Monday, 22 November 2010

Birding Barcelona Style!

Spent 5 days with Erin in Barcelona last week seeing a lovely city and all it has to offer. Heading anywhere different is always exciting especially when it comes to the flora and fauna! It was great to see how the bird species differ even slightly around Barcelona, i hardly saw a Robin, Blackbird, Blue, Great or Long Tailed Tit let alone a Chaffinch but did record some species that i'm not used to seeing or never seen before at all! Monk Parakeets were definitely the most vocal bird in the city, everywhere you walked no matter how urban you were you could guarantee hearing them overhead flying or in a tree, in the cities parks they were found on the ground eating grass or fallen berries, extremely photogenic even if they are aliens!

One day we visited the wetland reserve of Llobregat near the airport. This was a great nature reserve consisting of large water bodies, reedbed and some small wooded areas. Rarities such as Bluethroat and Penduline Tit were briefly spotted but sightings were all to quick and no pictures taken! Erin was extremely chuffed to see the many foreign turtles wallowing in the pools basking in the sunshine...

Lapwings were probably the most photogenic birds of the day as they roosted on a small island in front of the hide and get getting put up by a Peregrine...

Other birds seen were Grey Heron, Cormorant, Wigeon, Shoveler, Grey Wagtail and Reed Bunting as well as this Little Egret

Back in the city parks one bird was always encountered which was Black Redstart. The males were extremely territorial "chacking" away in the bushes defending their females, both sexes were a little nervy and would only allow approaching to a certain distance but still lovely to see so many around...

I also managed to see Sardinian Warbler, Firecrest and Crested Tit in the parks although all of these weren't easy to pin down hence the terrible photos!

The marina/harbour area was an extremly popular area for tourists and for every scrap of junk food dropped there was a pigeon or gull to help clean up! This was a nice place to end each day as the sunset was always gorgeous on the water and with the large amount of black headed, black backed and herring gulls around there was at least something to point the camera at, it also allowed me to try a few of my camera settings out and try and be a bit creative! Overall a great mini-break and some great birds!

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