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EBRO DELTA & MONTSIA FEBRUARY 2007


The Ebro Delta & Montsią (1 day)

Tour leaders: Iben Hove Sųrensen & Cristian Jensen Marcet

Tour member: Magnus Persmark 

102 bird species recorded

Trip report written by Iben Hove Sųrensen

Thursday 22nd of February 2007

We met Magnus in the train station of L'Aldea, and after a quick coffee headed out towards the delta. Our first species was the Audouin's Gull on the beach near L'Ampolla, where we also had good views of Yellow-legged Gull and Sandwich Tern. At Les Olles numerous Cetti's Warblers were singing in the reed bed, and during our stop there we spotted both Kingfisher, Grey Heron, and various shorebirds foraging along the half empty channels. At first glance the surrounding fields appeared to hold only Black-headed Gulls and Cattle Egrets, yet closer inspection revealed White Wagtails foraging in the mud just about everywhere, fuelling up before their rapidly approaching time of departure. Very few pipits remain in the delta at this time of year, although we did see a few Meadow and Water Pipits among the wagtails.

The Bay of Fangar held large numbers of shorebirds, and we stood for a while enjoying the mixed flocks consisting mainly of Little Stint and Dunlin. A Hoopoe landed on a wire close by, posing for a while in front of the telescopes, and a couple of Brent Goose swam calmly amongst all the ducks resting in the bay. From the access point to Fangar itself we saw a large group of Razorbill, and as we returned along the quiet road we had the luxury of seeing two spectacular groups of birds approaching and crossing each other in the air; one of around 35 Glossy Ibis and the other of some 20 Spoonbills. A wonderful sight. As an extra bonus, we discovered two White Storks in a rice field; a rare bird in the delta, despite seemingly endless feeding grounds for them.

At the Migjorn tower, we saw seven species of duck and lots of shorebirds. A Booted Eagle landed on a small building on the opposite side of the Migjorn 'river' and remained perched for several minutes. We watched in the scopes as two Magpies landed nearby, slowly approaching the eagle from both sides, but no big drama ensued; the eagle did not seem particularly bothered by the Magpies and stayed on the roof until long after they had left.

At lunchtime, we picked up some sandwiches and went to the bird hide at Riet Vell. Whilst eating, we were watching Whiskered Terns foraging over the little lagoon and lots of Purple Gallinules wandering about in the reeds. A Moustached Warbler was singing throughout our stay there, but despite a concentrated effort we only caught brief glimpses of this beautiful little bird. As we had planned to visit Montsią in the afternoon, we only stopped briefly at La Tancada and l'Encanyissada, where we had great views of a large flock of Flamingo. Marsh Harriers were in the air above almost every single piece of reed bed, and one of the many calling Water Rails appeared right out in the open amongst a group of Common Snipe. Red-crested Pochard was the most numerous duck in the lagoons, but the number of Common Coots there was even greater - all of them still remaining close together like they have done all winter.

In the harbour of Sant Carles de la Rąpita, we took a few moments to enjoy the Audouin's Gulls, and also saw a single Mediterranean Gull, before heading to Montsią. Barely into the mountains we got out of the car, and a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoo flew in to land in the trees just behind us. They stayed for a while, chattering away, and in the end we had to drag ourselves away from them. Our next stop was just as productive, with a male Blue Rock Thrush showing very well on the rocks and Sardinian Warblers calling and moving about everywhere around us. Further into the mountains we caught sight of two raptors moving in perfect synchrony along a ridge; a pair of Bonelli's Eagles!! We lost them as they dove behind the ridge but later spotted a third bird perched in the distance. Red-legged Partridges were calling from the hills, but we did not manage to see any. The second last bird of the day was a male Cirl Bunting singing from the top of a large carob tree; the last was a Woodcock taking off in the dark as we were making our way back to L'Aldea after a great day in the field.

Comments from Magnus

Thank you so much for an outstanding day in the Ebro delta and Montsia – the birds were fabulous and the locations quite interesting. I was also very impressed with how well you had planned the outing; a February day list over 100 surely must be a testament to that! Thanks again for a very memorable day afield and I can't wait for the next opportunity to travel with you again; you run a very nicely organized company.

