Friday, 27 March 2015

Day 1 - Targets found

The trip started in the early hours of Tuesday morning as we left South Wales around 01:30. A Barn Owl drifting over the M4 was a  nice bonus for those that saw it (and for a change, Mr Bell was one of those who saw it!). After most of the team safely negotiated the cleaners bollard at the service station - worringly it was our driver that never saw it! we made Heathrow with time to spare. The flight was on time and uneventful and the approach into Barcelona airport produced the usual first doggy claims - Rob set the ball rolling with a claim of a Purple Sandpiper on the harbour breakwater, followed by a slightly more believable claim of Coots from Mr Bevan (who else).

It was then pick up the hire car and hit the road to Loporzano. Whilst a few species were picked up whilst traveling, a coffee stop just outside Llieda allowed the first proper birding of the trip, with Tree Sparrow being the highlight.

We arrived at Botetas Birdwatching Centre early afternoon and quickly made our introductions to Ester and dumped our luggage before heading the short distance up the road to Valdiello Dam. Spectacular scenery greeted us as we parked up and walked up the road to the dam. Dozens of Griffon Vultures circled above, joined by a couple of Egyptian Vultures. Proper wild type looking Rock Doves flew round. Suddenly, there above us was an adult Lammergeier, and we all got great, if somewhat brief views of this magnificent vulture.Within minutes the second key target species was located low down on the dam face - a Wallcreeper. We then spent 40+ minutes just watching this most sought after species getting scope filling views as it flicked it way over the dam wall.

With the two main target species in the bag within the first hour of proper birding, the pressure was off, and we enjoyed the other avian delights including Crag Martins, Crested Tits and Short-toed Eagles.


  1. Regarding the purple sandpiper i merely mentioned the breakwater looked similar to the one in Brixham but once again Mr.Bell has decided to extract the urine, the gold medal however stays with Martin for his sighting of penguins as we came in to land in Gambia.

  2. I cannot believe that Mr Bell had the temerity to stitch me up for the "wellie" incident when it was plain for everyone to see Rob Gaze was the culprit.

  3. Phil your going to end up with a bigger nose than Matt Evans.

  4. Those penguins are on my list and they are staying there!