Saturday, 27 June 2015

Hecho Valley to Barcelona and beyond.

The final day of the tour.
Granada Wildlife Pyrenees Tour Day Eight.

We had our final breakfast at the hotel before saying goodbye to Nell and the Hecho Valley. We drove across country back to the area called Mas de Melons near  Lleida that we had done on the way out, we again had nice views of Black (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Red Kites (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) during the drive as well as Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua). The first species seen at the Western end of the site was a single Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which we picked up on a stubble field. Further along the road several Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) were seen on wires and at a distant nest box, in the same area we had African Grass (Nina esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna) and Long-tailed Blues (Lampides boeticus), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus). Other birds seen in this area included Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Northern (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
We decided to make our way from here over towards the airport seeing several White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) on the way and having some thing to eat before finishing the day and tour at the canals and pools at El Prat de Llobregat. We first had a look at a pool up near the beach and added a new species to the full trip list when we saw two adult Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) sat on track side rails and both Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) out towards the beach. In the same area we had Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). We relocated to the car park near the largish canal and had a walk seeing Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris). Dragonflies included a stunning male Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) and in the water we saw Red-eared (Trachemys scripta elegans) and Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa). Time had now caught up with us so we headed to the airport and Mary-Ann and I said goodbye to the Uk bound guest before starting the long drive back to Malaga. We made good progress and by the time we stopped for the night we were well passed Valencia.

Photographs from the top: Rigilos as we headed South and Red-eared (Trachemys scripta elegans) and Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa).

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