Tag Archives: birdwatching in spain

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Sierra Nevada Mountains in Almeria - 10 months a year snowed.
Sierra Nevada Mountains in Almeria – 10 months a year snowed.

Sierra Nevada mountains

Ragua mountain-pass, where Almeria changes its name by Granada.

Few people visiting Spain know that Sierra Nevada mountains are in a big extension part of Almeria province, and not only in Granada, although this second one has traditionally used commercially the name, thanks to their high peaks Mulhacen and Veleta , worldwide famous because of their ski areas, and because also of the famous Alhambra palaces and gardens at its foothill.

Granada lose its name becoming Almeria just at the place of Puerto de la Ragua (Ragua mountain-pass) at a high of 2000 meters above sea level. The panoramic view so as the pure air are really astonishing, and also it is a small paradise for those in love with geography and geology; coming from Almeria side it is a short-way of visiting Nevada Complex geo-locations without going no more far away.

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Just at the top of Ragua peak we will find metamorphic rocks as micaschist and quartzites, the same ones than in Veleta-Granada peak; the symmetry of both slopes at north and south is nearly perfect at this point. Coming down a little bit we will find the next geo-level with more metamorphic rocks as schist and marble, and downhill in the valleys it begin to appear phyllites and dolomites. At the bottom of the mountains, where the highs evolve in hills, we find recent sediment formations coming from the dismantling of Sierra Nevada along millions of years while it was slowly lifted-up (geologically talking). Only can be missed in this area the glaciar landscape, and although it is really there, it is not so prominent as in Granada highs because of the lower altitude of this area, so glaciars where never not so active as in Mulhacen and other Nevada western peaks. As something curious we can say also that some hills built in carbonates, limestone and dolomites (Triasic period around 240 million years ago)  can be found in some places at the northern planes.

Water coming from ice-melting generate in Ragua valleys a precious resource of life for the lands underneath, including the so-called Plastic Sea, faraway in the coast; these mountain streams anyway cannot be considered as real rivers, although sometimes after winter snowfalls they can become very active, and the flow can be very intense as dangerous.

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Water from Sierra Nevada mountains is the main wealth of Almeria western coast; without it, the miracle of plastic greenhouses would be absolutely impossible. Both legal figures of National and Natural Parks protect this special almerian area, just with its continuation towards West in Granada.

On the other hand we must say that this region is amazing from a natural history and landscape point of view; a real cultural and human landscape absolutely anchored in time, linked to the amazigh (the free men) tribes living here along centuries, cultures that were very difficult to be conquered by the big empires of Rome, Arabs and Christians; although finally the moriscs (descendant people of these tribes) were expelled from Spain, they came back slowly and adapted themselves to a more modern way of life; they (we) feel proud of our history, linked to Sierra Nevada mountains.

  BOOK YOUR sierra nevada mountains TRIP NOW 

Our Gata Geopark partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain (Sierra Nevada trips in Granada)

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Desert photography ideas

Desert photography ideas at salty coastal marshes of Almeria. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide.
Desert photography ideas at salty coastal marshes of Almeria. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide.

Desert photography ideas

Almeria is one of the most important destinations for wildlife and nature photographers from all Europe and some parts of  North America, South Africa and Australia. Advanced travellers and professional photographers that do not want to lose their holiday-work time. So it is very important to know what are you looking for (birds, architecture, land formations, landscape, sunrises/sunsets, perhaps others??), so important as knowing well the language of the place your visiting and what places are allowed to visit or not; all these clues will improve your time for being used in the real thing that you are looking for when travelling: taking your pictures.

Weather in Almeria is unpredictable for anyone that is not a local, and sometimes it can really ruin your day. You need to learn how to move yourself in a windy day or with flash-floods risk, so that you finally reach your goals succesfully, and although almost times visitors coming to Almeria they enjoy a nice weather with clear and intense blue skies, you will never be exempt of storms and gales… also so usual here, and as said before… unpredictable.

Desert photography ideas at geology landforms in Almeria coastal locations. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide.
Desert photography ideas at geology landforms in Almeria coastal locations. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide.

Wind: When wind is blowing, you must know that Almeria lands are abundantly mountainous, so you can shelter yourself always at one or other side of the hills (poniente versus levante), and do your work at the other slope of the valley in which wind is blowing from.

Sea storms: Sea is always nice for painting and art, so as for photogaphy and photographers; but always take care of the shore level when you are in the middle of a gale; shore level can change in a moment and ruin all your work; on the other hand tides are not relevant in this side of Mediterranean Sea.

Flash floods: keep always far away of ramblas (temporary seasonal riverbeds); they never will warn you that they come-down with tons of water and bolders in only some seconds/minutes; keep always a security distance from these floodable places.

Snow: Almeria mountains usually enjoy snow-storms in winter and spring times; be always careful with dirt-tracks and take at any moment notice of how you can leave the place in an alert situation.

Summer: never never never forget to take some litres of drinkable cool water in your car, mainly while travelling in the desert and up the lost mountains.

Winter: Don´t forget to place your warm cloths always inside the car-boot; you don´t know in which moment they will be much more useful than your camera or your own car.

Luggage: Although Almeria is a highly safe destination, never forget to leave nothing inside the car when you park it in lonely places; it is the only way to avoid anywhere uncomfortable situations.

