Andalucia Diary – Seasonal Travel Notes

Griffon Vultures – a little bit of Monday Serendipity?

Okay, I'm going all tree huggy, hippy now….

Stepping out onto the terrace at the
Cortijo this morning I heard birds above. 
Coming towards the house was a large group of birds. This isn’t uncommon
at this time of year, as many species migrate through Andalucía, down to the coast
to cross the Strait to Africa.

Serendipidy - Vultures over the house

As the birds approached, they began to
circle, and I immediately recognised them as Griffon Vultures, a familiar sight
in Andalucía. Yet I have very very rarely seen them near the Cortijo – there are
no colonies nearby. Almost as quickly as they arrived and started circling,
they flew off to the mountains. I went to get my phone, but by the time I was out on the terrace again, I only managed the rubbish shot above of the birds in the distance over the mountain, as

Later I drove down to the Marbella to run
errands and then go our home nearby.  I
was stunned to see a huge committee of vultures directly over our house!! This
is just so extraordinary. I was just motionless as I stood and looked up as the
birds were spiralling above – it was a remarkable sight.The two inset images are of the birds over the house on the coast.

Also I have never ever seen vultures so
close to the coast and never near our house – they are always in the craggy
mountains. Also here is nothing for them, as the forest and woodlands are
clean, having been burnt only two months ago. 
Usually vultures stay close to authorised Junta de Andalucía feeding
stations set up to maintain colonies that no longer find carcasses on the
ground due to EU farm rules etc. Here on the coast it is much more common to
see short toed or booted eagles.

The birds continued to circle overhead and
get closer and close – some flew over my head.

I was so dump struck that I didn’t even
reach for my phone to photograph them until they had spiralled up to about 30
metres or more and then started to fly away.

It was such an intense experience.  Vultures get bad press in popular culture,
but they are in fact remarkable birds that are highly respected in many
cultures and through history for their spiritual significance.

These are birds that do not kill – instead they
are part of nature’s cleaning and purifying processes. They clean up carcasses
and mess and yet are a species that don’t spread disease; they eliminate it.

What a wonderful sight laden with potential
meaning; these amazing animals, so often considered ugly are in fact graceful
and peaceful, non aggressive seen by many  as icons of spirituality, representing positive
change and transformation, protectuon and the purification of mind, body and soul….well there you go 🙂

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Andrew ForbesTravel & Lifestyle Marketing Communications Consultant | Travel Editor Web: Twitter : @andrewaforbes Instagram @andrewaforbes and @luxurynavigatorView all posts by Andrew Forbes »