Northern Spain

Saturday 27 November - Friday 3 December 2004

Keith Grant
John Muddeman

Saturday 27th November
A fine mild start in Barcelona where we managed to get away by 1:30 p.m. The first bit was rather dull, passing through the ‘industrial’ sprawl near Barcelona, but odd views over the river Llobregat produced a few Grey Herons and Great Cormorants, including birds in flight.
Stopping 'under' Montserrat for a late lunch, a fine male Sardinian Warbler was noted in an olive tree just outside as we finished.
A few Common Buzzards, Eurasian Kestrels and two Red Kites were good spots en route, but thick mist followed by fog as we approached Loarre meant we called it a day and settled in with plenty of time into our rooms. The fog suddenly cleared by 6 p.m. leaving us wondering what the morning would bring.

Sunday 28th November
A clear and still start with thin high cloud, which only broke a little in the afternoon. It was 3°C in Loarre as we left, but -1°C only a little down the road where a good ground frost carpeted the fields white. Thick fog lay way down in the valley below.
A few pauses allowed us to contemplate a couple of Red Kites and Common Buzzards on the way, but little else was noted until we reached the little village of Riglos, nestling under the towering puddingstone buttresses - the "mallos". All was quiet as we arrived, with a Black Redstart the first bird of note apart from a Griffon Vulture peering nonchalantly down from the top of a pinnacle. Other small birds began to show though, with Goldfinches, Linnets and a couple of flighty Serins putting in an appearance on the scrubby slopes, while 'seeping' Rock and Cirl Buntings were periodically heard. A fine male of the latter finally showed up, but dived round the back of a bush before being seen by most. This led shortly afterwards to the discovery of an Alpine Accentor, hopping along a small track but this too did a disappearing act 30 seconds later. Patience is a virtue though, and both were later seen at length as they fed under the towering cliffs.
These cliffs attract people too, though apart from two intrepid sky-divers who'd hurled themselves off the top and floated down behind the village, the rock climbers took their time to appear. However, when they did it seemed that they disturbed a pair of Black Wheatears which then fed on the cliffs in front of us at length, and also stirred a couple of Blue Rock Thrushes into singing. While looking for these we then found the first of two Wallcreepers, which we studied at length as it flicked and jumped and flitted its way along the cliffs towards us - simply stunning! A male Blue Rock Thrush was then found singing on a nearby roof, before flying towards the cliff where another appeared. We then stood peacefully, switching between the Wallcreeper, Black Wheatears and Blue Rock Thrush at our leisure!
After a drink stop to celebrate we continued on up the valley, stopping on the roadside, first for a few elusive Yellowhammers, an even flightier Southern Grey Shrike, a Black Redstart and a couple of Meadow Pipits. Another stop with view over the reservoir revealed large flocks of resting Great Cormorants with about six Yellow-legged Gulls mixed in, a small group of Great Crested Grebes on the open water, and a range of smaller birds including a Green Woodpecker and a flock of Redwings in the scrub in front.
Time was flying, so after brief stops for a few Dippers, Grey Wagtails and the peculiar sight of three dead Wild Boar washed up against a weir, we pushed on up to the top of San Juan de la Peña for a late lunch. Fortunately this was quiet, punctuated only by fly-over Griffon Vultures, a pair of cronking Ravens and a couple of Mistle Thrushes.
The woods nearby revealed a mixed feeding flock and we rapidly enjoyed views of Firecrest, Goldcrest, Crested and Coal Tits, an all-too-brief Short-toed Treecreeper and Nuthatches. The view from the Mirador de los Pirineos was also a treat, with the snow-topped peaks of the spine of the high Pyrenees completely cloud-free.
The route down past the lovely old monastery revealed a number of Griffons sitting out the cool and still conditions on favoured ledges, though a little break in the cloud turned the mallos at Riglos bright orange as we passed - worth a stop and further enhanced when a found a flock of 100+ Red-billed Chough wheeling round and perching on one of the pinnacles! A terrific finale!

