Journey to the Pyrenees

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30/5/22 – Gran Alacant to Daroca – Today we set off for an overnight stay in Daroca on the way to the Pyrenees. Even on the journey I can’t help looking our for birds. We saw numerous Magpies plus Glossy Ibis and Little Egret flying over near Valencia. Other birds seen included Swifts, House Martins Goldfinch and Kestrel.

31/5/22 – Daroca to Anso – Our first bird was a Magpie plus a single Bee-eater on a wire near Daroca. We were heading for Belchite to look at the old village which was abandoned after being left in ruins following the civil war. We soon saw our first Black Kite, followed by many more along the whole journey.

At Belchite Hoopoe, Crested Lark and a Black Redstart, normally a bird we only seen in GA in the winter, so a good addition to the list.

From Belchite to Huesca we had our first Griffon Vulture and near Zaragoza we started to see White Storks flying as well as on nests along the route.

Huesca to Anso is perhaps the nicest part of the journey and we were soon seeing Corn Buntings on the wires all along the roadside. More Magpies and Black Kites were seen and the last White Stork nest before the Pyrennes in it’s usual place on a church tower in a village. It was good to see a Booted Eagle near Riglos, another winter bird for the GA area.

White Stork by Mary Brazier©

A brief detour towards Abinzago to look for Golden Oriole proved unsuccessful again with Serin being the only bird seen although Nightingales were heard.

We joined the road to Hecho at Puente de la Reina and soon had a great surprise. There must have been about 50 mainly Black Kites perched on the wires or sat in a field, some of them mobbing an Egyptian Vulture, which was soon joined by another one. What an amazing amazing sight and a very good start to our trip!

As we drove on I spotted a Red-backed Shrike on a wire but John missed it as he was driving. I promised we would find him another one. We finally arrived in Anso and enjoyed watching Swifts flying over the roof tops.