15 August 2011

Iberian Getaway...SPAIN (11 August)

I traveled to the United Kingdom in order to attend the Britith Birdfair, a massive birding event that regularly attracts more than 20,000 birders from around the UK and the World (that will be running 19-21 August). Anyhow, this gave me a chance to catch up with my family and to do this I needed to take a side trip to Spain where my mother has retired to. This gave me the opportunity to wander into the hills/sierras near the Andalucian town of Loja and check out some Iberian birds that I have not seen for some time. One of the most (pleasantly) numerous birds in the area were Woodchat Shrikes with both red-capped adults and some scaly juveniles too.

Several tit flocks roamed the pine trees on the upper slope which contained Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits. The pines were bustling with birds, mostly Red Crossbills feasting on the harvest of large cones available. Climbing higher still the pines gave way to scrub where many Sardinian Warblers shared this habitat with a lone Dartford Warbler. The rocky crags and cliffs provided feeding grounds for several Black Wheatears and Blue Rock-Thrushes.

On the return journey I dropped out of the hills and into the olive groves below where Azure-winged (Iberian) Magpies dominated the avian communities, while on the overhead wires flocks of European Bee-eaters brought more than a little color to proceedings.

More from Spain to come...

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