Tudela and the Ebro Delta

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Our destination is Tudela in the valley of The Ebro in Navarra. Research, with the help of, ‘Where to Watch Birds’ in Northern & Eastern Spain by Michael and Earnest Garcia means that where to look is made easy. On route there is Red Kite and in early evening there was Red Kite with Marsh Harrier also flying. It is 39C and the strong wind is blowing like a hot fan oven. Not ideal but there are plenty of song birds around but not easy to see. A cultivated field allows good view of a lone White Stork which poses for a photo. There are many pylons around and some provide a nesting site for them. The book suggests that they are town dwellers but looking at the debris near a pylon with nest makes it seem that the other town dwellers may prefer the storks in a rural setting. On day two there are fields of them searching for food to feed nest bound chicks. There is plenty of small bird activity with a family of Long tailed Tits passing through together with an abundance of Goldfinch and Blackcap singing. I just wish that I was better at recognising ‘bird-song’. Later we entered, Las Bardenas Reales, which is a strange area and I would urge plenty of research before going there. ( www.gurelur.org ). However there is a good view of a first/second year Golden Eagle and an excellent close view of a Short toed Eagle. Larks were plentiful and there were two good views of male Black eared Wheatears. Not much to show for a morning out in terms of volume but we are now in high summer. You can also check on the information centre noticeboards and there are several lagunas with observation points that deserve a look. The evening provided excellent views of two hunting Marsh Harriers but the strong wind did not allow for much else.