Our recommendation for a birding destination this autumn will be Southern Spain, with locations like the Strait of Gibraltar or Tarifa, famously known as incredible and unmissable destinations for witnessing autumn migration.
The best way to reach this region of Spain and Gibraltar (if you wish) is either the International Airport of Seville or the International Airport of Málaga. Of course, in the alternative, you can always try to fly to Gibraltar Airport.
If you opt for Seville, you can always dedicate a day (or more!) to the nearby Doñana National Park or the Guadalquivir River and look for species such as White-headed Duck, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse or Red-knobbed Coot. On the other hand, if you choose to fly to Málaga before heading to the southern corner, you can pay a visit to the Nature Reserve of Fuente de Piedra Lagoon, a very important endorheic lagoon, hosting one of the biggest colonies of Greater Flamingo in the country. It is equally good for the abovementioned species and many other water and shore birds, including Wood Sandpiper, Marbled Duck or Stone Curlew.
White-headed Duck - Oxyura leucocephala.
It is important to note that, besides the birding, both cities have plenty of cultural sights that deserve a visit. And so has the whole region of Ronda.
The famous Roman Bridge in Ronda.
Other additional places to pay a visit before you reach the migratory strait are the Sierra de las Nieves National Park and the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, both beautiful mountain reserves that can offer good birding opportunities for Griffon Vulture, Red-billed Chough, Red Crossbill, Rock Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, and many other bonus species for your trip.
Near the strait, all inland lagoons and coastlines of La Janda are worth visiting, particularly the Los Lances. There, you can see several species of wanders gathered in migratory groups, from Sandpippers to Plovers or Godwits. It is also suitable for Gulls and some passerines like Zitting Cisticolas, Wagtails, or Whinchats. But, most importantly, watch for the Northern Bald Ibis!
Northern Bald Ibis - Geronticus eremita.
Finally, in Tarifa, visit the El Estrecho Natural Park and the surrounding areas and indulge yourself with the magnificent diversity of birds of prey flying above your head. There, you can expect anything, so be ready and check the flocks carefully in search of more difficult birds, such as the Ruppell's Griffon Vulture, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Pallid Harrier or Lesser Kestrel, among many of the common species of Storks, Kites, Buzzards, Harriers and Eagles.
And, by the way, why not embark on a boating trip for some sea-watching once you are in this region? That can be an extra adventure to our trip, which can give you a chance to add some aquatic mammals, like Pillot Whales or Bottlenose Dolphins, to our trip's list and an excellent opportunity to check for some seabirds, such as the Razorbill, the Atlantic Puffin, Parasitic and Pomarine Jaeger, among the common Balearic and Cory's Shearwaters.
Aren't you convinced yet? This beautiful region of Spain is waiting for you!