Can’t wait for 2017’s chal­lenge!

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

Hav­ing been fly­ing in and out of south-west Spain sev­eral times a year for almost a decade, I would agree with your cor­re­spon­dent Robin Springett (Bird Watch­ing Novem­ber 2016) that Malaga air­port is of­ten over­crowded with long queues for var­i­ous ser­vices (although it does serve a lot more re­gional air­ports in the UK than any of the al­ter­na­tives). How­ever, I am sur­prised by his com­ments re­gard­ing Jerez air­port and his rec­om­men­da­tion of Gi­bral­tar. Aerop­uerto de Jerez has a good range of hire car com­pa­nies, four or five of which have booths al­low­ing you to sort out your ren­tal while you wait for your lug­gage (Sixt and Hertz are off­site but well served by a cour­tesy bus). Far from hav­ing poor ac­cess, the air­port has ex­cel­lent links to Spain’s mo­tor­way net­work. While it takes twice the time to drive to Tar­ifa from Jerez air­port than from Gi­bral­tar (90 mins vs 45 mins), the po­ten­tial for de­lays at the Spain/gi­bral­tar border can of­ten negate this ad­van­tage. In ad­di­tion, there are a num­ber of su­perb bird­ing sites (e.g. Mesas de Asta marsh, Lan­gu­nas de Puerto de Santa Maria, La­guna de Me­d­ina and the Bo­nanza area) within 15-35 min­utes of Aerop­uerto de Jerez – fly­ing there is no chore. John Can­telo (read John’s full let­ter at bird­watch­­ish­bird­ing) I’m new to bird­ing and just want to put to pen to pa­per to say what a great idea your 200 bird chal­lenge is – I can’t wait to get stuck in and I’m sure I’ll find the tips and ad­vice you pro­vide through­out the year in­valu­able! If I don’t ac­tu­ally see 200 birds then that’s fine, as just tak­ing part in the chal­lenge will be fun. Hav­ing said that, I do want to get as close to that fig­ure as I can! I’ll start on New Year’s Day will a fam­ily walk around my lo­cal park – I’ll keep you posted how I get on through­out the year! Bar­bara Jones

Ed’s re­ply: Paul Ha­worth It gives me no greater plea­sure to put aside a Satur­day morn­ing to en­joy your mag­a­zine over a large cap­puc­cino. I have never emailed you be­fore but feel I have to to­day. My hus­band and I have been en­joy­ing BBC’S Planet Earth II so much, and I en­joyed the piece about New York’s Pere­grines just as much, too. To read such a well writ­ten ar­ti­cle about one of their ex­pe­di­tions was truly cap­ti­vat­ing. Thank you to writer Matt Bri­er­ley for his words. More of the same, please, it was like po­etry to a bird lover! In the spring we are go­ing to New York and now I will be sure to take the binoc­u­lars to see the ‘bad-ass’ Pere­grines!! Thank you again, what a lovely mag­a­zine you pro­duce. Gloria Brown

Ed’s re­ply: Blue Rock Thrush in Ex­tremadura @Bird­er_­grif­fon Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker in the gar­den here near Bolton. Feed­ing on suet balls @Phil_­page227

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