At the start of January 2010, myself, Alex Jones and Stephen Menzie came to the decision that we should all go birding abroad to Spain sometime in April. As February and March flew by, it was time to start packing our bags, bins, scopes and cameras as we had booked a 10 day stay in Catalunya in North-east Spain for some truely spectacular and mind-blowing birding...
So.....between Wednesday 31st March and Friday 9th April we were in Spain... Myself and Alex boarded the plane at Liverpool airport and flew with reliable Ryanair, with only a 4o minute delay. A short flight of less than 3 hours and we were watching White storks, Black kites and Black-winged stilts!!! ... For the next 10 days we were to be based at ''Els Aiguamolls de L'emporda Natural Park'' where menzie was working... This reserve was truely amazing for birding...
My original plan was to state the places in which we visited and the birds seen for each day, but.. seeing as though it would have taken for ever, I decided just to include a species list and lots of pictures..
- Black-throated diver, Little Grebe, Great crested grebe, Balearic shearwater, Yelkouan Shearwater, Gannet, Cormorant, Night heron, Cattle egret, Great-white egret, Little egret, Squacco heron, Grey heron, Purple heron, White stork, Glossy ibis, Greater flamingo, Mute swan, Greylag goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal, Garganey, Red-crested pochard, Ferruginous duck, Griffon vulture, Osprey, Golden eagle, Short-toed eagle, Bonelli's eagle, Black kite, Marsh harrier, Black-winged kite, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Lesser kestrel, Hobby, Merlin, Red-legged partidge, Quail, Pheasant, Water rail, Spotted crake, Little crake, Moorhen, Coot, Purple swamphen, Little bustard, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Black-winged stilt, Stone curlew, Collard pratincole, Little-ringed plover, Ringed plover, Kentish plover, Grey plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Turnstone, Curlew sandpiper, Little stint, Wood sandpiper, Green sandpiper, Common sandpiper, Redshank, Spotted redshank, Snipe, Greenshank, Curlew, Whimbrel, Ruff,
Goldcrest, Pied flycatcher, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Crested tit, Long-tailed tit, Penduline tit, Short-toed treecreeper, Woodchat shrike, Southern grey shrike, Magpie, Jackdaw, Chough, Alpine chough, Carrion crow, Raven, Starling, Spotless starling, House sparrow, Tree sparrow, Rock sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Citril finch, Serin, Crossbill, Reed bunting, Yellowhammer, Cirl bunting, Corn bunting, Rock bunting.
This trip to Spain was one of the best birding trips I have ever had. Lesvos 1st, Extramadura 2nd and Catalunya 3rd... The total trip list came to 191 species in 10 days which is an amazing tally.. I was luckily enough to see 7 lifers during this period, however, my good friend Alex, managed to see 50+ as it was his first time to Spain so very well done to him! The last thing to say is huge thanks, which goes to Menzie for ferrying us around in Spain, the kind hospitality, grat accommondation and great birding spots.. Thanks Menzie. Thanks are also in order to Alex for many a great birding spot! A great holiday all in all!
Here's what you've all been waiting for, the pictures!!