Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Medina Azahara and Codoba City, Cordoba Province.

A day out with Jayne's sister.

Jayne, Barb and I set off quite early and headed west then north up to the famous Medina Azahara a place we had wanted to visit for some time. We made good progress and after weaving our way through the western edge of the city we arrived at the visitors centre. We first of all watched a film about the site and then had a walk around the museum area before catching a bus up to the main site on the slopes above. We spent the next 2 1/2 hours around the ruins and gardens, there was a lot of work going on so some areas were shut to the public but there was certainly plenty to see. On the wildlife front I picked up several species including Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Cattle Egret Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), a stunning male
Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), singing Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional /Lanius meridionalis) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla). Later we caught the bus back to the carpark and headed into the city and parked in a free spot near the river. We were by this time quite hungry so we stopped and had lunch before walking along the river and crossing into the city via the reformed Roman bridge, on the walk I saw Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Common Sandpiper Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). We spent a pleasant couple of hours around the back streets of the historic section, had a very nice ice-cream before wandering back to the car and heading home, on the way adding a few Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo). 

Photographs from the top: Aljama Mosque, Cooking Oven, Jayne and Barb, Courtyard of the Pillars, Arch ar the far end of the Cordoba Roman Bridge and the Roman Bridge.

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