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El Chorro Gorge in Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park

in Cazorla Municipality in Jaén Province, Andalucia, Spain
By Nick Nutter | 7 Jul 2020
Griffon Vulture Nesting Grounds Griffon Vulture

El Chorro Gorge forms a deep indent running north-west to south-east into the limestone cliffs in the Sierra Cazorla near Cazorla itself. The viewing points are on top of the gorge. During the morning it is best to have the sun behind you and watch from the eastern edge whilst during the afternoon the sun will be behind you if you are on the western side. Afternoon viewing is best since the thermals will be stronger than in the morning and the cloud that often envelopes these high peaks first thing should hopefully have dissipated. There is a good hide on the western side, very welcome when the sun is beating down.

Griffon Vultures

You are almost certain to see Griffon Vultures. When we were there the young vultures were on the nests and the parents were swooping in to drop food off for them. Just about every hole in the opposite cliff face had a young vulture in it. They sit right at the back of the hole, almost invisible until the parent appears then shuffle forward to take whatever titbit is being offered. The area is also known for its Booted Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. When not watching the vultures Choughs and Ravens entertain with flying displays whilst Black Redstarts flit around looking for flies in the low scrub.

If you are lucky to be there just after the vultures have taken wing you will find them swooping up from below and ghosting past just overhead. It is quite unnerving since they are almost close enough to touch and they stare at you with a fixed beedy eye, no doubt weighing up their next meal. The wingspan is up to 280 cms, 9 feet, they are not small birds.

Red Billed Choughs

All that chattering, accompanied by formation aerobatics, is from the red-billed choughs that seem to favour the gorge. Keep your eyes open for the blue rock thrush and black redstart as well.

Go to: Jaén province
Go to: Jaén city
Go to: Cazorla town

Places to go in Cazorla municipality

Source of Rio Guadalquivir

Villages in Cazorla municipality

White Villages in Andalucia | Cazorla in the foothills of the Sierra de Cazorla

How to get there

Location: El Chorro Gorge, Sierra de Cazorla Segura y Las Villas, Jaen Province

Date of Visit: Friday 15th June 2015


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About the Author

Nick has lived and worked in Andalucia for over 20 years. He and his partner, Julie Evans, have travelled extensively and dug deep into the history and culture, producing authoritative articles on all aspects of the region. Nick has written four books about Andalucia and writes articles for other websites and blogs.

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