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Audouin Birding Tours: Trip report from Pyrenees and Aiguamolls de l'Empordà




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PYRENEES & AIGUAMOLLS DE L'EMPORDA JULY 2007

Pyrenees and Aiguamolls de l'Empordà with Cortalet and Estanys d'Europa (1 day)

Group members: Paul Anderson & Randi Kepecs + 3 

Local guide: Deli Saavedra

64 bird species and 3 mammal species recorded.

Trip report written by Deli Saavedra.

Monday July 30th 2007

We started at 9 am from Ceret (France) and crossed the border to reach our first place in the Catalonian Pyrenees; a mountain track leading us from 1300 to 2000 m a.s.l. The first stretch was very good for raptors and we saw Red Kite, Peregrine Falcon, 3 Golden Eagles and 2 Common Buzzards. After a few kilometres, the jewel of the day appeared in front of us: An impressive adult Lammergeier following the slope towards us! It passed only 50 metres above our heads, with time enough for us to take some photos and enjoy the moment. It passed again a second time and then disappeared behind the mountain. On the higher stretch of the track, around 2000 m a.s.l., we managed to see a flock of Citril Finches and a couple of Water Pipits. We discovered Marmot burrows and saw some individuals moving and whistling around the area. On the way down we saw 10 Griffon Vultures, Common Kestrel, Northern Wheatear, Dunnock, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Mistle Thrush, and Red-backed Shrike.

After this successful ‘taste’ of the high Pyrenees we headed down to the coast, to our second destination of the day: Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park. We arrived around 5 p.m. and visited 2 hides placed at the Cortalet lagoon. The lagoon was almost dry, but in the scattered pools we enjoyed the observation of many interesting species: Flamingo, Spoonbill, Great White Egret, White Stork, Shelduck, Marsh Harrier, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, and Wood Sandpiper. We also saw a Fallow Deer. On the trail leading to the second hide we enjoyed close views of a family of Nightingales and a group of Bee-eaters hunting insects from a tree perch. The last place we visited was Europa lagoons and the adjacent Water Treatment Plant. In summer, this is one of the places with granted water and different species congregate on the concrete and the naturalized ponds: Little Grebe, Coot, Little Ringed Plover, and a big flock of Jackdaw. We even observed an American Mink patrolling the concrete ponds and possibly capturing a Moorhen’s chick. At 8 p.m. we left Aiguamolls and returned to Ceret.

Bird list

  • 1. Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
  • 2. Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea
  • 3. Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
  • 4. Great White Egret - Egretta alba
  • 5. Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis
  • 6. Eurasian Spoonbill - Platalea leucorodia
  • 7. White Stork - Ciconia ciconia
  • 8. Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus ruber
  • 9. Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
  • 10. Common Shelduck - Tadorna tadorna
  • 11. Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
  • 12. Lammergeier - Gypaetus barbatus
  • 13. Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Gyps fulvus
  • 14. Red Kite - Milvus milvus
  • 15. Golden Eagle - Aquila chrysaetos
  • 16. Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
  • 17. Western Marsh Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
  • 18. Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus
  • 19. Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
  • 20. Red-legged Partridge - Alectoris rufa
  • 21. Common Coot - Fulica atra
  • 22. Common Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
  • 23. Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus
  • 24. Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius dubius
  • 25. Curlew Sandpiper - Calidris ferruginea
  • 26. Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos
  • 27. Wood Sandpiper - Tringa glareola
  • 28. Black-headed Gull - Larus ridibundus
  • 29. Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
  • 30. Feral Pigeon - Columba livia feral
  • 31. Common Wood Pigeon - Columba palumbus
  • 32. Eurasian Collared Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
  • 33. European Turtle Dove - Streptopelia turtur
  • 34. Common Swift - Apus apus
  • 35. European Bee-eater - Merops apiaster
  • 36. Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
  • 37. Eurasian Crag Martin - Hirundo rupestris
  • 38. Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
  • 39. Northern House Martin - Delichon urbica
  • 40. Water Pipit - Anthus spinoletta
  • 41. White Wagtail - Motacilla alba alba
  • 42. Red-backed Shrike - Lanius collurio
  • 43. Dunnock - Prunella modularis
  • 44. Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis
  • 45. Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
  • 46. Common Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
  • 47. Northern Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe
  • 48. Black Redstart - Phoenicurus ochruros
  • 49. Common Nightingale - Luscinia megarhynchos
  • 50. Mistle Thrush - Turdus viscivorus
  • 51. Blackbird - Turdus merula
  • 52. Great Tit - Parus major
  • 53. Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
  • 54. Carrion Crow - Corvus corone
  • 55. Eurasian Jackdaw - Corvus monedula
  • 56. House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
  • 57. Common Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
  • 58. Golden Oriole - Oriolus oriolus
  • 59. European Serin - Serinus serinus
  • 60. Citril Finch - Serinus citrinella
  • 61. European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
  • 62. European Greenfinch - Carduelis chloris
  • 63. Eurasian Linnet - Carduelis cannabina
  • 64. Yellowhammer - Emberiza citrinella

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