Faro de Punta


Faro de Punta Carnero
... and more!
May 15 2010

Hello dear reader!

Birder-friends gave us the hint to try it during migration season at Faro de Punta Carnero, the National Park at the Strait of Gibraltar. There, high above the cliffs, it should be extremely interesting to watch the arrival of the honey buzzards from Africa.

And as the weather was very beautiful on Saturday and the winds came favorably from West, we went on our way passing the docks of Algeciras, from where we quickly found the little road, which lead us directly into the park:

A real wonderful day at the Bay of Algeciras. There it is, not only looking for birds, a joy!

Very soon the lighthouse of Punta Carnero appeared:

Faro de Punta Carnero

And just behind this lighthouse we could park the car and enjoy the panorama to the mountains of Africa:

Faro de Punta Carnero

This is exactly the most narrow point between Africa and Europe:

Faro de Punta Carnero

So far we just had passed this National Park only on the main road, because we didn't have any idea about this existence of the small road. We just were enthralled and enjoyed the marvelous views. And who looks intensively discovers that we were not the only ones hoping to see flocks of honey buzzards:

Faro de Punta Carnero

Well, here it's better to see: :

It is an unique place to watch the bird migration, if, yes if ....

Faro de Punta Carnero

... we would have seen a little more but this falcon! Only other birders gazed amazed the high flying booted eagle and a single black kite or were looking between the clouds above the African mountains for rare gulls. Well, we obviously had been spoiled lately as the honey buzzards and bee eaters had been directly above the homey biotope! Definitely for us there was not much action this day at Faro de Punto Carnero and the few birds were too far away. But at times of stork migration we definitely will come here again!

Faro de Punta Carnero

After we had admired extensively the landscape at the Strait of Gibraltar, we went on our way to the garbage dump of Los Barrios. Stark contrast pure! But we wanted to see birds and were not disappointed, because already on the way this flock of griffon vultures surprised us:


And to our great surprise hundreds and hundreds of black kites stayed at the garbage dump and the adjacent Nature Park of Alcornocales:

A heavy Westwind was blowing and the black kites preferred to stay in the trees or ...

... also on the ground to protect themselves:

But of course lots of them also had been in the air. But it was to be recognized even from these air artists that the wind was just too strong for them. Because of that they had gathered at Los Barrios:

But also the lots of storks, which we met at the garbage dump, had their difficulties. The flight in big heights was not the problem, but ...

... as soon as they tried to land ...


... they had been ...


... in trouble:


After they had a successful landing, a very important walking up and down started:


But also by doing this the red beak nearly was blown off the roof:


On the way, lined with wildflowers, we went on our way to the stork colony of San Roque, where we urgently wanted to look for nurseries:

On the way this stonechat proudly showed us its captured insect:

And here a little melodious warbler:

And finally these photos from the happy nurseries....

... of the white stork colony from San Roque. All took care of offspring and we saw several nests with four chicks. Great!

A completely fantastic spring time day!

Birgit Kremer

All photos ©copyright by Birgit Kremer
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