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.
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