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.
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
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.
Black Winged Stint (and Swallow)
Great White Egret
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
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.
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.
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.
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
As this was not a Birdwatching Holiday, I was pleased with my final Trip List total of 106
Great Crested Grebe
Great White Egret
Short Toed Eagle
Red Legged Partridge
Little Ringed Plover
Black Headed Gull
Yellow Legged Gull
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Thekla LarkCrag Martin
Red Rumped Swallow
Blue Rock Thrush
Eastern Orphean Warbler
Western Bonelli's Warbler