La Janda Bird Calendar

Much of the following information is taken from ‘Birdwatching on  Spain’s Southern Coast’ – an invaluable guide book by John R.Butler (see ‘Books & Information page). I have paraphrased a little here and there and added bits that relate to my own personal experiences of birdwatching here ; all photographs are my own and taken at the site.

When to visit

An atmospheric and interesting site at all times, but without doubt the winter and passage periods produce the greater variety of species, and northern visitors increase the population numbers of many of the resident birds. Visits in the height of summer are not recommended: the heat can be very oppressive at this time, most of the area will have dried out and the cultivated crops will have grown so high that there will be very little chance of seeing any birds that may be present. Heat haze will also doubtless be a problem at this time too.

Due to the open and exposed nature of the site, exploration of it on windy and rainy days may also prove difficult and uncomfortable. In the late autumn and winter the area may also be subject to heavy morning mists that occur on sunny days and are caused by rising water vapour, but provided it remains warm and sunny the mists quickly burn off .

Useful general information

This is a vast area and binoculars are more or less essential; a telescope is a big advantage although on very windy days can be difficult to use.

This is definitely a site best viewed from a vehicle: the majority of the tracks around the site are elevated above the surrounding areas, offering excellent views out across the plains. The state of the tracks is a bit hit and miss and subject to the wear and tear of the elements that may leave sections rutted, potholed or even flooded, particularly following sustained wet weather. Although almost always drivable in a 4×4 vehicle, the route is usually passable with care in an average car.

BIRD CALENDAR for site & surrounding area


Little Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Mallard, Griffon Vulture, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard,

Red-legged Partridge

Bonelli’s Eagle, Peregrine, Kestrel, Pheasant, Red-legged Partridge, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Swamp Hen, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Wood pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Eagle Owl, Tawny Owl, Kingfisher, Woodlark, Crested Lark, Calandra Lark, Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Robin, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Great Grey Shrike, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, Spanish Sparrow, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Corn Bunting, Rock Bunting, Cirl Bunting


Little Bittern, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Montagu’s Harrier, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Quail, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Little-ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Scops Owl, Barn Owl, European Nightjar, Little Swift, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Short-toed Lark, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Nightingale, Rufous Bush Chat, Redstart, Black-eared Wheatear, Reed Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Ortolan Warbler.


Great White Egret, Greylag Goose, Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Shoveler, Osprey, Red Kite, Black-winged Kite, Black Vulture, Hen Harrier, Golden Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Merlin, Common Crane, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Sanderling, Little Stint, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Whimbrel, Redshank, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Great Spotted Cuckoo (Feb), Long-eared Owl, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Bluethroat, Chiffchaff, Iberian Chiffchaff, Penduline Tit, Starling, Siskin, Reed Bunting


15/11/07-Night Heron

Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Purple Heron, Black Stork, Garganey, Honey Buzzard, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Short-eared Owl, Roller, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Tree Pipit, Winchat, Northern Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Golden Oriole

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