A bright, sunny start to the day had Kiersten and I heading up into the mountains recently…only to be met by rolling, foggy clouds that brought our birdwatching day to a cold, wet and rather miserable end. Still, we managed to cobble together a day-list before the weather closed in around us, and there were a couple of surprises before the hillsides disappeared in the mist…
At around 1800m the abandoned ruins at Tello can be a productive birding destination, and the drive out of the village started well enough. Stonechat and Crested Larks showed well as always, and we picked up Sardinian and Dartford Warblers along the roadside in no time at all.
With Chaffinch, Serin and Great, Blue and Coal Tits all ticked for the day we parked up and the short walk to the old buildings at Tello gave us Black Redstarts and Rock Buntings.
With visibility worsening by the minute we clearly didn’t have long, but decided to hang on as long as we could. Jays clacked and screeched suspiciously in the trees around us, and we picked out Blackbirds and Mistle Thrushes – but only just! – as the cloud thickened and made photography pretty much impossible.
Of course, with the cameras out of action we expected something interesting to turn up, and a Short-toed Treecreeper and a Nuthatch were both nice additions to the day. Laughing, “klu-klu-klu-klu” calls delayed the dash back to the car and our patience was finally rewarded – not one but two Iberian Green Woodpeckers, close to what looked very much like a nest-hole near the top of a dead tree.
With one of our main target species logged for the day we beat a hasty retreat…and Kiersten’s closing shot of the possible nest-site shows what conditions were like. It may be the second week of March but we clearly haven’t seen the last of the bad weather, and the mountains can still quite suddenly become a fairly unforgiving place to be!
For all our latest birding news, please keep checking our posts – and for more information about our birdwatching trips and holidays, click here. Spring might be still just around the corner down here in southern Spain, but there’s still plenty to see!