lunes, 27 de junio de 2011

Ports de Tortosa i Beseït with Cristian Jensen (25/06/2011)

Last saturday I went birding to the Ports de Tortosa with Cristian Jensen (Audouin Birding Tours). It was a great trip, and I saw almost all of the species I wanted to see.
We started at l'Ampolla, from where we took the road to get inland, to the Montsacres, where we wanted to look for Rock Thrush. On the way there, we made a little stop to look under a bridge, where Cristian showed us a Red Rumped Swallow nest, with its caractheristic tunnel entrance. We took a little track and Cristian drove to a very nice place in the mountains. There on a field, I saw my first lifer, we heard a Tawny Pipit and then we could localize it through the scope, there was also a juvenile Rock Bunting. We continued and stopped on a quite high place, from where we started walking to a place where there was Rock Thrush. On the way we could observe a lot of Spanish Ibex. Once there, we mounted the scope and started looking, we saw the first Blue Rock Thrush of the year for me (and only my second observation), but we couldn't see Rock Thrush. We went nearer and started looking, but nothing. Cristian also tried with reprducing his call on the mobile phone but nothing. We decided to sit under a near tree and have lunch. A we were eating my dad noticed a bird which had just settled on a not very far bush. We looked with the bins and bingo! a female Rock Thrush. We could see the red tail very well.
As it was getting a bit late and we wanted to see some more species we decided to continue. We went to some cliffs, looking for Black Wheatear which didn't show up, and Bonelli's Eagle, which we could see later.
After the cliffs, we decided to look at the Ebro river on the forests on it's side for Wryneck. Cristian tried with reproducing it's call and in a few moment it was there, on a tree next to us. It was a very nice experience.
On the final part of the day we went to some cliffs and olive plantations, where we saw Bonelli's Eagle, Black Eared Wheatear and Thekla Lark, another lifer for me.
Finally we went down to the Delta de l'Ebre looking for Short Toed Lark, which we couldn't confirm.

To all who are in the area I really recommend Audouin Birding Tours. I think the trips are great and you learn a lot. Audouin Birding Tours also makes longer tours like Andalucía or Morocco.
For more information look at the website:

domingo, 19 de junio de 2011

Pyrenees 10/06-13/06

Last weekend I was at the Pyrenees.My parents had made a resevation at a hut in the Aigüestortes national park.

The first day was the hardest. We had to climb 1000m to the hut (2350m). There weren't much birds, but I got a lifer, two Rock Ptarmigans, which I saw flying. I also saw Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Golden Eagle, Coal Tit, Crested Tit and Eurasian Treecreeper.

The next day, we wanted to climb up to a peak which was near, the Tuc de Saburó (2912m), but we finally couldn't becaus my father was a bit dizzy. On that trip we saw some very nice birds, including Citril Finch, Alpine Accentor, Raven, Alpine Chough and Lammergeier, an adult which showed pretty well.

The third day we returned. That was hard, a thousand meters down, my knees are still killing me. The third day was the better birding day. We started with Grey Wagtail, Honey Buzzard and Coal Tit. As we went lower, different species were appearing. We stopped to rest near a lake, I went to llok for a bird which I had seen before, which turned out to be a Crossbill. There was also a Dunnock. When I returned to my parents which were resting I saw a Dipper.
After some time we also saw Goldcrest and Golden Eagle.

On the car back to Barcelona I still could see Bee-Eater and a Shrike which I couldn't ID: