Monday, May 6th: We again started the day on the beach at our hotel in Zahara. The birds were pretty much the same this morning, with the addition of a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Sardinian Warbler European Goldfinch
Sardinian Warbler European Goldfinch

We left soon after breakfast for Tarifa. Our first stop was Playa de los Lances, a beach in Tarifa. There was a decent raptor movement going on, with lots of Honey-Buzzards, but we didn't add anything new to our list. It's amazing how varied the Honey-Buzzards are.

Then we went into Tarifa itself. We got some supplies, coffee (and for me Diet Coke) at a cafe, and spent a lot of time scanning the straits. A couple of Common Terns flew by us. A Great Cormorant landed on the breakwater. A distant bird was probably a Great Skua. A number of likley Scopoli's Shearwater went by, but none were close enough to be sure of. We could be sure of a close Audouin's Gull. We had lunch while watching the birds. There were also more raptors moving over, including a poorly seen Egyptian Vulture and local raptors such as the Lesser Kestrels that live in Tarifa.

Statue of Guzman El Bueno Tarifa Statue of Sancho IV the Brave
Statue of Guzman El Bueno Tarifa Statue of Sancho IV the Brave

Eventually it was time to head on. We headed north and inland, stopping at Bolonia Viewpoint. Again we watched the raptors overhead. This time we got a good view of an Egyptian Vulture. A distant Blue Rock-Thrush was perched high on a rock hillside, and we heard Eurasian Hoopoe.

Next came the long drive to El Rocio. A Common Cuckoo was sitting on a wire, but otherwise, there was nothing of note until El Rocio, when several Iberian (Azure-winged) Magpies fly along and across the road.

The Doñana wetlands start right behind our hotel, and we soon walked over and set up our scopes. There were numerous waterbird, including over 100 flamingos. I found a couple of Northern Shovelers, and a possible Eurasian Wigeon. At this point someone noticed some Common Sandpipers. A couple of Graylag Goose were present further right. Then we got our first looks at a special bird: the Spanish Imperial-Eagle. It sitting at the top of a distant tree. We also found a Great Crested Grebe and some Red Deer.

After a break, we had dinner with a view of the wetlands. A couple of flocks of Purple Herons fly by as we ate. More flamingos also came in. It was a nice introduction to Coto Doñana.

I encountered 61 species today, including 5 lifers. The trip total is now 107, including 28 lifers.

Hotel Toruño, El Rocio