Can’t wait for 2017’s challenge!
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 birdwatching.co.uk/spanishbirding) 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