there was a Lynx resting by the ruined building. We managed to get distant views of the Lynx before it jumped off the wall and disappeared. We decided to drive along the track to look for some birds; we added Raven, Jay and Linnet amongst others.

We returned to the ruined buildings where there were about a dozen people standing and peering over a low stone wall. We were told by a guide that a female Lynx was resting in a small patch of long grass some 25/30 metres away. After watching for about 45 minutes the drizzle stopped and the Lynx stood up and walked down the field, across the track we had just driven along, behind some old fences and ruined buildings, and out of sight. Nearly every one left the area but the four of us and the guide walked to where the Lynx had crossed the track and were amazed to see the Lynx reappear but this time it was in full flight chasing a Hare, the chase went across the field until the Hare managed to escape beneath a small gap under a gate, which made the Lynx slow down before it slipped underneath and disappeared.

What a fantastic experience to see such a rare animal at such close quarters and culminating with a chase. We went back to our hotel for a menu del dia after which we returned to the river and were greeted with great views of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker entering an old dead tree several times. We also added to our list an early Woodchat Shrike , Short Toed Treecreeper, Blue Tit, Kingfisher and also observed more Spanish Imperial Eagles, Griffon Vultures and we heard a Cuckoo.


Our last day. Before leaving for the river again 2 Hawfinches were spotted in the grounds of the hotel. Once at the river we watched a Nuthatch constantly returning to it’s nest in a hole in a tree and a Wren collecting nesting material. Further along the river we again saw Spanish Imperial Eagle. We arrived at the bridge near the dam and were treated to views of an Otter. A wonderful end to four unforgettable days of bird and animal observations. We only recorded 64 species of birds but it was the quality that made it so amazing.