Thursday, 19 February 2009

Northern Spain in Winter Day 3

Friday 13 February

Pre Breakfast walk turned up a number of wintering Hawfinches, Bullfinch, Peregrine, Lammergeir and an unseasonal bat flying around the church.

Today was to be our high altitude day and we had a wonderful clear blue mountain sky. The road to the Portalet pass was blocked and there was chaos around the ski lifts due to the sheer weight of ski traffic. No sign of any birds so we headed down and up to the Somport Pass, again the road was blocked by snow so we went down to the ski resort of Astun. This was very busy but also sheltered and we were fortunate to find c 6 'tame' Alpine Accentors feeding in the car park and a number of Alpine Choughs hanging around. Disappointingly so Snowfinches here or anywhere else today.

Had time for a quick drive up the wonderful Echo Valley, the usual Red Kites, Common Buzzards and a Dipper on the river. Had to give up on trying to reach the Refugio at Gabardito when our hire car refused to drive up a steep road of sheet ice.

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