Venturing west to the higher sierra you can often feel like you are the only person
left on the planet. No tourists here just the odd goat herder and a wealth of different
bird life. Rock Thrush, Black & Black-eared Wheatear, Curl Bunting, Chough, Golden
Eagle and even Quail where it flattens out over the Granada pass (just out of Axarquia
though). This area is a massive contrast from the localised hills and valleys only
15 km away as the crow flies. No Crows here though!
To the south is approximately 35 km of, in places, totally undeveloped Mediterranean
coastline where the usual sea faring birds can be seen plus the occasional sighting
of Common Dolphins. The major river is the Rio Velez which reaches the sea just east
of the coastal town of Torre del Mar. Here you can see just about anything from a
wide array of resident, migrant and wintering waders, herons & ducks to the odd stray
Greater Flamingo and hoards of Little & Cattle Egrets.
In the spring almost every hill and river valley, of which there are hundreds, has
Golden Orioles in the Eucalyptus, a Hoopoe on the track and a flock of Bea-eaters
overhead. Flocks of Serins, Corn Buntings, Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Linnets
constantly flit though the olive groves and a Blue Rock Thrush will be sat on top
of a deserted ruin.
A trip to the eastern slopes of the Montes de Málaga within Axarquia, offers a lovely
change of scene with all its dense, lush pine forest and regularly maintained tracks!
Here one can often see Bonelli´s, Spectacled, Sub alpine, Melodious and Dartford
Warbler, along with Crested Tits, Crossbills and Nuthatch. Greater Spotted & Green
Woodpecker are here and I always hope to see a Goshawk (not often disappointed) plus
a rare daytime view of a disturbed Tawny Owl which is a real treat.
As you drive or walk around the area Woodchat Shrike, Fan-tailed Warbler, Black Redstart,
Spotted Flycatcher, Red-rumped Swallow, Wryneck and even Rufus Bush Robin are common
and Little and Scops Owl are frequently seen and heard respectively.
Overhead you can see Black Kite, Bonelli´s, Booted and Short-toed Eagle, plus large
flocks of Griffon Vultures and sometimes the odd Golden Eagle from the nearby sierras.