Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Catalonia, NE Spain - 5-15th August


Flights from Blackpool Airport with RyanAir took my family and I to Girona airport in NE Spain. we hired a car and set off to our accomadation for the next ten days in Roses (Rosas), although we actually were staying at Pau, which is a small village in between Roses and Figures.
We got a mid Morning Flight so we were able to spend the whole afternoon at our house. There were plenty of Birds about and just around the house, inc. olive groves, I picked up 25 species on the first afternoon, highlights on the first day were Serin, Cirl Bunting, Bonelli's Eagle, Short Toed Eagle, Nightingale, Pallid Swift, and Melidious Warbler and another two in the evening(these were Sandwich Tern and Black Headed Gull) to get me up to 27.

Short Toed Eagle


Again, today I pretty Much Stayed around the Villa, and picked up on Golden Oriole behind the house on the Hill, Bee-Eater, several of which we flying overhead calling, Woodchat Shrike, Sardinian Warbler, Alpine Swift overhead, and Hoopoe.

Ad Spotted Flycatcher

Sardinian Warbler(fem/imm)


Today, the Birdwatching began, with a early morning visit to one of the Two main reserves in the Rosas Area, and one of the the most important wetland areas in the Whole of Spain - Aiguamols de L'Emporda. this really was an excellent site, well compared to last year, when there was no water due to draught, I picked up some Lifers which were Target birds - Spoon Bill, 2 Night Heron, 2 Great White Egret, juv Purple Heron, and Marsh Sandpiper, also Greater Flamingo, and Kentish Plover were nice additions to the list.

(From right) Grey Heron, White Stork, Greter Flamingo, Spoonbill, Black Winged Stilt
Black Winged Stint (and Swallow)
Curlew Sandpiper(near), Little Stint

Little Egret

Kentish Plover

Great White Egret

Greater Flamingo

The Day ended with a round of Mini Golf in Rosas, with the constant harsh squark of Monk Parakeet which breed in the town.


Again on the 8th I just stayed around the house, but a mornings run through the olivegroves produced Woodlark and a flock of 100+ Serin and Cirl Bunting



Today I went to Rosas Harbour as Last year produced upto 15 Mediterannean Gull, but this year there was only a single 1st Summer moulting to 2nd Winter, also on site were Yellow Legged Gull, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black Backed gull, and a single Meadow Pipit

Various Gulls at Rosas Harbour (Black Headed, Yellow Legged Gulls and Imm LBBG's)


Today we went on a Day trip to France. This allowed us to travel through the Pyrenees, and some French 'Steppe' highlights were Griffon Vulture, Goshawk, Black Kite, Roller, Black Redstart, and Crag Martin.

Griffon Vulture
Black Kite
Also en-route, we saw White Admiral, Scarce Swallow Tail, two Tailed Pasha, and a very Obliging Swallowtail


A large increase of Temperature to 33oC meant that more Birds of Prey were About, so Buzzard was added, and a nice goup of 3 Bonelli's Eagle were seen.

3 Bonelli's Eagle


Again, not much Birding was done but a group of 5 Spotless Starling flew over the house, and landed in a nearby Tree.


Cap De Creus was Today's Destination. We were too late or even too early in the day for Shearwaters, so that was dissapointing, but Blue Rock Thruch, Thekla Lark, Tawny Pipit, Dartford Warbler and Spectabled Warbler lifted the spitrits.

Cap De Creus - From Lighthouse Cafe

Thekla Lark

Also this Mallow Skipper showed well


Today was our Last Full day and we still had quite a few places that we could have gone to. We Decided to head for the second Aiguamolls - Estany de Vilaut. This is a much smaller reserve with only one hide.

Like last year the pool that the hide overlooks was dry, but the grazing Horses aloud me to get decent views and pictures of Cattle Egret. there we about 100 Bee Eater in front of the hide, and Crested Lark were feeding on the dry mud. Seen on the way back from the hide to the car was a Short Toed eagle on a Pylon which looked fantastic.

Cattle Egret

Short-Toed Eagle

Whilst at the Estany de Vilaut, we got a 'tip off' about a site near the village of Villajuiga. The site was part of the Cap De Creus National Park, and was a cork oak Woodland. Here I got my first ever views of a pair of Eastern Orphean Warbler, I was so overwhelmed by the warblers - target of mine for a few years, that I didn't actually take any photo's! Also on site were Spectacled, Subalpine, and a Western Bonelli's Warbler, which was another tick, and to make the third tick of the site, a Rock Thrush was seen on a hill side adjacent to the Woodland. A Possible Botted Eagle dissapeared before I was able to confirm the ID.

After this site we carried on the road towards the mountaintop monestry of San Pere de Rodes, which was amazing! Possibly the nicest site I have ever been birding to. Here there were no ticks but a very tame Woodchat Shrike aloud stunning views, and dartford warbler were obvious in the heather.

San Pere De Rodes

Woodchat Shrike

As this was not a Birdwatching Holiday, I was pleased with my final Trip List total of 106

Great Crested Grebe

Little Grebe


Night Heron

Cattle Egret

Great White Egret

Little Egret

Purple Heron

Grey Heron


White Stork

Greter Flamingo




Black Kite

Short Toed Eagle

Griffon Vulture

Hen Harrier

Marsh Harrier


Common Buzzard

Bonelli's Eagle

Common Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel

Common Pheasant

Red Legged Partridge


Common Coot

Blackwinged Stilt

Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Kentish Plover


Curlew Sandpiper


Temmink's Stint

Little Stint



Eurasian Curlew

Spotted Redshank

Marsh Sandpiper


Wood Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Black Headed Gull

Mediterranean Gull

Yellow Legged Gull

Lesser Black Backed Gull

Common Gull

Sandwich Tern

Feral Pigeon


Collard Dove

Monk Parakeet

Alpine Swift

Common Swift

Pallid Swift



European Bee-Eater

Eurasian Roller


Crested Lark

Thekla LarkCrag Martin

House Martin

Red Rumped Swallow

Barn Swallow

Meadow Pipit

Tawny Pipit

White Wagtail



Black Redstart

Blue Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush


Reed Warbler

Cetti's Warbler

Fantailed Warbler

Melodious Warbler


Sardinian Warbler

Eastern Orphean Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Spectacled Warbler

Subalpine Warbler

Western Bonelli's Warbler


Willow Warbler

Spotted Flycatcher

Great Tit

Woodchat Shrike




Golden Oriole


Spottless Starling

House Sparrow

Tree Sparrow




Cirl Bunting

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