Bird list

  • 1. Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus
  • 2. Black-necked Grebe - Podiceps nigricollis
  • 3. Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
  • 4. Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
  • 5. Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea
  • 6. Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
  • 7. Great White Egret - Egretta alba
  • 8. Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis
  • 9. Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus
  • 10. Eurasian Spoonbill - Platalea leucorodia
  • 11. White Stork - Ciconia ciconia
  • 12. Greater Flamingo - Phoenicopterus ruber
  • 13. Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
  • 14. Brent Goose - Branta bernicla
  • 15. Common Shelduck - Tadorna tadorna
  • 16. Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
  • 17. Gadwall - Anas strepera
  • 18. Common Teal - Anas crecca
  • 19. Northern Pintail - Anas acuta
  • 20. Northern Shoveler - Anas clypeata
  • 21. Red-crested Pochard - Netta rufina
  • 22. Bonelli's Eagle - Hieraaetus fasciatus
  • 23. Booted Eagle - Hieraaetus pennatus
  • 24. Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
  • 25. Western Marsh Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
  • 26. Hen Harrier - Circus cyaneus
  • 27. Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
  • 28. Red-legged Partridge - Alectoris rufa
  • 29. Common Coot - Fulica atra
  • 30. Purple Swamphen - Porphyrio porphyrio
  • 31. Common Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
  • 32. Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus
  • 33. Pied Avocet - Recurvirostra avosetta
  • 34. Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus
  • 35. Northern Lapwing - Vanellus vanellus
  • 36. European Golden Plover - Pluvialis apricaria
  • 37. Grey Plover - Pluvialis squatarola
  • 38. Common Ringed Plover - Charadrius hiaticula
  • 39. Dunlin - Calidris alpina
  • 40. Little Stint - Calidris minuta
  • 41. Sanderling - Calidris alba
  • 42. Common Redshank - Tringa totanus
  • 43. Spotted Redshank - Tringa erythropus
  • 44. Common Greenshank - Tringa nebularia
  • 45. Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos
  • 46. Green Sandpiper - Tringa ochropus
  • 47. Ruff - Philomachus pugnax
  • 48. Eurasian Curlew - Numenius arquata
  • 49. Black-tailed Godwit - Limosa limosa
  • 50. Bar-tailed Godwit - Limosa lapponica
  • 51. Eurasian Woodcock - Scolopax rusticola
  • 52. Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago
  • 53. Black-headed Gull - Larus ridibundus
  • 54. Mediterranean Gull - Larus melanocephalus
  • 55. Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
  • 56. Lesser Black-backed Gull - Larus fuscus
  • 57. Audouin's Gull - Larus audouinii
  • 58. Slender-billed Gull - Larus genei
  • 59. Sandwich Tern - Sterna sandvicensis
  • 60. Caspian Tern - Sterna caspia
  • 61. Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybridus
  • 62. Razorbill - Alca torda
  • 63. Feral Pigeon - Columba livia feral
  • 64. Eurasian Collared Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
  • 65. Great Spotted Cuckoo - Clamator glandarius
  • 66. Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis
  • 67. Hoopoe - Upupa epops
  • 68. Skylark - Alauda arvensis
  • 69. Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
  • 70. Eurasian Crag Martin - Hirundo rupestris
  • 71. Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
  • 72. Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis
  • 73. Water Pipit - Anthus spinoletta
  • 74. White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
  • 75. Grey Wagtail - Motacilla cinerea
  • 76. Moustached Warbler - Acrocephalus melanopogon
  • 77. Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis
  • 78. Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti
  • 79. Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
  • 80. Sardinian Warbler - Sylvia melanocephala
  • 81. Common Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita
  • 82. Common Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
  • 83. Blue Rock Thrush - Monticola solitarius
  • 84. Black Redstart - Phoenicurus ochruros
  • 85. European Robin - Erithacus rubecula
  • 86. Bluethroat - Luscinia svecica
  • 87. Mistle Thrush - Turdus viscivorus
  • 88. Song Thrush - Turdus philomelos
  • 89. Blackbird - Turdus merula
  • 90. Great Tit - Parus major
  • 91. Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
  • 92. House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
  • 93. Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
  • 94. Common Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
  • 95. Spotless Starling - Sturnus unicolor
  • 96. Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
  • 97. European Serin - Serinus serinus
  • 98. European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
  • 99. European Greenfinch - Carduelis chloris
  • 100. Eurasian Linnet - Carduelis cannabina
  • 101. Reed Bunting - Emberiza schoeniclus
  • 102. Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus

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