Bird Watching in Almeria.
Almeria is famous for sightings of migrating birds, the best time of year for bird watching is springtime. In late march and all of April and May you find wintering birds and birds that are here for the summer months. Bird Watching in Almeria is fantastic at this time of year because the spring flowers carpet the countryside and offers much food for the migrating flocks.
The best nearby places to views these spectacles and watch some superb bird behaviour are:
Rio Almanzora Estuary:
The Rio Almanzora Estuary Located near Villaricos and travels inland to Cuevas del Almanzora. Along this stretch of of the Rio Almanzora it is possible to see Savi's, Hirundine Roost, Little Bittern, Great Reed, Moustached and Fan-tailed Warblers and Purple Gallinule. You can also see a variety of Ducks and Waders, and Kentish Plover in the many pools.
El Cortijo Grande Valley:
(c5km SW. of Turre )
Approximately 5km from Turre you will find the village of El Cortijo Grande. On the way to the village of El Cortijo Grande there is a small reservoir where you will find Red-rumped Swallow and Crested Lark.
The El Cortijo Grande golf course has White Wagtail, Serin and Hoopoe.
In the areas around the village there are Shrikes, Olivaceous Warbler, Red-legged Partridges, Red-rumped Swallow and Bee Eaters.
The Rio de Aguas Bridge:
The Rio de Aguas Bridge is halfway between Turre and Los Gallardos. The bridge traverses the steep gorge of the Rio de Aguas. You can park on either side of the bridge, there is a path that leads down to the river. here you will see Rock Sparrow which nests in cracks of the stonework bridge. You will also encounter Rollers, Black Wheatear and Shrikes.
The Pueblo Laguna is a few minutes drive along the coast from Garrucha to Villaricos, it is located behind the naturists coastal deveolpment. It is the estuary of the Rio Antas. It is a good sized reed fringed lagoon. An early morning visit will yield sightings of Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern and possibly Greater Flamingo.
Embalse de Cuevas del Almanzora:
The reservoir at Cuevas del Almanzora down to the wetlands at the bottom, which are surrounded by cliffs. At the reservoir you can see Great-crested Grebe, Black Wheatears and Crag Martins. On the road down to the wet lands below you will find Bee Eater, Hoopoe, Roller and Red rumped Swallow. When you reach the wet land area you will encounter Blue Rock Thrush, Kingfusher and Skulky Warbler.
Salinas de Cabo de Gata:
The salt flats provide an important habitat for both the resident birds and the thousands of migrating birds who stop on their journey between Europe and Africa. Species found around the salt flats include Greater Flamingo, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Audouins Gull, Storks, Cranes, Waders including Avocets and Oystercatchers and overwintering Ducks.
Many species of Lark live on the steppe, including the rare Dupont's Lark and there are also Little Bustards and Stone Curlews. Sea birds include Yellow-Legged Gulls, Terns, Razorbills, Shags, the occasional Puffin and Cory's and Balearic Shearwaters. The wealth of animal life provides prey for a number of Raptors: Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, Kestrels and Eagles.
Punta Entinas-Sabinar Natural Area:
The wetland area is noted for the large variety of birds. The best time to visit this coastal wetland is in Autumn, There are many migrating birds stopping over. Including Red-crested pochards, great cormorants, grey herons and avocets, there are many birds that congregate here in winter, along with thousands of gulls.
Around the wetlands is a stretch of steppe, here you will see birds typical of this habitat, such as stone curlews, black-bellied sandgrouse and little bustards. It's easy to spot waders in the mud flats on the lake shores, since these birds are numerous and include redshanks, sanderlings, little stints and dunlins.
Albufera de Adra Natural Reserve:
The site is home to eastern Andalucia's most significant population of the white-headed duck, which nests and overwinters here. It is also an important site for the endangered marbled duck, which can be seen during migration periods.
In the winter, flocks of aquatic birds arrive at the lakes. Tufted ducks and pochards are the most numerous; wigeons, coots, tufted ducks, little egrets, cattle egrets and black-necked grebes are also common. With more reeds and rushes than the other lakes, Albufera Honda has the most nests in the reserve. Breeding birds here include red-crested pochards, moorhens, white storks and little bitterns.