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A Report from

Catalunya-NE Spain 6th – 13th May 2006,

Jan Scheeres

I booked a weeks birding holiday with my friend Jim through Stephen Christopher of Catalan Bird Tours ( ) . We stayed in Stephens villa near Sitges and had a self contained well appointed ground floor apartment. On arrival at Barcelona airport Steve picked us up and we had a nice few hours birding at Llobregat marshes near the airport. We had talked about our wish lists and woke up the next morning to the sound of Golden Orioles and Serins in the garden and after breakfast set off for the Ebro Delta.Here we had magnificent and close views of all the herons except Bittern, Caspian and Gull Billed Terns sitting beside Audouins Gulls and the two stints. There was a good deal of visible migration with numerous Willow Warblers in the Tamarisk Bushes and an exhausted Olivaceous Warbler. At the end of the day a stunning male Roller flew in and landed beside a Hoopoe.

On the second day we went to the Pyrenees and saw Lammergeier and Griffon Vulture and large flocks of Alpine and Red Billed Choughs circling around the Alpine Marmots whilst a wood Lark sang above us.

The following day we went to the Lleida steppes and had stunning views of Pin Tailed Sandgrouse amongst Stone Curlews surrounded by flocks of Calandra Larks. There were numerous raptors to enjoy including large flocks of Black Kites and we stumbled on a roosting Red Necked Nightjar after watching a Little Bustard.

During the rest of the week we visited a number of excellent sites in Aguamolles and the Garraf and saw some stunning birds in a wide variety of habitats. Steve’s raptor counting knowledge meant that he picked up most of the raptors in the areas and we also saw many of them perched which was a real bonus. AAWe ate out most nights in some excellent and reasonable Catalan restaurants in Sitges which is a beautiful sea side town. The trips were planned daily according to our wishes and prevailing weather and Steve’s local knowledge and humour made it an excellent birding experience. We saw around 175 species during the week and we didn’t rush (Jim and myself have a combined age of 140!).

In conclusion I would recommend anyone to contact Steve for a week or few days birding in the knowledge that his expertise and willingness to tailor the trip to individual needs will give a great experience.

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