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Bird Watching

The Costa Del Sol a Birding Fiesta

Alboran Hills is perfectly positioned on the migratory route for birds migrating to Western Europe in the spring and back to Africa in the autumn via the Strait of Gibraltar.

The main migration months are April, May, September and October.

One of the main attractions is the bird of prey migration which can be spectacular. The birds that can be encountered are Honey Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Montague’s Harrier, Black Kite, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Griffin Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Lesser Kestrel and Common Kestrel.

All the above have been observed at close range flying over the complex. Other birds of interest that have been seen on migration are Black Stork, White Stork and Greater Flamingo and large flocks of Bee-eaters.

Short-toed Eagle

Smaller birds resident and migrant can be encountered in the complex gardens and in the surrounding country side. These consist of Blue Rock Thrush, Black-eared Wheatear, Black Redstart, Black-eared Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike, Melodious Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Bonellis Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Dartford Warble, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Red-necked Nightjar, Hoopoe, Spotless Starling, Nightingale, Thekla Lark and Crested Lark to name but a few.


The beach is a 5 minute walk from the complex and good for migrant and resident birds and also sea birds such as Balearic Shearwater, Northern Gannet, Audouin’s Gull and Cory’s Shearwater etc.

Within driving distance of the complex various other bird rich areas can be explored adding to the growing species list.

Soto Grande south of the complex has a nature reserve this is an excellent place to see Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gull Billed Tern, Whiskered Tern Yellow legged Herring Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Mediterranean Gull and if you are lucky Lesser Crested Tern and Slender-billed Gull. In the marsh the rare Purple Swamp-hen is present along with many other species.

 Purple Swamp-hen

Casares Village is 20 minutes north east of the complex it is a beautiful white village set in the side of a rock escarpment and the fort on the top is an excellent viewing area for birds. Highlights are Bonelli’s Eagle, Griffin Vulture, Lesser Kestrel (breeding colony), Alpine Swift, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Crag Martin, Rock Bunting and Black Wheatear etc. It is also a good vantage point for birds of prey on migration.

Rhonda Area is approximately a 1 hour drive from the complex. This is a mountainous region and holds many spectacular species such as Golden Eagle, Bonellis Eagle, Eagle Owl, Golden Oriole and many more, well worth exploring.

Bonelli’s Eagle

South of the complex the coastal road between Algeciras and Tarifa is an excellent place to observe birds of prey in the spring and autumn on migration. Some days thousands of raptors can be seen soaring overhead getting ready to migrate. In recent years Ruppell’s Vulture and Long-legged Buzzard have taken up residence. Along this stretch of mountainous road observation shelters have been built these are used by Migres who observe and record raptor species and numbers. The locations of these observation points can be found on the Migres website.

Tarifa Beach just north of Tarifa town is a good area to explore for waders such as Stone-curlew, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Kentish Plover, and Dunlin. Also large flocks of gulls and terns congregate here.

La Janda Wetland approximately 30 minutes north of Tarifa can be excellent at times if water exists. The area can hold the following birds Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Montague’s Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Black-Shouldered Kite, Lanner Falcon, Common Crane, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, White Stork, Black Stork, Night Heron, Squacco Heron,  Purple Gallinule, Black-winged Stilt, Calandra Lark, Spanish Sparrow and Little Bustard to name but a few.

Glossy Ibis

Books relating to the region are the Collins Bird Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe for bird identification and for site locations and species list the Where to Watch Birds in Southern and Western Europe by Ernest Garcia and Andrew Peterson.


In conclusion the Alboran Hills offers the bird watcher a great base right in the thick of the action, and we even have  an experienced local bird watcher who can arrange tours for any visitor. Alboran Hills is the perfect location for any bird enthusiast to stay.

Guided Birdwatching Tours are available from Alboran Hills

Local professional bird guide, Bob Buckler, is available to take you out for day trips to see the wonderful variety of bird species and other wildlife found in the area. His popular day tours include: door to door transport, a full day out with picnic lunch, use of binoculars and telescope, a checklist of the birds you are likely to see, a great variety of scenic routes to suite the weather and all seasons of the year. Bob has a wealth of guiding experience and a good depth of local knowledge, he originates from the UK but now resides in Spain with his wife Dawn where he runs a successful bird-watching tour company.

Please contact us for more details and with any questions you may have: