Sunday, 5 July 2009

Andalucia Holiday 10th -15th June 2009

Flew into Malaga from Bournemouth, picked up the hire car (long wait) and decieded despite it being later than planned, went my original planned route to our destination via Ronda. My Mum and I were staying with Stephen Daly - Andalucian Tours, at his cottage near Barbate. We didn't make a good first impression, underestimating how far our extended route was, getting lost a few times in darkess, arriving about 10:30pm. Apart from the size of the area (bigger than Portugal apparently), the other thing is the scenery, breathtaking! Anytime you venture anywhere near the coast, Morocco is clearly visible, the first time you see it, it's exciting, then after a few days you find yourself muttering "Oh there's Africa again". On the 12th we were taken on a tour to look for Raptors in particular, on the 14th we went on a touristy day accross the ferry from Tarifa for a day tour in Tangier, Morocco.
As soon as we were close to Ronda on the first day I was on the look out for Griffon Vulture, saw the odd single Vultures high in the sky, it was further south when we reached a crossroads, that suddenly vultures filled the sky, took a few shots and as soon as they appeared, they were gone.
On the first day, we did a bit of local exploring, further up the coast near Zahara, I caught sight of something sat on a post, which turned out to be a Little Owl. Next day was the tour, saw many different raptors (most at a place called La Janda) and more impressive scenary and stopped for some local food. After amassing an impressive list, towards the end as it became too hot, it went a bit quiet. I also recieved some good photography tips from Stephen, which was good as my autofocus stopped working at the beginning of the tour, Stephen advised me to get to grips with manual focus and use the sports setting. I was itching to practice this more, so as soon as it cooled down, remembering how to get to La Janda, I persuaded mum to go back again.
As soon as we got there, Purple Swamphen were showing better than earlier, and Griffon Vulture and Black Kite were very visible.

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