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Routes & Birdwatching Sites

Routes & Birdwatching Sites

Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 06. Frigiliana - Cómpeta

The stage starts in an urban environment which, little by little, gives way to a pine wood. The wood, varying in thickness, will keep you company along a large section of Stage 6. Streams and scrubland continue towards the higher areas of the walk and they also determine the type of birdlife, together with the sheer rock faces which support a wealth of rock-dwelling fauna.


Highlighted Species

The first section of Stage 6, after leaving Frigiliana, leads along the road lined with houses and copses of pine.  Because of that, species such as White Wagtail, Black Redstart, House Sparrow and Starlings, which typically can be found in inhabited areas, share territory with the species more linked to woodland, including Common Blackbird, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, and Common Chaffinch. Along this first tarmac section of Stage 6 you can also find  Eurasian Collared Dove, Common and Pallid Swift, Swallows and House Martins, European Robin, Black Redstart, Sardinian Warbler, Coal Tit, Goldfinch and Serin.

Once you set off on the forest track leading to El Acebuchal, the true woodland begins, where, amongst the Aleppo pines you can see such species as Mistle Thrush, Short-toed Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher and Greenfinch, together with Wren, European Robin, Common Nightingale, Blackcap, Cetti´s Warbler, Golden Oriole, Crossbill and Cirl Bunting as you get closer to the stream.

Past El Acebuchal you will be walking along a rambla, a dry streambed lined with oleanders and large pine trees where the predominant species are Common Wood Pigeon, European Turtle Dove, Song Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Crested Tit and Eurasian Siskin, though you can still see the forest birds mentioned above. This is the basic make up of Stage 6 birdlife until you reach higher altitude and open areas, where additionally you will be able to see Red-legged Partridge, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Swifts, Common Stonechat, Black-eared Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike, Common Linnet and Rock Bunting.

Past the Cortijo del Daire there is a combination of large extensions of broom and scrub where Short-toed Lark and Dartford Warbler breed; this is a good spot to pay attention to the sky looking for raptors. This sierra harbours Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard,  Short-toed and Booted Eagle, and in the cliffs and gorges carved out by the streams, Bonelli´s and Golden Eagle. You can also see Common Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon, generally close to the rock faces, where you can also find Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush and Raven. Watching these species in such rocky environment proves to be especially rewarding for a birdwatcher.

It´s worth mentioning the presence of other species though they might be difficult to see, such as Cuckoo, Scops Owl, Tawny Owl, Eagle Owl, Red-necked Nightjar and Green Woodpecker; in any case these are birds which are easy to identify by their call or song. As you arrive in Cómpeta you are once more surrounded by the typically urban-dwelling birds.


This stage goes through the Alpine kind of landscape which is typical of the Sierra de Almijara. It is featured by sharp peaks, steep mountainsides, ravines with plenty of plant species as well as Mediterranean animals, characteristic of mountain areas.


Route On foot
Trail Type Lineal
Distance 24700
Estimated Time 8:15
Difficulty - Red - Difficult