Monthly Archives: February 2014

Luscinia svecica, Bluethroat, Ruiseñor Pechiazul

Luscinia svecica, Bluethroat, Ruiseñor Pechiazul. A spring and autumn visitor to Aragon, March and April, then September and October. Several sightings at El Galacho de Juslibol, La Alberca de Loreto and El Galacho de La Alfranca with regular occurences at La Laguna de Gallocanta. Having said that, there is a possibility that there is a small breeding population in the very south west of Teruel in the Montes Universales.

bluethroat C2281

Luscinia svecica, Bluethroat, Ruiseñor Pechiazul (Photo courtesy of David Bowyer, Aragon Birding)

By |February 8th, 2014|Species|0 Comments|

P.N. Marjal de Pego Oliva 31-01-14

On Friday 31 January I went to the P.N. Marjal de Pego-Oliva for the first time this year. Last year I visited this lovely area many times but as yet, had not been there in the winter. On arriving at the entrance to the park I bumped into Mike Bird of the Bedfordshire Natural History Society who was there for the first time. I offered to show him around so off we went in the 4×4.

The flooded rice fields to the south held Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Yellow-legged Gull, Black-headed Gull, White Wagtail, Northern Lapwing, Water Pipit, Mallard, Shoveler and Snipe. Several Marsh Harriers hunted over the reed beds scattering the hundreds of Crag Martin feeding on a hatch of small flies, whilst the irrigation canals and scrapes played host to Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Moorhen, Water Rail and Purple Swamphen.

I had hopes of spotting a Bluethroat. Sure enough, sitting on a stone by the edge of a puddle in the middle of the track an adult male obliged us with good views for several minutes, its white throat patch contrasting starkly with the bright blue bib, then a narrow black and white band finished off with a broader rusty red band.

bluethroat C2272

Crossing over to the north, the rice fields held less birds although a Purple Heron flew up from a bank protesting strongly against our intrusion. At one point along the track where the river bends there is a good place to search for raptors hunting over a low lying hill bordering the northern boundary of the park. Just a kestrel or two today though and three pale phase Booted Eagles, one of [...]

Phoenicurus ochruros, Black Redstart, Colirrojo Tizón

Phoenicurus ochruros, Black Redstart, Colirrojo Tizón. Abundant throughout Aragon up to 2500m. The population is sedentary for the most part with increases in numbers in the Ebro Valley in winter as birds descend from higher altitudes. Additionally winter visitors from Central Europe boost numbers further still.

Phoenicurus ochruros

Phoenicurus ochruros, Black Redstart, Colirrojo Tizón (Photo courtesy of David Bowyer, Aragon Birding)

By |February 7th, 2014|Species|0 Comments|

Monticola solitarius, Blue Rock Thrush, Roquero Solitario

Monticola solitarius, Blue Rock Thrush, Roquero Solitario. Widely distributed throughout the regions mountainous zones up to 1,500 metres as well as lower lying escarpments and canyons. Easy to locate by call and its conspicuous behaviour. Present all year round, populations in the Ebro Valley swell in winter as higher level birds descend.

Monticola solitarius

Monticola solitarius, Blue Rock Thrush, Roquero Solitario (Photo courtesy of David Bowyer, Aragon Birding)

By |February 7th, 2014|Species|0 Comments|

Motacilla cinerea, Grey Wagtail, Lavandera Cascadeña

Motacilla cinerea, Grey Wagtail, Lavandera Cascadeña. An abundant species in Aragon, widely distributed over the region although in winter the higher altitude population descends to more favourable sites.

Motacilla cinerea

Motacilla cinerea, Grey Wagtail, Lavandera Cascadeña (Photo courtesy of David Bowyer, Aragon Birding)

By |February 7th, 2014|Species|0 Comments|

Grus canadensis, Sandhill Crane, Grulla Canadiense

Grus canadensis, Sandhill Crane, Grulla Canadiense. A first for Aragon present for several days at La Laguna de Gallocanta in February 2013.

Grus canadensis

Grus canadensis, Sandhill Crane, Grulla Canadiense (Photo courtesy of David Bowyer, Aragon Birding)

By |February 7th, 2014|Species|0 Comments|

Egretta garzetta, Little Egret, Garceta Común

Egretta garzetta, Little Egret, Garceta Común. Numbers are present all year round with increases in autumn and winter. Found almost anywhere along the banks of the River Ebro including the centre of Zaragoza as well as the wetlands and rice fields of the Ebro Valley.

Egretta garzetta

Egretta garzetta, Little Egret, Garceta Común (Photo courtesy of David Bowyer, Aragon Birding)

By |February 7th, 2014|Species|0 Comments|

Egretta alba, Great White Egret, Garceta Grande

Egretta alba, Great White Egret, Garceta Grande. Sightings of this species have been on the increase for many years now. Numbers are present all year round with increases in autumn and winter. Found almost anywhere along the banks of the River Ebro including the centre of Zaragoza as well as the wetlands and rice fields of the Ebro Valley.

Egretta alba

Egretta alba, Great White Egret, Garceta Grande (Photo courtesy of David Bowyer, Aragon Birding)

By |February 7th, 2014|Species|0 Comments|

Calidris ferruginea, Curlew Sandpiper, Correlimos Zarapitín

Calidris ferruginea, Curlew Sandpiper, Correlimos Zarapitín. A spring and autumn visitor to Aragon. Generally in small groups frequenting lagoons and ricefields. Larger concentrations seen at La Laguna de Gallocanta (up to 50  present in September of 1991 and May of 1992).

Calidris ferruginea

Calidris ferruginea, Curlew Sandpiper, Correlimos Zarapitín (Photo courtesy of David Bowyer, Aragon Birding)

By |February 7th, 2014|Species|0 Comments|