Mary’s Blog – The Pyrenees part two

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Day 3 – 5th June – Hecho Valley

Today was John’s birthday and he always loves to be in his favourite place here, the Hecho Valley. Griffon Vultures, Red and Black Kites were seen on route to the valley where we made our way to the meadows. It was quiet here birdwise with just a Red-backed Shrike making an appearance. Back at the picnic area we watched numerous Grey Wagtails on the river and White Wagtails on the grass. A Coal Tit was feeding a youngster in one tree while a Chaffinch did the same in another. At the bridge we spotted the expected Dipper landing on the rocks and diving into the water to feed.

After we had eaten our picnic, we were visited by an Egyptian Vulture which flew low over the river, and shortly afterwards our second Lammergeier of the trip flew above us. John was happy with this treat on his birthday! A short walk up towards the campsite found a couple of Ravens on the grass but they flew away as we approached. In the evening another Egyptian Vulture flew over our accommodation in Anso.

Day 4 – 6th June – Arbayan Gorge, Aibar and Lumbier Gorge

Today we headed over to the Arbayan Gorge to see what was about. Here we added Alpine Swift and Subalpine Warbler to our list. A return visit to Aibar produced the desired result (well 50% anyway) as a nice Black-eared Wheatear appeared and gave us good views of it. The Rock Sparrow was still busy around its nest hole and a Corn Bunting was singing loudly.

Our final stop was at Lumbier Gorge where we enjoyed a peaceful picnic until a coach load of school children arrived! We walked into the Gorge, through the tunnel which was lovely and cool. Very welcome as it was 30° outside.

We didn’t stay long due to the heat but managed to see more Alpine Swifts and Rock Sparrows,  House Martins, Rock Doves and a single Crag Martin. Griffon Vultures were here as usual, including one feeding a youngster. We returned to Anso via the Fago Valley where a Jay flew across the road but otherwise it was quiet.