Birding the Picos

Keith and I spent two days recently birdwatching in the Picos de Europa, a range of mountains in the north of Spain.

On the first day we make our way by cable car to a plateau 1800m about sea-level. We soon find Alpine Accentor and White-winged Snowfinch, two of the highly specialist species of these high mountain plateaus. Unfortunately, the weather turns stormy and we have to leave the plateau before we can find our third target, Wallcreeper.

Alpine Chough
Alpine Accentor.
Photo by Keith

Back down in the valley (still 1000m above sea-level) we walk in a forest where we see Black Redstart and a lot of butterflies.

The second day was spent in the mountains again, this time looking for birds of Prey. At a feeding station we see over 100 Griffon Vultures and a single Egyptian Vulture.

Moving higher we look for Bearded Vulture, but although we see more Griffon Vultures and another Egyptian vultures, the only Bearded Vultures we can see is one in a cage on the mountain side, prior to its release as part of the programme for re-introduction of this species into the Picos.

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