Monday 29th November
The day dawned clear and sunny in the hills, but with a keen, cold wind. This was very much the same by the impressive Castillo de Loarre (11th C), apparently the earliest remaining Christian church in Spain and a stunning example of Romanesque architecture, which sits quietly on the hillside above the village and commands a phenomenal view over the lowlands to the S.
The wind was unfortunately too keen, and though we worked our way behind the outer wall, a male Blue Rock Thrush and a Black Redstart were really rather slim pickings. A few of us also managed to find a couple of singing male Cirl Buntings in the box scrub, with the odd Rock Bunting and lots of Chaffinches keeping us busy. John and Eva managed to walk on past our turning and after reaching the road below, realised that we clearly hadn't got that far, so came back. Much to our relief!
We headed down and towards Huesca, finding en route a covey of smart Red-legged Partridges and a large flock of c. 150 Red-billed Choughs on one side, plus about 500 Linnet on the other! A couple of Southern Grey Shrikes were also on wires and bushes, but our goal was the limestone gorges and reservoir in the W Sierra de Guara at Vadiello. A stop at the base of the gorge revealed a flock of Crag Martins, which duly flew past on a couple of occasions, with distant Griffon Vultures and a very distant Golden Eagle also of note. The drive up was also punctuated by views of two Alpine Accentors, but these from-the-minibus views were not a patch on the two more we followed on foot and then watched perched at very close range later on!
Out of the wind, the views were comfortable of the surrounding sun-bathed peaks, and we watched as an incredible procession of Griffon Vultures came over, which basically didn't stop in over 2 hours! A Peregrine flashed out from a gorge and after just three attempts caught the small passerine it was after, but dashed back again out of sight just as quickly. The watch was on though and we were finally rewarded with a distant circling Golden Eagle, only for a passing Kingfisher to turn our heads as it sped over the water!
We also finally found a superb adult Lammergeier which sailed out over some nearby bluffs, circled round then cruised off down the valley. Wow! A Grey Wagtail feeding on a cliff also led to the discovery of a gorgeous Wallcreeper fluttering past, which went rapidly out of sight round a corner. As lunch was beckoning, so we headed back, refinding the Wallcreeper en route, then when just into lunch by the buses when another Lammergeier cruised past and down the valley! A third (or was it the same on a repeat visit?!) then did the same later! We were told shortly afterwards that indeed there is a trio of two males and a female in the area, something not uncommon in the Pyrenean population where the species appears to be overpopulated for the available habitat!
We dropped into Casa Boletas for a coffee and chat to Josele, local bird watcher and pioneer in setting up an ornithological guest house in Spain, then rounded off with a trip S of Huesca to look at some rough fields. This turned out to be remarkably quiet, with just a few Corn Buntings and a couple of brief Crested Larks of note, but we returned via the Laguna de Loreto.
This was a treat, with a huge group of c. 200 Carrion Crows and plenty of Jackdaws in a pre-roost gathering, plus plenty of ducks on the lake, including a few Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Shoveler among the plentiful Mallard. Having walked round a bit though, heavy rustling off to one side saw a group of four adult and three or four piglet Wild Boar approaching very close. As they hadn't seen us and were only c. 30 yds away, some soft noises brought them to a halt, then sent them racing off squealing before they plunged into the water and crashed through the reeds and sent half the ducks flying! Great for us since it also flushed out a few Pochard and Wigeon, and a dapper (escaped) White-cheeked Pintail which paddled rapidly across the middle of the open water much to our surprise!
With the sun having gone, the temperature was dipping even further and we beat a tactical retreat, Chris managing to spot a calling Zitting Cisticola in the rough vegetation as we left.

