Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Santi's Garden and La Yecla, Burgos Province, Spain.

A walk to see the new section of the La Yecla path and to have another try for the Wallcreeper.
Ebird List, 37 species.

Hairy Violet (Viola hirta).

During the night I had the window open and could hear the frogs in the garden calling, I am fairly sure they were Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) even this far North.
Hairy Violet (Viola hirta).
I started the birding in Santi's Garden by picking up a female looking Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) picking around in the lawn and a Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) which was mixed in with the resident House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) flock.
Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus).
Later we drove to the start of the new section of the walk through the La Yecla Gorge and in the trees where we parked I had another Hawfinch as well as several Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), a singing Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and at least three Iberian Green Woodpeckers (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) which were calling from different directions and on the roadside back a few bits of flowering Hairy Violet (Viola hirta).
Santi on the new bridge at the Northern end of the gorge.
We started the walk along the road and then took a track through a Pine plantation where good numbers of Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) hawking over the trees and a small tit flock containing Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Coal  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla).
The entrance to the Gorge, the Wallcreeper was on the rocks in the top left.
Along the first / new section of walkway we saw 3 more Rock Sparrows, both Cirl (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and several clumps of Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) and  Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) down along the stream.
On the Gorge walk.
We reached the original part of the Walk through the gorge and continued on up to the Southern end of the Gorge adding a good number of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) and a Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) which was carrying a largish catch.
Looking up stream.
At the Southern end we had what I suspect was a second smaller looking Peregrine fly throw the Gorge and a few moments later a very smart adult Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) which drifted east along the crags.
Down of the trail.
We walked up to the Cafe hoping to get a coffee but it was shut so we checked the trees near there adding a calling  Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), a pair of Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and after we turned around and followed the road back to the first tunnel we picked up 4 Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), a Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and a very smart female Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius) which came towards us from the east and did a couple of low fast circles before heading North.
Back down stream.
We walked through the two tunnels and then dropped back down onto the new part of the trail, half way down the steps I noticed a bird drop on to the cliffs way over on the other side of the river, I was over the moon to see it was the
Wallcreeper (Treparriscos / Tichodroma muraria) when I got my bins on to it, I knew it was way to far off for a picture so I just enoyed watching it for the short period it was there before it flew over the ridge and away.
Rush-leaf Jonquil (Narcissus assoanus).
Rush-leaf Jonquil (Narcissus assoanus).
Rush-leaf Jonquil (Narcissus assoanus).
As we walked back to the car the only species added were a few spikes of what I think were
Rush-leaf Jonquil (Narcissus assoanus) which we had walked passed on the way up.
Silos after the Chants.

Later we walked down to the Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos where we listened to the evenings Gregorian chants by
Benedictine Monks, I have no religious beliefs but you don't need to have to appreciate this event and it also bought back a lot of good memories of the several visits I had made there with Jayne, Howard and Santi.

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