Monday, 25 March 2013

Clayheads on Tour - NW Spain 15th March 2013 -The final day

It was our last day in Spain, but we didn't have to be at Zaragoza for our flight back until 11:00hrs. That gave us another chance to visit El Planeron. We didn't mess up today and we arrived at the car park  (41.36961N, 00.62882W) while it was still dark. The wind had also dropped to only 10mph!

There were three Dupont's Larks singing away while it was still pitch black, an amazing sound and experience. But as it became lighter, they sang less and less, and by 07:00hrs, the area was silent. It was too early for the Lesser Short-toed Larks and Calandra Larks to start singing. It was most strange. In fact, despite it being a far better morning than yesterday weather wise, there was far less lark activity as a whole.

Sunrise at El Planeron

Dupont's habitat

We had a wander around, seeing 23 Teal and a Lapwing on the lake, a Marsh Harrier and two Southern Grey Shrikes in the same field as yesterday. Then, as we were driving out, four Black-bellied Sandgrouse and two Pin-tailed Sandgrouse flew out of a field, giving us good views again.

Unfortunately, it was time to head back to get our bags. As we drove off the plains, I caught sight of a bird flying into the verge. I quickly reversed back, parked up and we both jumped out of the car. As we did, a Hoopoe flew out and away across the fields - our only one of the trip and a fitting end to an excellent roller coaster of a trip to North Spain.

The haunting ruins of old Belchite town - bombed by a German plane during the Spanish Civil War

Our motel at Hotel Rincon del Cierzo

Last look at the snow capped Pyrenees

Flying over Northern France - the white is the recent snow piled up against the walls of the fields