Thursday 15 June 2023

Pyrenees Adventure: Day 3

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio

 Monday 29 May

So much for a week rain and storms as the day started fine with lovely sunshine as we made our way down the 99 steps to the village car park. Once settle it was off towards Hecho and our destination at Gabardito which produced a fine crop of birds on our first day.  Yet come the homeward journey at around 3.30 the light rain started and this was to be the pattern for the coming week; lovely sunny weather in the morning and a little late afternoon shower or two.  But all that changed on Wednesday as will be told a little later.  

Once well up the Hecho Valley we stopped at the turn off towards Gabardito to check out the local birds at and around the fast flowing river.  A Cirl Bunting to our left followed by a Grey Wagtail. Having already recorded Barn Swallow, White Wagtail and many Corn Buntings we were now after a sighting of that elusive, local Wallcreeper. Griffon Vulture s could be seen above us and then a trio of Egyptian Vultures before continuing on up to the top and the distant car park. Lots of Choughs, mainly Red-billed but a few Alpines.

Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

The walk along the steep track up to the crag face produced a first Red-backed Shrike along with Nuthatch and many smaller birds such as Mistle and Song Thrushes, Coal and Great Tits plus Firecrest. No shortage of Bonelli's Warblers and once at a very high level we were able to pick out an Alpine Swift.  Off in the nearby woods both Black and Iberian Green Woodpeckers plus many calling Cuckoos.  

Citril Finch Serinus citrinella

Working our way down it was lovely to see and recognise the mountain's Citril Finches and then Linnet, Yellowhammer and Bullfinch.  Almost common place to see a Red Kite and Crag Martins!

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella

Birds seen:

Red Kite, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Buzzard, Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Bonelli's Warbler, Crested Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Firecrest, Red-backed Shrike, Alpine Chough, Red-billed Chough, Carrion Crow, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin,  Citril Finch, Linnet, Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Cirl Bunting, Corn Bunting.

Male Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus

Citril Finch Serinus citrinella

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio

Alpine Choughs Pyrrhocorax graculus

Feeding Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

The Wallcreeper breeding site

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