Sunrise and mist in Peña Izaga

In my weekly training to Peña Izaga (Navarra, Spain), I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy one of those sunrises that make you forget the cold and damp in the morning. It has been very short, so that I got the camera from the backpack in time and capture it in its glory. Still, the photo has been nice.

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Sunrise in Izagaondoa

These other photos I have taken in the return, more or less at the same point, drawing the wisps of mist that refused to disappear.

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Izagaondoa

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Izagaondoa

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Izagaondoa

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Hiking in Bardenas Reales (Navarra, Spain)

Early June 2013.

My intention was to enjoy one of the first nice days this year, get ahead of the heat that is supposed to do in the summer, and, above all, try to observe steppe birds.

Psssss … Wwwweeeeee… I saw Eurasian Skylarks, Calandra Larks and Black-eared Wheatear… and enjoyed some time with a Dartford Warbler, but cool steppe … nothing. No Stone Curlew sad … not even a Crested Lark. Well, there are days and days.

However, the environment is very nice, I really enjoyed the hike and took some nice photos (considering that I am not photographer). I walked a stretch of a ravine in which I enjoyed very much. I love these ravines from Bardenas, make me feel like an adventurer in the desert.

At the end of the day, and returning to the car, almost stepped on a little snake. Funny little animal that curled try to skare me. “Look, I look like a viper, be careful with me!”

On the way back I made a quick stop at the Pitillas Lagoon to take a picnic while watching the Horned Grebes, Coots, Great Crested Grebes and others.

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Birding and Hiking in Ollo Valley and San Donato Mountain (Navarra, Spain)

I did  this hike in early June 2013, ejoying the first days of good weather of this year, when the rain and cold has no truce.

Like many other times, I started in Iltzarbe (OlloValley, Navarra, Spain), with destiny since the summit of the Sierra de San Donato. It’s a long trip (25 km), but it is nice for birdwatching if you take it easy. They cross several habitats: bottom valley crops, pastures with hedges and trees, and mountain grazing meadows.

This hike has been excellent in birding. 31 species! Including some I did not expect, as a booted eagle. Will she live in this pine forest? It’s the first time I see her, so I’ll watch for these times.

I have also been lucky enough to find two nice caves hidden in the undergrowth. Deep one. At least the stone I shot indicated it. A little surprise I did not expect and that gives more joy to the hike.

First some pictures, and at the end, the birds list of this hike.

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And the birs list:

  • Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)
  • Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
  • Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
  • Red Kite (Milvus milvus)
  • Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
  • Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
  • Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
  • Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
  • Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
  • Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
  • Northern Wheater (Oenanthe oenanthe)
  • Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
  • Yelloshammer (Emberiza citrinella)
  • European Stonechat (Saxicola nubicola)
  • Common Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
  • European Serin (Serinus serinus)
  • Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)
  • European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
  • House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
  • Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
  • Common House Martin (Delichon urbica)
  • Common Swift (Apus apus)
  • Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)
  • European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
  • Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
  • Great Tit (Parus major)
  • Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
  • Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
  • Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
  • Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker (heard) (Dendrocopos major)

Orquídeas de montaña en los Pirineos / Mountain Orchids in the Pyrenees

I have no idea about orchids, is a branch entirely unknown to me, mine is animals. The fact is that now, in May, are flourishing, among many other colorful flowers, some variety of mountain orchids, and they are fascinating. I put some pictures taken in the Selva de Oza, in EchoValley, in the West Pyrenees. Also I put a photo of a flower that can be said to emerge directly from the rock. What a survivability!

No tengo ni idea de orquídeas, es una rama totalmente desconocida para mí, lo mío son los animales. El caso es que ahora, en el mes de mayo, están floreciendo, entre otras muchas flores vistosas, una cierta variedad de orquídeas de montaña, y resultan fascinantes. Pongo algunas fotos sacadas en el Selva de Oza, en el Valle de Echo. Pongo también una foto de una flor que se puede decir que emerge directamente de la roca. ¡Vaya capacidad de supervivencia!

 

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Hiking and Birding in Valle de Echo (Pyrenees)

Although we are at the end of April (2013), this year there are a lot of snow in the Pyrenees. It melts, but still a lot, and at relatively low levels for this time of year. So this hike, although I have been enjoying the spring Pyrenees, has been a little failure in mountaineer. I wanted to go up from Selva de Oza until Anzotiello Pass and back by that of Petraficha Pass. But even going with snow rackets, had another chip in my mind, and I decided to stay by the Valley of Acherito.

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 Birdwatching (and wildlife in general) have not been very varied in terms of number of species, but in terms of quality. Well, to me, meybe all mountain species are “of quality”. Some chamoises still winter fur. One does not stray more than a few meters … meybe is a bit old one. Groundhogs already awake, and very active. His snapper are heard everywhere. One of them has been particularly funny. I was leaning against a stone lying, throwing half nap in the sun, when I caught a little head, full of curiosity, looked barricaded behind a boulder.

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For birds, the ubiquitous Black Redstart, Common Chaffinch, Alpine Chough, and others who do not identify. That said, little variety. They have not reached the aegyptian vultures, and griffon vultures are not. Yes, I enjoy watching a Red Kite particularly active, and the magnificent and majestic Bearded Vulture planning at low altitude.

In the valley I entertain a while amaze with the remains of trees totally destroyed by an avalanche. Often destructive power. And looking around in puddles, some of which are already filled with frog eggs and small tadpoles.

Birding and Hiking in Ollo Valley and San Donato Mountain

I did this hike in March 2013, taking advantage of one of the first sunny days after a winter that has not stopped raining and snowing for two months.

The hike is long but I have all day, so no hurry. I start walking from Iltzarbe. I entertain identifying some birds at the edges of the crops. Basically common stonechats also some yellowhammer and others I let it run.

In the forest greet me friendly robins, finches and chickadees. The great tit is one of my favorite birds. Not sure why, but it is.

Already halfway up, having left behind the houses, crops and oak forest, my attention gordotes a small group of birds on the edge of a pine forest. They are far, but I think the achievement see well. Hawfinches! What nice people. I have always drawn the attention these birds, and I really like his orange browns colours.

The rest of the way does not offer many new features in birding. Pipits plus chaffinches, and a few kites flying over the area. There are others emerging rapidly among the bushes and getting away without giving me any chance to identify them. Well, I’m full up, so it does not matter much.
The last section, on the plateau of the Sierra de San Donato is beautiful, and today is spectacular.

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