Tuesday 30th November
We left Loarre in still, sunny and chilly conditions and headed SE. Red Kites and Common Buzzards were frequently noted, plus the occasional Southern Grey Shrike, and the large Red-billed Chough flock near Loarre again.
We stopped in an area of rice fields near Capdessaso, where Reed Buntings, a few Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrows, a paddling water Pipit and a few Snipe racing off into the distance were all new for most. A couple of Cetti's Warblers shouted from the reedmace-filled ditches, but refused to show.
The nearby Laguna de Sariñena was fortunately clear after almost 2 weeks solid fog, and we enjoyed the views down in relatively mild conditions (good enough for a Clouded Yellow to flutter past!). A few Hoopoes immediately caught our attention, with a Southern Grey Shrike, two Red Foxes, at least 7 Marsh Harriers and a selection of wildfowl, including Greylag Geese and Common Teal of most note. We also stayed long enough to find a Great Bittern fly out of the reeds and then fly across below for almost the whole length of the lake before dropping in the reedmace and out of sight. A terrific bird in its Spanish stronghold!
We continued S again, planning what to do since we'd left our packed lunches behind (!), stopping periodically for various raptors, including the first of a few Sparrowhawks, and our first White Storks of the trip. After a snack lunch in a bar, we took a shortish drive through a vast area of arable fields, stopping for the first of several Little Owls, a male Hen Harrier, a distant Golden Eagle and hordes of Calandra and Sky Larks, though the calling Lesser Short-toed Larks eluded us.
Given very still and quiet conditions we pushed on S, pausing briefly for another immature Golden Eagle, crossing the Río Ebro in its impressive valley, then started the long haul W along rather poor roads. Fortunately, a ringtail Hen Harrier caused us to pause, revealing a female Merlin in close attendance overhead, chasing the birds flushed by the former, and a second ringtail Hen Harrier. All moved off towards fields in front where we soon caught up with the Merlin on the ground, giving superb views. This also delayed us slightly, and presumably helped us ahead when a small group of Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse were seen rising up from a field near the road, before dropping back down, in view! Although the former flew off rapidly once we stopped, we watched about 5 Pin-tailed on the ground on one side, only then to discover about 10 minutes later c. 6 Black-bellied creeping across a bare field behind us! More small groups of Black-bellied were seen in flight and on the ground, their striking black, white and ochre plumage contrasts being very noticeable.
This was a great 'finale' despite us taking over an hour more to then reach our fine old hotel in the historic little city of Daroca.

Wednesday 1st December
We left by the southern gate of Daroca's walled city and headed towards Spain's largest natural lake, the Laguna de Gallocanta. The nearby Laguna de Zaida, full of water for the first time in years, was visited first, but not before we'd contemplated our first flock of nearly 250 Cranes in the roadside fields. Family groups of two adults and their brown-headed young picked their way in stately fashion across the plough, while occasional 'dances' were seen, especially between sparring birds defending a favoured patch.
All is not so easy for these birds though as we then witnessed as we watched a Marsh Harrier tearing out the inside of a deceased Crane, which it had undoubtedly found dead. We also nearly fell foul of the Civil Guard, though living up to their name they gently suggested we put out warning triangles on the road, instead of fining us on the spot, which they might have done...
The cold breeze had churned up the mud in the shallow Laguna de Zaida which had taken on an unhealthy-looking yellowish colour, and the waves had pushed the birds towards the upwind shores. A couple of Black-necked Grebes were a surprise find out in the middle though, while a strangely plumaged small Lesser Black-backed Gull had us scrutinising it for sometime before accepting that it wasn't something rarer.
The plains attract all sorts of birds here, and a scan for 'whatever' revealed a strikingly white-chested Peregrine, certainly not a local bird, and possibly one from N European tundra, which are long distance migrants.
We headed back towards the main lake, only to stop for a pair of Golden Eagles which were first cruising a ridge, but then came in and sat side by side in full view. We paused again for a big flock of striking Rock Sparrows, feeding on a weedy field with 100+ Linnets and a flock of mostly Spotless Starlings. Cloud started build slowly from the S, but the breeze was gradually dropping.
A break for drinks in the Gallocanta albergue also gave us views of smart male Black Redstarts and a brief Dartford Warbler, and we popped into one of the nearby hides for a quick look. This was a good move, and despite first looks only revealing a good number of Common Shelduck in addition to plenty of Mallard, a finding of a couple of Curlew rapidly led to the discovery of two Black-tailed Godwit on the mud, then a flock of small waders including several Kentish Plover and a Sanderling among Little Stint, with more Little Stint and two Dunlin further out on the lake!
The remaining time before a late lunch was taken driving a series of tracks around the rest of the lake, though despite wonderful views of hundreds of Cranes, little else was visible.
We took lunch in the buses, given the chilly conditions, with light rain starting as we did so. Despite a short drive afterwards, the tower hide was unscalable given the slippery steps, and the track looking very ‘iffy’, so we beat a tactical retreat given the deteriorating conditions. Fortunately, a male Merlin was sheltering on a roof apex near the end of the track and then flew onto a road sign allowing views in the scope before being flushed by a tractor.
We returned early to Daroca, leaving plenty of time to wander round the city despite the variably wet conditions (and it threw it down at times!).

