Ornithology in Tarifa in the Straits of Gibraltar
Among the natural parks of Los Alcornocales and the Estrecho is Tarifa, at the southernmost tip of the European continent, in the Strait of Gibraltar.
The distance between Europe and Africa at this point, is only 14km, which makes this narrow passage the shortest for migratory birds from northern Europe. Also part of the the Natural Parks of the area of the Strait are the wetlands, an ideal stop for birds to regain their strength before or after their long migration across the ocean and the desert.
But Tarifa is not only a place where you can see migratory birds but also found here are many native birds to Spain as it’s a peaceful and safe place to nest; in all a wide variety can be spotted throughout the year.
Tarifa is a popular setting for ornithologists worldwide.
Among the raptors are Kites, Ospreys, Booted eagles, Short-Toed eagles and Harriers. Various types of vultures such as the Griffon vulture or Egyptian vulture, but also the nocturnals such as the owls others should be mentioned. The countryside of Tarifa is also important for white and black storks and various herons.
Close by in the Zahara you may find a colony of Black Ibis who have lived in the area for several years. The area of Tarifa extends to the salt flats of San Fernando, where there are many ornithological look outs. The most important in Tarifa is the Cazalla viewpoint, from where you can see the entire area. There’s also smaller look outs on the trails around Los Lances from where you can spot the smaller species around the wetlands. Other highlights include La Janda, La Cañada Real, Facinas, Benalup and Guadalmesí. In the Campo de Gibraltar there are 17 official look outs, 10 of which belong directly to the municipality of Tarifa