Places for Observing Animals
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WILDLIFE-OBSERVATION AREAS

The probability of seeing wildlife relatively frequently is one of the park's most important and renowned attractions. Red deer, fallow deer, mouflon, Spanish ibex, wild boar and a number of different birds of prey are all abundant in the park as a result of its rugged terrain, extensive size and excellent state of conservation.

Places for Observing Animals

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However, it is important to bear the following considerations in mind to ensure your hopes of spotting wildlife are not frustrated and that your presence does not disturb the animals:

  • The presence or otherwise of wild animals can never be predicted. In no place and at no time can it be guaranteed that you will see a particular animal. Although it may sound obvious, remember that the park is not a zoo.
  • Most animals will only been seen from far away, so it is important that you bring binoculars.
  • The practice of observing animals in the wild is dependent on a range of different environmental conditions, including the time of year, time of day and, above all, climate conditions. Generally, large herbivores can be observed during the first and last hours of daylight, while the large birds of prey are more visible at midday: this is when they make use of hot-air currents to aid their flight.
  • The colouring of the large herbivores' hides serves to camouflage them in their natural habitat, so you must be patient and persevere if you wish to observe them. Most often, you will become aware of their presence when they move.
  • Our impact on the environment in which the animals live must be minimal. Following the rules and adopting the approaches listed below will make it easier for you to observe the animals and also ensure that disturbance is kept to a minimum:
    • Try to move unseen. It is preferable to go alone or in small groups, and to dress appropriately in muted colours. Bear in mind that the animals will very probably become aware of your presence long before you become aware of theirs, given that their fear of us is genetically inscribed after thousands of years of human persecution.
    • Silence is crucial. Take the opportunity to listen to and interpret the thousands of sounds made by the natural world that usually go unnoticed.
    • Never attempt to chase animals or encroach upon the most intimate parts of their environment, such as nests or the areas in which they give birth and raise their young: you could cause irreparable damage and expose yourself to aggressive responses.
    • We recommend that you stay on the trails and paths.
    • All the park's animal species are protected under specific legislation, which must be respected. If you follow these recommendations, you will not encounter any problems when observing wildlife.
  • Within the park there are specialist companies that are authorised to take visitors in four-wheel-drive vehicles to areas where private cars are not permitted; specifically, areas in which wildlife can frequently be observed.
  • The rutting season of the red deer is one of the most popular events in the park. The area in which it is most commonly observed is Bujaraiza, near the Tranco reservoir; however, there are other, less visited spots where rutting also occurs and which are very near the park, such as the foothills of the Morena mountains near G√©nave, Puente de G√©nave and Arroyo del Ojanco. These are large, privately owned game reserves in which deer are very abundant, although they must of course be observed from the other side of the perimeter fences.
  • In the Collado del Almendral Wildlife Park it is very easy to see red deer, fallow deer, mouflon and Spanish ibex in semi-captivity.

Bear in mind that, besides the large herbivores and birds of prey, the park is full of many other animals that are very enjoyable to watch. Squirrels are extremely abundant, for example, as are smaller, forest-dwelling birds such as crested tits, coal tits, blue tits and finches, among many others.

The unmistakeable call of small nocturnal birds of prey, such as tawny owls and Eurasian scops owls, is commonly heard throughout the park's forests and around its villages and hamlets.

If you approach the rivers you will be able to spot the Eurasian dipper, which lives in clean, fast-flowing waters, and of course the ubiquitous trout, not to mention the thousands of species of invertebrates and the small amphibians and reptiles that make their homes in the park.

Sometimes, the park's most dramatic hunting scenes involve nothing more than a gecko lying in wait to catch mosquitoes, clinging with infinite patience to the white walls of a farmhouse during a fresh, star-speckled summer night.

ROUTES OF ORNITHOLOGICAL INTEREST

In the southern part of the park and nearby areas there are ten routes of particular ornithological interest. All of them are in areas that are easy to reach, boast outstanding natural beauty and feature information panels at the start that provide comprehensive information about the route, surroundings and different bird species that can be observed.

Below are listed the different routes and some of the most notable species that can be observed there:

Cerrada del Utrero
Griffon vulture, kingfisher, Eurasian dipper, red-billed chough, golden oriole, mottled swift.

Lake Valdeazores
Eurasian sparrowhawk, Northern goshawk, grey heron, little grebe, common moorhen, mallard, Eurasian coot, great crested grebe, tawny owl, golden oriole.

River Borosa
Northern goshawk, eagle owl, golden eagle, Eurasian sparrowhawk, tawny owl, Eurasian dipper, kingfisher, golden oriole, Eurasian siskin, red-rumped swallow.

Cueva de La Malena
Griffon vulture, peregrine falcon, common buzzard, kingfisher, common firecrest, common crossbill, Bonelli's warbler.

El Chorro
Booted eagle, griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, goshawk, peregrine falcon, crag martin, common crossbill.

La Presilla
Peregrine falcon, griffon vulture, little owl, red-billed chough, black wheatear, cirl bunting, blue rock thrush, crag martin, Eurasian siskin, redwing.

Alto Guadalquivir-Puente de la Cerrada Beauty Spot
Common moorhen, Western marsh harrier, Montagu's harrier, black kite, water rail, gadwall, Northern shoveller, common pochard, Eurasian reed warbler, common sandpiper, common ringed plover.

El Chillar
Peregrine falcon, common kestrel, eagle owl, little owl, Eurasian stone curlew, black-eared wheatear, zitting cisticola, meadow pipit, rock sparrow, European bee-eater, European roller, cattle egret.

Barranco del Guadalentín
Bearded vulture, golden eagle, short-toed eagle, booted eagle, Bonelli's eagle, peregrine falcon, Eurasian sparrowhawk, goshawk, citril finch, golden oriole, Eurasian dipper, common firecrest, Bonelli's warbler.

Arroyo Guazalamanco
Eurasian sparrowhawk, common buzzard, goshawk, great spotted cuckoo, red-rumped swallow, azure-winged magpie, Eurasian dipper, wren, golden oriole, robin.

 

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