Ornithology and birding in this corner of the world

Monegros right before spring

Technically it’s still winter, and most migrants and summer visitors are yet to arrive. But in the Monegros steppes, a region west of Catalonia belonging to Aragon, you can feel the spring is near. The sky already filled with the songs of Calandra Larks and Lesser Short-toed Larks. And even a much rarer song to hear these days, the secretive Dupont’s Lark, can be enjoyed at some special spots. Yesterday we were lucky enough get some pretty spectacular views of them.
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Steppe Grey Shrike, first for Catalonia

The day started cloudy, but not really cold, at the Empordà plains. South-westerly winds have brought mild temperatures and weather fronts bring in some rain, a sign of the spring that is just around the corner. Past week’s north-east cold irruption, boosted by strong high pressures in Scandinavia, is gone. Who would have thought that a first for Catalonia, a mega-rare winter visitor from Central Asia, would be discovered this late in the season.
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Passerine Topography

As usual, it’s all about birds 🙂 Here you can watch a video we made recently: a detailed explanation of a passerine’s main body features.

It is an educational video, so it can be used as a teaching tool for beginners. Knowing these key words and the location of the different plumage features is very helpful when trying to identify a bird in the field or writing observation details on your notebook.

We hope you find it interesting!


Urban Rosy Starling

The coastal town of Premià de Mar, very close to Barcelona, is hosting a Rosy Starling since at least February 22th, when it was initially spotted by a neighbour living in front of the old fig tree, Ficus benjamina, where a mixed flock of Common and Spotless Starlings come to roost every evening. This is certainly not the place where you would expect to find a rarity such as this one. Click to enlarge:
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Wallcreeper winter day

Heavy snow hit the Pyrenees the last days, reaching lower altitudes than is usual. Despite the cold, we are always eager to go birding, and today our primary goal was to spot the wallcreeper. We started early and as we drove higher and higher the snow cover got thicker. The rock faces remained clear though, so we stopped to make a first attempt. No luck. Actually, there might be a wallcreeper somewhere up there, but how to find it?
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Birding under the Rain

The Southwest of the United States suffers regular droughts, maybe even more than it would be natural, because of the climate change. When, on December 2014, heavy rain finally hit California, we were luckily there to capture the moment. This video was shot in the middle of the storm, in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. And you see, even under the rain the hummingbirds keep flying!