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RW Blackbird in the Canary Islands

Red-winged blackbird

Some friends went on a trip to the Canary Islands a few days ago. They are from Hong Kong and keen birders. On February 8th, during a short walk around “Parque de la Luz”, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, they were surprised by something unexpected: Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). Not one, but two and possibly three individuals.

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Crossroads

Lesser Flamingo

Birds from the far North, the far East, the far South, the far West… The Mediterranean basin is a crossroads for migrants, and the Ebro Delta is one of its best birding sites. In a single winter day, like yesterday, it is possible to switch from a “Sibe vibe” to an African flavour in a matter of minutes. That’s what we went for, an exceptionally diverse combination of winged creatures.

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Now I’m here, now I’m there

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked grebe is a rare bird in Catalonia, with very few records in the last years. Not the kind of bird that your expect to find on a quick visit to Arenys de Mar harbour, a small town near Barcelona. Instead, what I had in mind today was looking for some gulls and checking the eastern beach, which recently has benefited from a vegetation restoration in some areas.

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Little Bustard, first for the Ebro Delta

Ebro Delta Little Bustard

When we visited the Ebro Delta last week, we had in mind looking for the long staying rarities that have been around for some time. A very creamy looking Steppe Grey Shrike was one of them. A smew was another. Or the always interesting White-headed duck. And of course, lots of other birds. Birding very pleasant. No wind, mild temperatures. In the afternoon, the northern bay was packed with birds…

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Spider wasp and its prey

Spider wasp dragging tarantula

Picture a pleasant and warm summer evening in a coastal valley. Vineyards cover most of the area. Humid wind coming from the sea has brought some low clouds, but no rain is expected. Bonelli’s warblers sing from the nearby Stone pine woodlands. A pair of Red-rumped swallows circle around hunting insects. It’s getting late, soon both species of Nightjar will start singing, as well as Little and Scops Owl.

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Avoidable impact

Glass collision hawfinch

Earlier this year –it was late winter–, I happened to be birding in a pre-Pyrenean valley. Hawfinches, Redwings… It was very birdy indeed. I saw a newly built Padel court in the outskirts of a small town. Padel is a racquet sport similar to tennis that is trending in the country and rapidly expanding town to town. Anyway, I approached the court, oblivious of what I was about to find.

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Lark Land

Greater Short-toed Lark

Open country is lark country. Leaving aside the most densely forested regions and strict wetlands, the Alaudidae family is likely to have some representatives pretty much everywhere. Usually, though, the best places to look for larks are also home to other birds, more “spectacular” and colourful birds, that understandably take much of birder’s attention.

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Born to fly

Black Swift flight sequence composition

Working in the field provides always interesting encounters with winged creatures. This week was no exception, and the flatlands were the perfect setting to witness some intense scenes. Birds trace their own path in the invisible road of the air. They go wherever they want to go, and they do it in different ways depending on their abilities and way of life. But they are not attached to the ground as we are.

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Rock climbing Treecreeper

Rock climbing Short-toed Treecreeper

An unusual sighting a few days ago when scanning a coastal cliff in a completely treeless area. This is a place where you expect to see Blue Rock Thrush, Crag Martin, maybe a Shag or Audouin Gull… you get the idea. Surprisingly, a Short-toed Treecreeper showed up climbing the rock face just like a Wallcreeper would.

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Barcelona is just the start!

Main Birding Areas

Catalonia offers an amazing diversity of habitats in a relatively small territory.
The high peaks of the Pyrenees, its cliffs and forested valleys. The inland Lleida Steppes, home of unique birds and vast horizons. The mediterranean scrublands of Garraf Massif. The Llobregat Delta marshes, so close to Barcelona city. The Ebro Delta, one of the most important wetlands of the Mediterranean.
If you love nature, Catalonia will surely surprise you. On our guided birding tours, you’ll also discover breathtaking landscapes, beautiful old towns and tasty gastronomy. Come birding with us!

Select your Tour!

Fascinating birding opportunities are waiting for you beyond Barcelona

You are in good company!

Are you visiting Barcelona and planning to go birding? Catalonia Birding Experience offers you personalized guided tours throughout the country. We take care of all the details, so you simply enjoy your trip!
With over 25 years of birding experience in Catalonia & Spain, we’ll take you directly to the best spots to find birds,
while visiting the most spectacular landscapes. Our goal is that you have a memorable experience, and a fun and pleasant time.

1. Take your time exploring the website, and the different birding destinations. Think about your schedule, the different places that you’d like to visit and how you’d like to combine them.

2. Contact us via email or phone and tell us your interests, timing, etc. Ask us anything that you have in mind! We will be pleased to inform you and design the tour that best suits your needs.

3. If you like our proposal, we’ll start to make all the arrangements and keep in touch with you to pick you up at your desired location. No pre-payment needed.