Desert photography ideas for landscape and uses of the land at south Spain. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide and photographer.
Desert photography ideas for landscape and uses of the land at south Spain. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide and photographer.

Of course, the best option will be always trust your local guide, because he/she will know what to do at any moment and will ensure that your photography trips or art tours become totally successful and enjoyable along your stay in our lands.

At any case Almeria will make a difference in your photography and art trip. These were only some desert photography ideas for those travelling by themselves, with no external assistance or nature guiding.

Do you want any more desert photography ideas or perhaps do you want to book a trip with me?.

  BOOK YOUR photography / art FIELD TRIP NOW 

Our partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Geography Field Trips

Geography Field Trips. Looking for birds in Los Velez lands at Almeria northern territory.
Geography Field Trips. Looking for birds in Los Velez lands at Almeria northern territory.

Geography Field Trips

Almeria is the southernmost province of the spanish region named Andalucia, just with 7 other provinces: Cordoba, Granada, Sevilla, Huelva, Cadiz, Jaen and Malaga. Because of the tectonic plates movement, Africa plates are literally pushing up the land in this side of the iberian peninsula… and so Almeria is the most mountainous province of Spain.

Also Almeria is the driest one, and it is because of Sierra Nevada mountains that run just between Almeria and Granada. Rain-clouds usually come from the Atlantic side, and this huge range of mountains (Sierra nevada) stop them just here; because of this reason Granada is a rainy region and Almeria is so dry. Something different happens at the end of summer, when the Mediterranean sea-currents bring clouds from outside the sea. Then is the moment for the well-known phenomenon called flash floods (riadas), that although they can happen along every season, it is something usual to happen at the end of summer, for different reasons.

Geography Field Trips. Studying gypsum supercones at ancient seabed in Almeria desert.
Geography Field Trips. Studying gypsum supercones at ancient seabed in Almeria desert.

This  aridity, just with the diverse geomorphology of the territory, make Almeria one of the most deared places for running Geography Field Trips; volcanic materials at Cabo de Gata, metamorfic rocks in Nevada and Filabres mountains, limestone and silex in Los Velez lands, evaporitic and marine sedimentary  rocks in the desert and the Saint Andrea big fault... are an excellent scene for running a Geography Field Trip to understand the story of Earth, at the same time that we can see all kind of animals and plants living in the most extreme and stressed possible conditions.

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Geography Field Trips. Studying volcanic andesite and ignimbrite landforms at the sea level in Cabo de Gata National Park.

Warm and sunny weather in winter help us to be one of most favourite places for running these Geography Field Trips for universities of all around the world, mainly Europe and North America. Just in winter when it is raining and snowing hard in other places, Almeria keeps its well known winter-sunny-days.

A lost paradise in the Mediterranean, a geme for geologists, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and just at south Europe; Almeria is the ideal place for running your Geography Field Trip. Look for your quote; we can attend individuals so as groups, always building tailored and flexible trips, attending to your targets.

  BOOK YOUR geography field TRIP NOW 

Our partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Bird watching guide

Bird watching guide: individual or group trips and tours. Advanced birdwatching and amateur birding.
Bird watching guide: individual or group trips and tours. Advanced birdwatching and amateur birding.

Bird watching guide in Almeria

Almeria is a paradise for birdwatchers, advanced or amateurs… it is a place where we can spot easily african species as the trumpeter finch or the black-bellied sandgrouse. Because of its geography, there are different areas where we can look for different birds: cliffs, shores, marshes, steppes, mountains and much more

A birdwatching day can give us many surprises here at south Spain, if we travel to locations where some species can be found in its appropriate season; for example look for (and find) the white-headed duck colonies at the western marshes in winter time is not difficult, or spotting the crake in Cabo de Gata marshes at spring time it is simple if you know where to find them.

Some other birds can be easily spotted as the greater flamingo, and other ones are a bit more rare, as the wryneck or the blue rock-thrush.

Bird watching guide: individual or group trips and tours. Advanced birdwatching and amateur birding.
Bird watching guide: individual or group trips and tours. Advanced birdwatching and amateur birding.

My experience as an Almeria birdwatching guide comes back from early times; in 2007 I worked proffesionaly for the Spanish Bird Society inventoring winter birds in Almeria and Granada provinces and afterwards I worked along one more winter, inventoring forest-breeding raptors. So what I offer is not only to enjoy a unique birding trip in Almeria (and Granada) but also my own experience to make easy a birdwatching day… so you can improve your time… and why not??… you can visit the places afterwards by yourself also, with your rental car. Anyway do not forget that in many places you can be required permits by private wardens or environmental public controls.

A birdwatching day with a Bird watching guide is more than looking for birds. My experience with people travelling from different countries along years, some of them very far away, has been amazing till this moment. It looks as if watching birds was only the excuse for going out to the country side with a knowledgable guide to look for plants, butterflies, culture, geology, landscape, snakes, lizards, mammals and everything happening in the trip, just in front of us while travelling… and of course looking for birds.

  BOOK YOUR BIRDWATCHING TRIP NOW 

Bird watching guide: individual or group trips and tours. Advanced birdwatching and amateur birding.
Bird watching guide: individual or group trips and tours. Advanced birdwatching and amateur birding.


Our partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras