Saturday, 27 February 2016

Catalonian clean sweep 26-27 Feb..........

A 2-day winter trip with Carles Oliver to the Barcelona area, which is surprisingly good and varied for birds. The first day was sunny as expected, and we headed directly to the Montcau mountains. The main quarry was seen straight away - a Wallcreeper on a rockface in the morning sun - amazing views for 5 minutes or so, then it disappeared and we couldn't find it already taken though. What a start! A flock of 8 Alpine Accentors was also a very good sighting, together with Firecrests and Crested Tits in the pinewoods. The first afternoon was spent at Delta del Llobregat reserve, which is really excellent despite being so close to BCN airport. Highlights here included 2 Spoonbills, 2 Glossy Ibis and 2 drake Garganey, 15 or so Greater Flamingoes, a very showy Moustached Warbler, calling Penduline Tits, and close Snipe, Golden Plover and LRPs. Then off to Ebro Delta for an hour before dark - Slender-billed Gull, Curlew, Greenshank, Ringed Plover and Little Stint on the mudflats, with Black-necked and Slavonian Grebe, and a large distant flock of roosting Mediterranean Gulls. Day 2 brought the 3-hour sea trip booked from Tarragona, and little wind and bright skies meant a nice light. 100s of Mediterranean Gulls were the highlight here (part of the thousands of eastern European birds that spend the winter in the area) with a supporting cast of smart Audouin's Gulls, and very good views of Balearic and Yelkouan Shearwaters. 3 Skuas also seen - Pomarine, Arctic and Great. Rain showers in the afternoon meant we decided on a return trip to the hide at Llobregat, and further excellent photo opportunities, this time Snipe and Black-tailed Godwit. The adult Spoonbill, Ibis and Garganey all appeared to have moved on, but Golden Plovers and dabbling duck were also very obliging. Iberian Green, and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers were along the entrance track. Altogether a very successful trip, with over a hundred species seen.

No comments: