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Autumn Passage in Catalunya

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Old Sunday 12th August 2018, 19:47   #1
pandachris
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Autumn Passage in Catalunya

We have 4 trips lined up between now and mid-October. Mostly we won't be birding but there will be opportunities and we have a couple of long days in the Ebro Delta lined up for the end. If I get the chance I'll post what we see here in case it's of use to anyone but other birders in the region feel free to add stuff. For our Barcelona trip I might also post to the "Birdwatching in a Big City" thread.

Coming next - Barcelona for the Festa Major de GrÓcia, 15th to 22nd August 2018.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2018, 07:46   #2
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I'll keep the reports coming although I doubt we'll see much to inspire others during this trip. Best bird so far has been the brand new Aliga de GrÓcia which can't go on this list, although it's a splendid creature.

15/08/18

1. House Sparrow, Barcelona airport
2. White Wagtail, Barcelona airport
3. Barn Swallow, from the train to Barcelona Sants
4. Common Swift, from the train
5. Woodpigeon, from the train
6. Collared Dove, from the train
7. Monk Parakeet, Vila de GrÓcia, Barcelona
8. Yellow-bellied Gull, GrÓcia

I saw a few egrets as we flew over the reserve next to the airport but no flamingos, which are often visible in the Llobregat, particularly near the bridge.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2018, 07:53   #3
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16/08/18

A five minutes walk to the Jardins del Mestre Balcells was a bit disappointing because it has plenty of mature trees but doesn't open until 10 a.m. so I had a stroll. Starlings were all too far away for me to bother trying to ID them. There was a Sardinian Warbler in the southeast corner of Plaša de Lesseps and I crossed the road to find a bench in shade with a view of the hills to the north hoping for a raptor or two but nothing in the 25 minutes until the sun came around.

Cercavila de Sant Roc next.

9. Sardinian Warbler
10. Magpie
11. Alpine Swift
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Old Friday 17th August 2018, 07:25   #4
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Yellow-bellied Gull, eh? I should be more careful with auto-"correct".

I thought I'd have a look at the Parc del Turo del Putxet which is a bit more of a serious green space than the one I failed to access yesterday. It's about 12 minutes uphill from our hostal. Yet again closed until 10 a.m. I identified a couple of common species from the gate. Good job this isn't a birding holiday.

12. Goldfinch, Vila de GrÓcia
13. Blue Tit, Plaša d'en Joanic (might have been Crested Tit here, too)
14. Greenfinch, Parc del Turo del Putxet
15. Serin, Parc del Turo del Putxet
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Old Sunday 19th August 2018, 11:04   #5
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18/08/18

Continuing our run of not seeing any migrants. We had a long breakfast at El Corte Inglese where I thought the elevation might help us see any raptors moving through.

16. Jackdaw, El Corte Inglese
17. Common Waxbill, numerous in Parc del Turo del Putxet
19. Coal Tit, Parc del Turo del Putxet
20 We heard a Firecrest from a taxi somewhere on the way into El Polblenou.
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Old Sunday 19th August 2018, 17:47   #6
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I missed

21. Blackbird, Bar Estiu, Frederic Mares Museum.
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2018, 18:05   #7
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Back in the UK now. Despite our gruelling festival schedue we did a couple of deliberate bits of birding with sant return. Might have done a bit better if we'd got up earlier but we were in bed late every night.

21/08/18

22. House Martin, Sant Adria de Besos
23. Shag, Sant Adria de Besos
24. Tree Sparrow, Sant Adria de Besos.

I'd hoped for better. We walked to the riverside area from the station and followed the path down to the river mouth. There were lots of people, almost all men, wandering around in the scrub and bushes. We're not of a nervous disposition and they probably weren't interested in anything we had to offer (a brief workshop on recognising frequent calls of common western Mediterranean warblers, perhaps?) but there were few birds to see. A probably Zitting Cisticola flew between bushes and there was at least one more warbler that we couldn't get onto. The river mouth, where we have seen a few waders in previous years, seemed very different, perhaps remodeled by storms and much more accessible to people.
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2018, 18:13   #8
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22/08/18

25. Blackcap, Parc del Poblenou
26. Melodious Warbler, Parc del Poblenou
27. Moorhen, Parc de la Ciutadella
27. Herring Gull, Parc de la Ciutadella
28. Blue-crowned Conure, Parc de la Ciutadella

Way too late for Parc del Poblenou. It was about 32C with intense sunshine. There were definitely warblers about but they were keeping quiet and hiding from the sun.

The Conures were new for us for the city, but easy to find and very vocal along the tram line that skirts the park. Additionally we saw starlings several times but never close up.

Hopefully the next installment, from Tarragona starting on 21st September, will include some more interesting content.
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Old Friday 21st September 2018, 17:40   #9
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21/09/18

From the 06:25 from Manchester, Gannets just off the harbour wall, Barcelona and 20+ Greater Flamingos in the usual place at the mouth of the Llobregat, seconds before landing.

29. Gannet, offshore, Barcelona
30. Greater Flamingo, Riu de Llobregat

Also a pod of perhaps 10 dolphins a few kilometres offshore opposite what was probably Badalona. They were surprisingly easy to sea, given our altitude, because the sea was completely calm with no white capped waves at all.

Not much opportunity to look for birds in Tarragona so far. We were hoping to try Restaurant Arcs but it was closed so we went to El Galliner de l'Antiquari where the menu del dia was spectacular and great value at €16.50 pp. Some evidence of hirundine passage this afternoon.

31. Common Kestrel, Rambla Nova, Tarragona
32. Hobby, Rambla Nova, Tarragona.
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Old Friday 21st September 2018, 17:53   #10
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A bit of migration visible from our top floor balcony in Hotel Plaša de la Font, Tarragona, local time from c18:40, with Alpine Swifts well into double figures plus one lark. The birds are mainly quite high so chance of me identifying things like larks down to species level are slim indeed.
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Old Friday 21st September 2018, 19:17   #11
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Up to about 19:40, several flocks of 30-60 finch-sized birds mainly along the building line at the edge of the Mediterranean. I can say with some confidence that they weren't the more striking finches (chaffinch, goldfinch, hawfinch etc.) but no idea what they actually were. Linnets perhaps. One of the smaller larks?
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 07:21   #12
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It's 08:20 and thanks to our friend Sabat we had the most incredible Baixada de l'Aliga ever 'last night'. Today has a gentler start with the Entrada Del's Musics at midday so I'm going to try some real time updates ...
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 07:40   #13
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A fairly quiet start. Two Starlings on a TV aerial where too distant to identify.

33. Crag Martin, Hotel Plaša de la Font (a year tick for me).
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 08:21   #14
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Still quiet. 12 starling and about the same number of Swallows over. One Monk Parakeet (far less numerous here than in Barcelona).

34. Grey Wagtail, Hotel Plaša de la Font.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 08:25   #15
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35. Common Starling, Hotel Plaša de la Font.

One finally flew close enough.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 08:38   #16
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At last! Just the other side of the Ajuntament...

36. Honey Buzzard.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 08:48   #17
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pandachris - I went to Cambris a few Octobers ago and managed to escape to the Delta for a couple of birding sorties. Found some great birds Marsh Sandpiper, Ortolan Bunting, Lesser Short Toed Lark, Little Bittern juv (very very late), Moustached Warbler, Caspian Tern, Bluethroat, Penduline Tit (although that may have been Aiguamolls) Merlin etc etc. I guessing the shooting has started which made things a little annoying and depressing. The point is its well worth the excursion - there is a returning Pacific Golden Plover at the moment...
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 09:21   #18
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Thanks rosbifs. We have two days in the Delta in early October, immediately after the Concurs de Castells. TBH that's when I expect to see the bulk of species. Do you recall where you saw Ortolan there? Haven't seen one for years.

Little Bittern has not been much of a problem for us there in Autumn. We've seen them in several places close to Restaurant Casa Fuster. I can't remember whether I saw one in late October last year but I know I missed Night Heron so it's possible that I did.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 09:35   #19
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Returning after an ablutions break, constant passage of swallows between here and the sea. Seldom more than three in view at a time, seldom none visible during the last ten minutes.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 09:43   #20
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36. Common Buzzard, Hotel Plaša de la Font.

Three directly over the hotel and high. They put me on to lots of Alpine Swifts even higher.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 09:51   #21
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Hundreds of Swallows since last update, just as we are ready to head out.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 13:28   #22
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The Ortolan was at Riet Vell - next to the entrance.

Lo Pati D'Agusti - was a great restaurant at Poble Nou.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 22:32   #23
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We went to Tarragona's Parc de la Ciutat late afternoon. Plenty of House Martins over for a few minutes after arrival. Lots of Blackcaps and what might have been a Spectacled Warbler.

37. Robin, Parc de la Ciutat.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2018, 22:33   #24
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We're definitely going to Riet Vell, so I'll look carefully. Found a Bluethroat there last year.
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Old Sunday 23rd September 2018, 05:47   #25
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One of the nice things about birding in Spain at this time of year is that it is nearly 06:445 and it is still too dark for meaningful bird watching. We have to be in Barcelona by 11:00 for the Diada so I have time for a shower etc. before getting a chair onto our tiny balcony. Hopefully there will be more raptors today.
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