Monday, 3 January 2022

Fuente de, Pico's de Europa, Asturias, Spain.

Looking for mountain Species in the Snow.

The view from near the upper station.
I left Llanes for my last trip out from this area and headed down to Potes and then to Fuente De where I was going to get the Cable Car up in to the higher parts of the area for my first winter visit.
I had three targets, Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris), Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus) and Lammergeier / Bearded Vulture (Quebrantahuesos / Gypaetus barbatus). 
The view from near the upper station.
I was there a little early so I spent a while birding around the conifers in the car park and found 4+ Marsh Tit (Carbonero Palustre /Parus palustris) as well as Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea) and over head Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
I got the first box up and I was soon out on the snow above the upper station and with in seconds I had the first of the targets when half a dozen Alpine Chouchs flew past calling before landing on the roof of the Station as well as a couple of
Chamois (Rebeco / Rupicapra rupicapra).
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
I walked out a bit futher and on one of the clear rocky areas I saw a single Alpine Accentor which allowed me to get quite close, four other birds on another clear patch about 20 meters away then flew up and they all went off down the slope and away.
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
I found a nice flat rock on one of the clear spots and spent an hour or so scanning the ridges looking for Raptors but only saw more Griffons and a few Ravens so I went and had a couple of coffees before gong back out for another couple of hours walking a bit further out and again finding a rock to sit on but with the same results, no Lammergeier.
Chamois (Rebeco / Rupicapra rupicapra).
I decided to call it as the wind was getting up and was dam cold so I headed back to the Upper station but stopped to get a couple of shots of the Choughs, suddenly I heard a call and straight away knew it was a 
Snowfinch (Gorrión Alpino / Montifringilla nivalis), a species I had not expected as several of the Spanish birders I had talked to earlier on the trip said they will all be down at lower levels during the winter so a bit of a bonus.
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
I got the next box down and it was a tad rougher than coming up, we had a bit of a swing going by the time we reached the half way point so I was pleased to get off and go for a walk up into the nearby woods where I added Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Bullfinch (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and more Marsh Tits.
Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus).

Time was now moving on so I decided to start heading back but made a stop at Los Llanos where I checked the river as I had seen Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) there in the passed and I was not disappointed wen one gave me nice views but not quite close enough for a decent photo.
Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus).
In this area I also had Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) before I headed back to Porras for my last night.

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