The hotel in Cordoba faced the River Guadalquivir overlooking the old town and the Mezquita, the old mosque built by the Moors and converted to a church when the Christians reconquered Spain. The river was spanned by a 250m Roman Bridge near to the hotel which led to the Mezquita so the hotel was in an excellent position. However for me the best thing about the hotel was the fact that it overlooked the river which was shallow and broad and well vegetated at the sides and on the small islands in the middle of it. The area has been designated a nature reserve presumably in preparation of Cordobas honour of being European city of culture in a few years time.
|View of the river and Mezquita from the pavement outside the Hotel with the Roman bridge to the right|
|Nature Reserve Notice Board - I saw all these birds except for Squacco Heron|
|Cordoba by night - Roman bridge and Mezquita|
|Long tailed Blue, Cordoba Alcazar|
Along the river I saw a juvenile night heron, an adult and juvenile little ringed plover, a kingfisher, a crag martin , common sandpipers, cormorant, grey wagtail, spotless starlings and little egrets. Cettis warblers called frequently and a fly by red rumped swallow was seen within 5 minutes of wandering around the hotel roof area when we arrived at the hotel. Early morning walks along the river side provided views of a redstart, a pied flycatcher, 2 fan tailed warblers, a fly over yellow wagtail of unknown race, great tit, 7 ring necked parakeets, a whitethroat and bizzarely a common waxbill, Spain and Portugal having a healthy feral population of these escaped cage birds.
Evenings saw flocks of cattle egrets heading upriver to roost. Surprise bird was a honey buzzard which flew over the river early one morning being mobbed by a jackdaw, this being a new bird for me.
We headed off on the 25th to Medina Azahara, a ruined Moorish city 7kms outside Cordoba for a day trip. The ruins were not majorly interesting and the highlight of the site, the Salon Rico, was closed for restoration. However the ruins of the mosque were impressive and I saw some good birds including 2 hoopoes, a male and female blue rock thrush, a flyover female crossbill chipping away, crested larks, serins, a flyover yellow wagtail of unknown race, a flyover white stork with a nest seen on an electricity pylon and lots of red rumped swallows.
|Ruined mosque, Medina Azahara|
|Red rumped swallow|