Friday, 27 March 2015

Day 5 - the return journey

We awoke to the sound of heavy rain. A look outside was enough to show that it had rained heavily all night - just as well we enjoyed a successful day yesterday. With no pre-breakfast stroll, we should have been early for breakfast and quickly on the road back to Barcelona. No, Mr Hogan found time to dawdle through his morning abolutions which resulted in us hitting the road not long before 9am, after a hearty breakfast.

By the time we reached the coast the rain had stopped, so we pulled into the Llobregat Delta reserve, just south of the airport. The main entrance to the reserve was shut so we had to park in a pull in opposite the airport taxi station and walk down to the main parking area.

The walk down produced our first Coots of the trip (not withstanding a stringy call from Mr Bevan from the landing aircraft on day 1!), Little Grebes and the first sighting of Long-tailed Tits (Mr Bell having only heard the species previously). A walk down to the beach produced the hoped for Audouin's Gull, plus singles of Kentish Plover, Oystercatcher and Great Crested Grebe. Two male Common Redstarts were a nice change from the daily deluge of Black Red's.

Mike and Rob decoded to head back up to the car whilst the two Martins and Phil decided to check out the main part of the reserve. Mike and Rob scored with a flyover Little Bittern, but it was the flying threesome that scored more highly with a gaggle of wildfowl and waders, inc 3 male Garganey, a stonking male Iberean Yellow Wagtail, Ruff, and a brief view of a Purple Swamphen (Phil only). However it was Mammals that took the highlight with 3-4 Wild Boar found feeding at the edge of one of the Lagoons - a tick for all three.

The walk back to the car saw our first swifts Alpine and Common joining the wheeling masses of hirundines, before we made our way back to the airport, cheered by the Wales result over Italy, only for hopes to be dashed by the later results filtering through when we arrived back in the UK.