Thursday 2nd December
The day, surprisingly (!), dawned dry and with only thin high cloud. Indeed, by the time we left it was wall-to-wall sunshine. Little was noted en route, and we turned off onto a damp track towards 'wild' steppe habitats of the El Planerón Reserve run by SEO/BirdLife, where the first of a number of Dartford Warblers put in a brief appearance. A second track was much more interesting, with flocks of Calandra, Sky and Lesser Short-toed Larks, plus both Black-bellied and smart Pin-tailed Sandgrouse in moderate number. All these were watched through the scopes on the ground or from the vans, giving good views in the clean morning sunshine.
Having finally had our fill, we moved on a short way for an easy walk. Taking a track revealed a few Meadow Pipits and plenty of Lesser Short-toed Larks, but nothing else. Systematically searching the steppe revealed lots more of the latter, and as hoped, a superb Dupont's Lark, which frustratingly though, was as elusive as ever and only seen by a few. Even after relocating it after a short flight, it eluded several, but had shown itself more than most do! Another as we returned was even more elusive, while a third was only seen by Keith, showing how these 'ghosts' of the steppe can simply disappear behind even the smallest tuft of grass!
We returned to lunch by the old town of Belchite, bombed out by Franco (including using German Stuka bombers) in the Spanish Civil war, then left as a permanent terrible reminder to all, firstly as to Franco's power, and latterly to illustrate the horrible nature of the war. En route though, a number of Chiffchaffs fly-catching from brambles by a pool caught our eye, while Keith's bus caught up the first by seeing a couple of Moorhens on a pond in the village of Codo.
The ruins at Belchite are a salutary lesson on the futility of war, though are also brightened up by a few birds. Eurasian and Spotless Starlings whistled from the roofs, Black Redstarts chased through the shells of those still standing houses, and a couple of Blue Rock Thrushes perched high on the taller remains of the churches. A pair, and then a single Black Wheatear added a touch of class, while an all-too-brief Peregrine, several Red Kites and a number of 'luncheon vultures' were all noted passing over.
Our return towards Daroca was to give time to take a walk around the city in good weather, though the sudden appearance of a Golden Eagle circling very low over the road just ahead resulted in a 15 minute stop to watch two of these magnificent birds circling and drifting around. A real treat.
A few scaled the hills of the city after our return, climbing to, and even beyond the castle, and were afforded terrific views, not only of the roofs and buildings, but also of several Red-billed Choughs, just yards below.

Friday 3rd December
We started the long journey on time, on which a number of perched White Storks, a few Marsh Harriers, Buzzards and a 'blue' Merlin passing between the buses were the only birds of note, and despite a little indecision in Zaragoza where the roads signs were less than helpful, made the airport area by 13:45. However, instead of driving straight in, we refuelled, noting a very different type of 'bird' life on the nearby roadsides (!) and dropped in to the Llobregat Delta reserve for lunch in the car park. And right under the main flight path of the incoming flights as it turned out, which were all landing on the new runway right next to the reserve... A terrible shame, since we saw very little, though Chris saw a Kingfisher and a superb male Tufted Duck fed in the channel just in front of the buses.
We checked in with plenty of time, and despite the 'bank holiday' weekend influx of passengers, checked in easily. Those who were going with Keith via Gatwick, at least!

