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THE PYRENEES JULY 2008

High Pyrenees Nature Park, Sort, Isil, Bordes de Lapre (1 day)

Tour leader: Job Roig

Tour member: Brad Carlson

54 bird species recorded

Trip report written by Job Roig

Friday July 11th 2008

We started out early, at 6 am from Sort, and after driving some minutes we made a brief stop in the village of Isil to find Dipper in the nearby river. We had some nice views of this water bird and some fast views of a Stone Marten (Martes foina) crossing the road in front of us.

We went on to the upper part of the valley where the Bonabe mountain forest starts. In this place it was easy to hear (and see) various forest birds like Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Citril Finch, Crossbill, Chiffchaff and Bullfinch. We started walking up, crossing a mixed montane bush land where it was easy to observe Dunnock, Yellowhammer, Red-backed Shrike and Ring Ouzel. We went on up our path towards the higher parts observing Golden Eagle, Kestrel and different bush species like Rock Bunting, Whinchat and Mistle Thrush. In the grassy fields near the pass we got new alpine species like Water Pipit, Northern Wheatear, Black Redstart and Skylark. In the same place we could observe two beautiful mountain mammals: A family group of Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota) and five Southern Chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica).

After two hours of walking we arrived to the pass at 2260 meters. This pass is at the same time a pass and the border between Spain and France. In this place we had some nice views of two species of Chough (Alpine and Red-billed), Griffon Vulture and also good views of our first Lammergeier. We continued towards the east to try and gain more height, and after some minutes walking we observed our first group of Alpine Accentors. After this, we started scoping the nearby snow patches where we could observe some short and brief views of our solitary Snow Finch of the day. We tried to see it again, but after a long time we decided to go back to the car. On the path down we observed another (and different) adult Lammergeier.

When we arrived at the car we decided to try and find Ortolan Bunting in the surroundings of a mountain village called Bordes de Lapre. On the road to the village we observed more and new forest birds, and when we arrived at the village some strong wind caused us to fail hearing the song of the Ortolan, so instead we tried to make it move by walking through the bushes. We observed Yellowhammer, Red-backed Shrike, Wood pigeon, Green and Spotted Woodpecker but no views of our wanted bird. The last bird of the trip was a fast Red-legged Partridge in the middle of the road, and we returned to Sort to take a good rest after our mountain session.

Bird list

  • 1. Golden Eagle
  • 2. Buzzard
  • 3. Skylark
  • 4. Whinchat
  • 5. Goldfinch
  • 6. Wren
  • 7. Alpine Accentor
  • 8. Wheatear
  • 9. Raven
  • 10. Carrion Crow
  • 11. Black Redstart
  • 12. Grey Wagtail
  • 13. White Wagtail
  • 14. Cuckoo
  • 15. Red-backed Shrike
  • 16. Spotless Starling
  • 17. Starling
  • 18. Eurasian Jay
  • 19. Red-billed Chough
  • 20. Alpine Chough
  • 21. Water Pipit
  • 22. Mistle Thrush
  • 23. Citril Finch
  • 24. Crested Tit
  • 25. Coal Tit
  • 26. Ring Ouzel
  • 27. Blackbird
  • 28. Dipper
  • 29. Chiffchaff
  • 30. Barn Swallow
  • 31. House Martin
  • 32. Dunnock
  • 33. House Sparrow
  • 34. Snow Finch
  • 35. Linnet
  • 36. Red-legged Partridge
  • 37. Nuthatch
  • 38. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • 39. Green Woodpecker
  • 40. Bullfinch
  • 41. Chaffinch
  • 42. Robin
  • 43. Tree Pipit
  • 44. Treecreeper
  • 45. Goldcrest
  • 46. Crag Martin
  • 47. Rock Bunting
  • 48. Song Trush
  • 49. Lammergeier
  • 50. Common Crossbill
  • 51. Wood Pigeon
  • 52. Yellowhammer
  • 53. Griffon Vulture
  • 54. Kestrel

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