still has notices warning that it’s a military road and access is prohibited. However, for some years a raptor watching viewpoint has operated from behind a large and obvious white villa. This site gets much the same birds as nearby Cazalla, but birds tend, perhaps, to be lower and offer closer views. Hence it can be a good spot for photographing raptors. Formerly a restricted military area, until recently the road ended abruptly at a barrier and guardhouse, but now you can drive through the abandoned military base and park above Punta Camorro. The views across towards Africa from here are stunning. Obviously, it’s also good for passing raptors, but keep a sharp eye on migrants here – both
Seebohm’s Wheatear and Moussier’s Redstart have turned up in recent years.
However, where it scores is the fact that there’s huge sandy beach with a large tidal pool which attracts a wide variety of waders (inc. Kentish & Grey Plover, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Knot, etc.), gulls (esp. Audouin’s) and terns (inc. Lesser Crested). Raptors also frequently drift over adding spice to the birding.
The downside is that, despite its status as a Nature Reserve where such activities are banned, the area is frequently disturbed by dog walkers, horse riders and particularly surfers with the latter brazenly setting up within metres of the
small hide here. A code of conduct and publicity having been tried without success in spring 2013, in an attempt to
discourage surfers and protect the reserve, 700 posts were rammed into the sand. However, in an act of organised eco-vandalism within weeks over 600 were removed (see www.tarifaaldia.com/index.php?opcion=39&id_new=8942). So if you want to avoid confrontations, go early or when the winds are unsuitable for surfing. It can also be worth to
head further along the beach to check out the belt of pines for migrants.
precisely the time when small numbers of Wilson’s Petrel have been seen on specially chartered boat trips. Given how recently this phenomenon has been discovered other seabirds may yet also turn out to be more frequent than records suggest. Even on whale watching trips you have a fair chance of getting good views of Cory’s and Balearic Shearwaters, Great Skua and Audouin’s Gull. (Note - Tarifa island is still in the hands of the military and inaccessible to those without a permit).