We’re delighted to offer this new winter trip to Spain to seek out the iconic & beautiful Iberian lynx.
In this amazing wildlife tour, we will visit one of the last strongholds of the Iberian Lynx, one of the rarest cats in the world. After many years of being on the brink of the extinction due to habitat fragmentation and lack of its main prey (Rabbit), the Iberian Lynx is recovering. This apex predator will be our main target, along with many other mammals and birds, particularly raptors, which roam in the Mediterranean forest of the Natural Park of Sierra de Andújar.
In order to find this elusive cat, we will spend most of the morning and afternoon at the watch points, listening to the characteristic mew of the Lynx and scanning the surrounding forest. In addition, we will visit other corners in the park to look for Spanish Ibex and Otter.
Our accommodation for the holiday will be in a cosy and friendly B&B located in the Natural Park, Casa Rural Las Catenas https://www.lascatenas.com. In the surroundings of the rural hotel you will find a stone pine forest teeming with birds, particularly Iberian Magpies.
On the second part of the trip, we will be located in the Hotel Llano Piña in Loja, Granada www.llanopina.com from which we will explore the surroundings looking for birds.
Day 1. Saturday 15th Málaga airport – Andújar Natural Park (2 h 40 min).
If time allows, we will spend the afternoon looking for Lynx in the amazing Natural Park of Sierra de Andújar. This well-preserved forest holds a healthy population of mammals and raptors which take advantage of the numerous Rabbit that are restocked for the Lynx. In winter, during the mating season, Lynxes become more active and are seen patrolling their territories. In addition, they also become more vocal, and this makes it easier to find them at this time of year.
Day 2,3 and 4. Sunday 16th, Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th. Andújar Natural Park.
During the following days, we will visit public areas and also enjoy exclusive access to private estates to increase our chances of encountering the Iberian lynx. In addition, we should see the stunning Spanish Imperial Eagle displaying, and hear their distinctive “crock crock” calls. Golden Eagles are also a possibility and the largest bird in Europe, the Black Vulture, is frequently seen. Little Owls nest between the granite rocks, and Rock Buntings, Hawfinches and warblers can be seen moving from bush to bush. Corn Buntings flock together, and Hoopoes are usually seen feeding on the meadows.
Day 5. Wednesday 19th. Andújar Natural Park-Loja (2 h 25 m)
After a morning search for the Lynx, we will departure to our next hotel in Huétor Tájar. The rest of the day will be spent driving around the farmland looking for some birds, including Stone Curlew and Little Bustard. Accommodation in Hotel Llano Piña in the town of Loja www.llanopina.com
Day 6. Thursday 20th. Fuente de Piedra Lagoon (45 m)
The Fuente de Piedra lagoon is one of the most important breeding places for Greater Flamingos in Europe. In winter, several thousand Common Cranes overwinter in the lagoon and feed in the nearby farmland. Other birds we might see today include Hen Harrier and different species of wildfowl and waders.
Day 7. Friday 21st. Loja-Málaga airport (50 m)
If times allows, we will spend few hours in the Guadalhorce river before going to the airport.
Important information: For the Lynx part of the tour there will be short distance walks and morning/evening hours patiently scanning the forest from strategic viewpoints. We will spend most of the day out in the field and in the same areas to maximise our chances to see the Lynx. Please be aware that temperature during early morning can be below 0 ºC