This was a super trip, with plenty of birds, but also some surprises in the form of five new species, unusual given this was our 7th trip to the area. Our thanks go to you all for making this an easy-going tour and with some good wit, too (not mine, I hasten to add! JM). We look forward to seeing you again in the near future,
John Muddeman & Keith Grant

Little Grebe / Dabchick:
Noted only on 1 day, 3 at Loreto on 29th.
Black-necked Grebe: Noted only on 1 day, 2 at Laguna de Zaida on 1st.
Great Crested Grebe: Noted on 2 days with 6 on Embalse de la Peña on 28th, 4 Laguna de Sariñena on 30th.
Great Cormorant: Noted each day.
Grey Heron: Noted each day.
Cattle Egret: Noted on 3 days with c.30 on roadside field on 27th, c80 roosting Loreto on 29th, also seen on 30th.
Great Bittern: Noted only on 1 day, 1 flew across the Laguna de Sariñena on 30th.
White Stork: Noted on 2 days with 7 on 30th, c.8 on nests on church alongside motorway on 3rd.
Greylag Goose: Noted on 2 days with c.20 Laguna de Sariñena on 30th, c40 on 1st.
Common Shelduck: Noted only on 1 day, c.30 at Gallocanta on 1st.
Eurasian Wigeon: Noted on 2 days with 5 Loreto on 29th, c.25 on 1st.
Gadwall: Noted on 2 days with at least 5 Loreto on 29th, a pair on 1st.
Eurasian/Common Teal: Noted only on 1 day, at least 100 Laguna de Sariñena on 30th.
Mallard: Noted most days.
Northern Shoveler: Noted on 3 days with at least 12 Loreto on 29th, at least 50 Laguna de Sariñena on 30th, c.25 on 1st.
Common Pochard: Noted on 3 days with 3m 1f at Loreto on 29th, at least 12 Laguna de Sariñena on 30th, c.6 on 1st.
Tufted Duck: Noted on 2 days, at least 5 at Loreto on 29th & a fine male at our lunch stop near the airport on 3rd.
[White-cheeked Pintail: Noted only on 1 day, 1 at Loreto on 29th]
Red Kite: Noted most days, maximum counted was c.15 on 29th.
[Eurasian] Griffon Vulture: Noted on 4 days with many on 28th, several hundred on 29th, c.20 on 30th, at least 14 over Belchite at lunchtime on 2nd.
Lammergeier / Bearded Vulture: Noted only on 1 day, 3 sightings Vadiello on 29th.
Hen Harrier: Noted only on 1 day, 1m 2f on 30th.
[Eurasian] Marsh Harrier: Noted on 5 days with a male near Riglos on 28th, at least 9 on 30th, 3 on 1st, 2 at El Planerón on 2nd, 1 en route on 3rd.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk: Noted on 3 days with 1 en route on 27th, 3 on 30th, 1 near Belchite on 2nd.
Common Buzzard: Noted on 5 days with c.6 en route on 27th, at least 10 on 28th, several on 29th, at least 15 on 30th, several on 2nd.
Golden Eagle: Noted on 4 days with 2 sightings adults Vadiello on 29th, 2 immatures on 30th, a pair on 1st, 2 very close overhead on 2nd.
Common/Eurasian Kestrel: Noted each day.
Merlin: Noted on 3 days with 2 on 30th, a super male on 1st, a male en route on 3rd.
Peregrine Falcon: Noted on 3 days with 1 took prey Vadiello on 29th, a super adult perched on 1st, 1 over Belchite on 2nd.
Red-legged Partridge: Noted on 4 days with 13 on 29th, at least 40 on 30th, 7 on 1st, several coveys El Planerón on 2nd.
Common Crane: Noted on 2 days with several thousand around Gallocanta on 1st, 4 over El Planerón plus at least 30 over Daroca at dusk on 2nd.
Water Rail: Noted only on 1 day, heard near the hide at Gallocanta on 1st.
Common Moorhen: Noted only on 1 day, 3 on 2nd.
Eurasian/Common Coot: Noted on 4 days with c.25 Loreto on 29th, also on 30th, 1st, & 3rd.
Northern Lapwing: Noted on 4 days with c.30 on roadside field on 27th, small flock on 29th, several on 30th, 1 on 1st.
Kentish Plover: Noted only on 1 day, 5 from the hide at Gallocanta on 1st.
Eurasian Curlew: Noted only on 1 day, 4 at Gallocanta on 1st.
Black-tailed Godwit: Noted only on 1 day, 2 at Gallocanta on 1st.
Common Snipe: Noted on 2 days with c.10 on 30th, 1 on 1st.
Little Stint: Noted only on 1 day, at least 35 at Gallocanta on 1st.
Dunlin: Noted only on 1 day, 2 at Gallocanta on 1st.
Sanderling: Noted only on 1 day, 1 at Gallocanta on 1st.
Yellow-legged Gull: Noted on 2 days with at least 6 at Embalse de la Peña on 28th, several on 3rd.
Lesser Black-backed Gull: Noted only on 1 day, an immature at Laguna de Zaida on 1st.
Black-headed Gull: Noted on 4 days.
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse: Noted on 2 days with 9 on 30th, at least 30 El Planerón on 2nd.
Black-bellied Sandgrouse: Noted on 2 days with at least 15 on 30th, at least 6 El Planerón on 2nd.
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon: Noted each day.
[Common] Wood Pigeon: Noted on 3 days.
Eurasian Collared Dove: Noted most days.
Barn Owl: Two dead on road on 27th were the only records.
Little Owl: One dead on road on 27th, also seen sitting on rock piles throughout the day on 30th.
Common Kingfisher: Noted on 2 days, 1 briefly at the dam at Vadiello on 29th & another briefly at the lunch stop near the airport on 3rd.
Eurasian Hoopoe: Noted only on 1 day, 4 Laguna de Sariñena on 30th.
Great Spotted Woodpecker: Noted on 2 days with 1 at San Juan de la Peña on 28th, 1 Bello on 1st.
Green Woodpecker: Noted on 2 days with 1 near Embalse de la Peña on 28th, 1 Laguna de Sariñena on 30th.
Calandra Lark: Noted on 3 days with at least 500 on 30th, good-sized flocks on 1st, many at El Planerón on 2nd.

