Saturday, 28 January 2012

Vejer de la Frontera, La Janda, Barbate and along the coast, Cadiz Province.

A change in the order of the days.

We had originally intended to do this area on our way home but then we thought that the shops in Vejer would be shut so we changed the plan and headed south along the motorways to Vejer de la Frontera a cracking little white village perched on the side of a cliff. We had hoped to link this part of the trip with a visit to stay with friend Steve Dale and his family who run Andalucian Guides from his house between Vejer and Barbate but due to things not panning out back in Granada with a few jobs on the house we need to be back home earlier than originally planned (hope to make it next time Steve). Once parked we had a wander around this cracking village, had a coffee in one of the bars up by the castle and then picked up a couple of bits from the nice shops in the centre. The only slight down side was that most of the nice craft type shops we had seen in the past had gone but the place is always worth a visit and I think that if there were not so many hills I could live there quite happily.
Once we had finished in the town we made a brief but enjoyable visit to La Janda but just stayed on the main track along the canal except for a short drive along one of the side roads, so I did not get into the best areas as I had on the last visit when I had been birding with Steve. The bird numbers seemed slightly down on the last trip but we still managed to catch up with a couple of Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), a cracking Short-eared Owl (Búho Campestre / Asio flammeus) which hunted up and down the side of the main canal foe around 10 minutes giving us great views, a couple of hundred Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus), Bonelli's (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) and Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Purple Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio). The birds listed were the highlights but we saw a lot more including a few butterfly species, Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) were quite common, while Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias crocea), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) were seen as singles. We then went and had some lunch in Zahara de los Atunes before driving north through Barbate and then onwards along the coast back to Chiclana and ending up back in Puerto de Santa Maria. On the way I picked up a group of the introduced Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia). Up nearer the hotel we passed through some salt pans whilst we were on the motorway, brief views were had of 6 Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) and a single Eurasian Curlew (Zapapito Real / Numenius arquata).
We went back to the hotel to freshen up before spending the evening trying the local tapas which was very nice but dam expensive but I suppose we are spoilt here in Granada Province.
Photographs from the top: 2x Views around Vejer, Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).

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