Friday, 27 March 2015

Day 3 - a big rock

Day three started with a pre-breakfast stroll round the village of Loporenzo. A Black Kite low over our heads ensured we all added it to the trip list. A distant falcon that proved to be a Merlin and our first Blue Rock Thrush were further additions to the trip list.

After breakfast it was over to Riglos to try to find the missing Alpine Accentor before heading up to San Juan de la Pena. Parking up at Riglos we were soon making our way round to the right of the impressive cliff face. A female Western Subalpine Warbler was quickly located followed by our second male Blue Rock Thrush. The path became heavily overgrown and virtually impassable so we returned back to the church and headed off to the left. No Wallcreeper, and no Alpine Accentor. After the relatively poor day yesterday, our confidence was rapidly ebbing and this mornings ongoing dip was not helping.

We decided to cut our losses and head over to San Juan de la Pena. As impressive as the "new" and "old" monastries are, birding was hard work. A showy ground feeding Crested Tit gave great views. Several Firecrests were found, often given great views. Our only Treecreeper was found by Rob but with no call, we were left to assume it was Short-toed rather than Eurasian. A calling Tawny Owl was a bit of a surprise, but there was no sight or sound of any Black Woodpecker.

Heading back from SJP we called into the Eagle Owl site on the Alastuey road (Gosney guide site 1, pg 18), but drew a blank on the Owl, though a Clouded Yellow butterfly was located that looks good for a Berger's Clouded Yellow. Debate, however, surrounded the identity of several amphibians found resting on the bottom of the stream - Frogs or Toads?

It was back to Riglos for the final hour/attempt for the Alpine Accentor, again without any joy. The despondancy so bad that Bell decided he was going to twitch climbers!

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