Thursday, May 12, 2016

Birding Spain - Penultimate Day!

Our attempts yesterday to get as high as possible in some known areas for Wallcreeper were once again thwarted by low cloud and heavy rain. However, we did manage to get up to around 2,080 meters to Coll de Pal and the few birds we did encounter in-between a rare clear spell were quality: Lammergeier, Griffon Vulture, Ortolan Bunting and Peregrine Falcon, but sadly with the weather still unsettled for the rest of our stay we'll leave the Wallcreeper for another day!

Thwarted once again at high level!
A bonus to the low cloud was a number of Alpine Swifts over the Villa when we arrived back and some excellent views of Subalpine Warbler, which are definitely nesting in the grounds.

A nearby sign read: YOU ARE HERE - WE ARE NOT!!
Today, our penultimate day here in NE Spain, Dee and I decided to spend the morning searching out a few species we hadn't quite connected with during this visit. We'd been told of a good area for Spectacled Warbler, which happened to be near a military installation in the Cap de Creus area!

Melodious Warbler
We actually found the area in question pretty easily and drove as far as we were allowed. Great habitat and immediately it was apparent that Corn Bunting and even Linnet were abundant. A Stonechat perched up for a while and a few Sardinian Warblers were grating away nearby.

Several Dartford Warblers but never for long!!
We spent an enjoyable hour or so in glorious weather and hit onto our target birds without too much effort. Several sightings of Dartford Warbler and then finally, after hearing one or two, a brief but good view of the illusive Spectacled Warbler. While here a Melodious Warbler was once again singing away but with food calling we headed off down into the coastal town of Roses for lunch.

Marsh Harrier - Look what the storm blew in!
After an extended lunch in a beach-side café we headed back to Estany Europa, which thankfully is on route home, as the thunderstorms began to roll in! We parked next to the depuradora (treatment plant) and here a large group of Black-headed Gulls, along with a dozen or so Whiskered Terns were at rest. In a nearby field around six or so Cattle Egret and a lone Squacco Heron. A Marsh Harrier was hunting over the reedbeds and a pair of Red-crested Pochard on the pools. Finally a few Bee-eaters and Monk Parakeets before the deluge, which is when we called it a day.