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Sunday 8th January 2017 - Punta Umbria walk

weather: mostly sunny with some clouds, light westerly wind, max temp 15C

Punta Umbria circular walk.

Dawn and I set off from the village for the walk around the hillside of La Umbria found along the Ronda road. The walk is about 7km in all and takes you through some superb 'ancient' cork oak woodlands with open glades, stands of pine, carob and sweet chestnut. It is because of this diverse woodland habitat that such a good range of woodland bird species can be found there especially in the spring and summer.
view of mature oaks

looking back to Gaucin and El Hacho

We bumped into two Firecrests after just 50 meters into the wood, then a series of sightings included; Robin, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Blue Tit.

On the south side of the hill a section of much older mature cork oak trees straddle the slopes this where we saw Eurasian Nuthatch, Crested Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and we heard Great Spotted Woodpecker 'drumming'.
view across to Cortes de la Frontera
As we rounded the last section of the woodland the tree species changed, large areas of sweet chestnut trees stood in silence, bereft of leaves and birds. Another woodpecker drummed as we started the descent back to the village.
fellow walkers!
A Short-toed Treecreeper was a good find, another species for my year list, Griffon Vultures drifted over all morning heading in all directions with no particular place to go.
plants and lichen growing on the rock - we counted 8 different species in this picture
more growth on a cork oak tree-trunk
A stunning male Black Redstart seen just outside the village gave us a few minutes enjoyment, it really was a corker. Other species seen as we finished were Sardinian Warbler, Crag Martin and Raven.

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