Mary’s Blog – Part Three

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Day 5 – 7th June -Zuriza and Linza Valleys

Today was our final day in Anso before driving back to Madrid To fly home, so we were having a quiet one. We headed up to the meadows at Zuriza and a Mistle Thrush was feeding just below the parking area. A few small birds were around the campsite, although the site seems to have closed down. While we were here a large raptor appeared and, although a bit distant, we were able to identify it as a Lammergeier, our third sighting of this species in four days!

A Buzzard also flew over before we continued up to the Refugio in the Linza Valley. The road was bad but we pressed on and managed to get a coffee there. We had a walk around but nothing else of note was seen.

We returned to the Zuriza parking area overlooking the river where we ate our lunch. Two Crag Martins were flying around at speed close by which was entertaining to watch. A couple of White Wagtails were also around and a Grey Wagtail made a brief appearance.  We had another sighting of a Buzzard before we returned to our accommodation to rest and pack.

A short walk around Anso after tea gave us the usual Egyptian Vulture, a Red Kite was also in the area and several Swifts and House Martins were busy feeding.

Day 6 – 8th June – Anso to Madrid

We were sad to leave Anso but had to make our way to Madrid for an overnight stay before flying home.

On our way down the bottom of the Hecho Valley we saw the usual Griffon Vultures, Black and Red Kites and a Grey Heron flying which was a bit unexpected. After a short stop at Huesca we finally saw our first White Stork as we approached Zaragoza. It was just the first of many nesting on the pylons and we also saw a group of more than 20 feeding on a field which was being ploughed by the farmer. Somewhere past Zaragoza I spotted another raptor which flew near enough for me to confirm as a Booted Eagle.

We finally arrived at our overnight hotel, the very pleasant Encin Golf Hotel at Alcala de Henares. A nice view over the golf course found us watching Swifts and House Martins flying around and lots of Magpies on the golf course. We even added Pochard and Coot to our trip list as they were on a pretty landscaped pool. A Hoopoe also flew by at one point.

Species list – Cormorant (Yesa), Griffon Vulture, Lammergeier, Egyptian Vulture, Red Kite, Black Kite, Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Woodpigeon, Rock Dove, Swift, Alpine Swift, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Dipper, Wren, Robin, Nightingale, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Black-eared Wheatear, Wheatear, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Reed Warbler, Bonelli’s Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Orphean Warbler, Blackcap, Coal Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Spotless Starling, Starling, Jay, Magpie, Red-billed Clough, Alpine Chough, Raven, Crow, House Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Citril Finch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Corn Bunting.