A colossus in our mountains! With a wingspan of 2.8 metres and weighing 8 kilos, that’s 9 foot and 17lbs in old money, Griffon Vultures Gyps fulvus is our largest resident raptor here in the Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema.
Essentially a specialist carrion eater, this enormous bird is spectacular and the most easily seen raptor in our mountains. Throughout Spain, this species has increased steadily over the past 15 years by the provision of feeding stations, the last official census carried out to ascertain the number of breeding birds put the population at 17,000 pairs.
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Continue reading Griffon Vulture of the Serranía
Bonelli’s Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) master of our skies.
If you were to search for an emblematic species which would define the importance of the Serranía de Ronda and the Sierra de Grazalema for wildlife, then the Bonelli’s Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) would be the definitive and unequivocal choice.
Among the rarest species of raptor in Europe, the Bonelli’s Eagle has perhaps, for the moment, its highest breeding density in the world right here in the Serranía de Ronda!
Continue reading Bonelli’s Eagle, Icon of the Serranía
The park Dehesa del Mercadillo is a pine forest just outside Ronda on the Ronda-Sevilla road, and is very easy to get to, however the direct route doesn’t take in any of the valley below Ronda, but using the industrial area of Ronda as a starting point passes through some gorgeous countryside with mountains on the horizon, along farm roads with numerous horse studs before finally entering the forest from the north. Continue reading Ronda Walk Pine Forest Dehesa del Mercadillo
I guess the first impressions you get from seeing a Hoopoe for the first time is a mixture of the comical as well as the beautiful! With its striking colours and very distinct black and white wing pattern the Hoopoe is a favourite among even the most casual observer.
The Hoopoe is a one-off polytypic species and is distributed widely throughout the Western Paleartic, but is only a resident in southern Spain, northern Africa, Egypt and the Lebanon. It is one of those birds whose presence during the winter months can more than make-up for the cooler temperatures.
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Continue reading Hoopoe – Upupa Epops (Abubilla) in the Serranía de Ronda