Lesser Short-toed Lark:
Noted on 2 days, present but not seen well on 30th, many seen at El Planerón on 2nd.
Dupont's Lark: Noted only on 1 day, 2 or 3 at El Planerón on 2nd.
Crested Lark: Noted on 4 days with several seen and/or on 29th - 2nd.
Thekla Lark: Noted only on 1 day, several but poor views on 30th.
[Eurasian/Common] Sky Lark: Noted on 3 days with many hundreds on 30th, then also on 1st & 2nd.
[Eurasian] Crag Martin: Noted only on 1 day, c.30 Vadiello on 29th.
Grey Wagtail: Noted on 4 days with 1 regularly in Loarre Square on 27th, several on 28th, 1 on 29th, 1 Loarre on 30th.
White Wagtail: Noted each day.
Meadow Pipit: Noted on 4 days with 2 on 28th, several on 29th, 30th, & 2nd.
Water Pipit: Noted only on 1 day, several on 30th.
Southern Grey Shrike: Noted on 5 days with 1 on 28th, several on 29th, several on 30th, several on 1st, at least 5 on 2nd.
White-throated Dipper: Noted only on 1 day, 4 on 28th.
[Winter] Wren: Noted on 2 days, 28th & 29th.
Alpine Accentor: Noted on 2 days with 4 at Riglos on 28th, c.6 including 2 excellent birds at Vadiello on 29th.
Blue Rock Thrush: Noted on 3 days with 2 males at Riglos on 28th, 1 Loarre Castle on 29th, 3 Belchite on 2nd.
Common Blackbird: Noted on 3 days, 28th, 29th & 2nd.
Fieldfare: Noted only on 28th.
Redwing: Noted only on 28th.
Song Thrush: Noted on 28th & 29th.
Mistle Thrush: Noted on 28th & 29th.
European Robin: Noted on 28th - 30th.
Black Redstart: Noted most days.
Common Stonechat: Noted on 28th, 30th, & 2nd.
Black Wheatear: Noted on 2 days with a pair at Riglos on 28th, at least 3 at Belchite on 2nd.
Zitting Cisticola / Fan-tailed Wbr: Noted on 3 days with heard & flushed briefly at Loreto on 29th, 2 on 30th, 1 on 2nd.
Cetti's Warbler: Noted only on 30th.
Common/Eurasian Chiffchaff: Noted on 4 days with 1 Loreto on 29th, 2 on 30th, 1 on 1st, at least 6 near the pond near Codo on 2nd.
Blackcap: Noted on 2 days with 5 at Riglos on 28th, several on 2nd.
Sardinian Warbler: Noted on 5 days with a male in the Olive tree outside the lunch stop on 27th, several on 28th - 30th, & 2nd.
Dartford Warbler: Noted on 2 days with 1 on 1st, several nice views at El Planerón on 2nd.
Firecrest: Noted only on 1 day, singles at Riglos & San Juan de la Peña on 28th.
Goldcrest: Noted only on 1 day, several at San Juan de la Peña on 28th.
Long-tailed Tit: Noted only on 28th.
Coal Tit: Noted only at San Juan de la Peña on 28th.
Crested Tit: Noted only on 1 day with at least 2 at San Juan de la Peña on 28th.
Great Tit: Noted on 28th & 1st.
Blue Tit: Noted only on 28th.
