maandag 13 februari 2012

3rd of January: Another day in the Spanish Sierras

I interrupted the Spain trip report to share other cool sightings I did the past weeks in Holland, but I still would like to share the rest of the trip, so back to Spain!

On the morning of the 3rd I woke up around 7.30. I went outside, listening to a calling Tawny Owl. Hawfinches were present in the trees nearby and I saw a foraging Cetti's Warbler, skulking along a fence at the parking lot. We drove to La Lancha, which would be our first visit there. On our way we could add Crested Tit to our list. We waited the entire morning for Lynxes, with plenty of other Lynx-watchers, but none showed up. We got told that they weren't active yet, for some reason..
Amongst others, Sardinian Warblers kept us busy.

In the late morning the vultures started to fly which resulted in good views of lots of Griffon Vultures and about 15 Black Vultures.

 Black Vulture
Griffon Vulture

Around 13.30 we took off to Los Pinos to get ourselves some lunch. The way back was quite productive as it resulted in lots of Vultures and our first two Spanish Imperial Eagles! Ooh eagles are so freakin' awesome!
Spanish Imperial Eagle

After our wel deserved lunch at the Los Pinos restaurant my dad and I took off again, in the late afternoon. We left to the Rio Jandula in the hope of seeing Lynxes. 
Azure-winged Magpies are abundant throughout the Sierra.

We had a fly-by of a Great White Egret but other than that it was quiet, concerning the Lynxes. After the sun had dissapeared behind the sierra we drove a bit further, down the embalse. When we got out of the car I noticed a raptor sitting a few hundred metres away on a pylon. I got the scope out and checked the raptor. It was a small eagle with a long tail and real 'eagle bill'. These features made us ID it as a Bonelli's Eagle. My dad didn't pay as much attention to the bird as I did but luckily for me, I took a record-shot with my camera of the bird. It's something I always do when in a hurry or seeing a bird we cannot identify immediatly. My dad wanted to get closer but before we had closer views we noticed it had dissapeared without us noticing! Too bad, but luckily I got some pics. They're bad but at least you can distinguish something from it...
Distant, as you can see..
And a huge crop..

And then another surprise: while finding out the eagle had gone my dad discovered a flying Eagle Owl! It was passing us by overhead, really closeby, giving us amazing views through the telescope (eventhough it was almost dark!), What a great ending of the day!

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