Eurasian Nuthatch: Noted only on 28th.
Wallcreeper: Noted on 2 days with 2 at Riglos on 28th, 1 at Vadiello on 29th.
Short-toed Treecreeper: Noted only on 1 day with 1 at San Juan de la Peña on 28th.
Eurasian Jay: Noted on 2 days, en route on 27th, and at San Juan de la Peña on 28th.
Black-billed/Eurasian Magpie: Noted most days.
Red-billed Chough: Noted most days with at least 100 over Riglos at sunset on 28th, at least 200 on 29th & 30th, c.50 over Daroca on 1st & 2nd, several overhead at Daroca on 3rd.
Western/Eurasian Jackdaw: Noted only on 29th & 30th.
Carrion Crow: Noted most days, maximum counted was c.200 at roost at Vadiello on 29th.
Common Raven: Noted on 5 days with several on each day, 28th - 2nd.
Common Starling: Noted each day in varying numbers.
Spotless Starling: Noted each day in varying numbers.
Corn Bunting: Noted on 3 days with a small flock some seen well on 29th, also on 30th & 1st.
Yellowhammer: Noted on 2 days with several on 28th & 30th.
Rock Bunting: Noted on 2 days with several at Riglos on 28th and Loarre Castle on 29th.
Cirl Bunting: Noted on 2 days with several on 28th, 2 Loarre Castle on 29th.
[Common] Reed Bunting: Noted only on 30th.
Common/European Chaffinch: Noted on 4 days.
European Serin: Noted on 4 days with several on 28th, heard on 29th, 2 at Laguna de Sariñena on 30th, several on 2nd.
European Greenfinch: Noted only on 29th.
Eurasian Siskin: Noted only on 1 day, when birds heard on 29th.
European Goldfinch: Noted most days.
Common Linnet: Noted on 5 days, 28th - 2nd.
House Sparrow: Noted most days.
[Eurasian] Tree Sparrow: Noted only on 30th.
Rock Sparrow / Rock Petronia: Noted on 2 days with c.15 at Loporzano on 29th, at least 300 at Gallocanta on 1st.

BUTTERFLIES & other insects:
Large White:
Two at Belchite on 2nd.
Clouded Yellow: Two separate sightings en route on 30th.
Painted Lady: One at Belchite on 2nd.

Natterjack Toad:
A large adult found washed out of hibernation at El Planerón on 2nd.

Red Fox:
Apart from several dead on road en route on 27th, noted on 2 days with 3 at Sariñena & en route on 30th, 1 en route on 2nd.
Eurasian Badger: A large adult dead on road on 30th.
Wild Boar: Noted on 2 days with 3 drowned in river & evidence of diggings at San Juan de la Peña on 28th, 4 adults & at least 3 piglets came very close to us at Loreto on 29th.
Red Squirrel: Noted only on 1 day, 1 at San Juan de la Peña on 28th.
Iberian Hare: Noted only on 1 day, 1 at El Planerón on 2nd.
European Rabbit: Noted only on 1 day, 1 at El Planerón on 2nd.

© The Travelling Naturalist 2004