Posted by: tim ellis | October 5, 2011

Spains Big Three – Thursday September 1st 2011

Great Bustards
Breakfast at 8 for a 9 AM departure to Wolf Country! We make a brief start mid morning for Rob and Gerald to buy the food for lunch, and for the rest of us to get a coffee (and make use of the facilities). I had discovered this morning that the bottle of insct repellent I brought with me was actually an empty bottle of insect repellent, so having spotted a pharmacy I manage to obtain some despite the pharmacists English being about as good as my Spanish!

We are heading for a nature reserve/bird hide by a lagoon for lunch, with a short detour to look for Great Bustards. We lose count of the number of Buzzards and Kestrel we see on the way! While looking for the Bustards we see both Marsh and Montague’s Harriers, then a distant group of Bustards, before spotting a closer group of around 8 birds. There is also a Short Toed Eagle soaring overhead. We see it (or another member of the same species) much closer while we are eating lunch. Of course it has moved away by the time we can swap food for cameras!

There is quite a variety of birds on the lagoon, but the water is a long way from the hide, so identifying them is only really possible through telescopes (The great egret is obviously an exception to this general rule!)

There are wolves out there...
After lunch we head straight for the hotel, although our minibus is stopped for a random document search by the police. There is just time for a quick coffee at the hotel before we go out to look for wolves. The view point is up the side of a hill alongside a railway track near Boya, looking down into the valley. There are no Wolves in evidence, although we do see several Red Deer and a couple of groups of Wild Boar.

Watching for Wolves

Back to the hotel for dinner, which is Hake, followed by a choice of desert. Gerald recommends the “local tart” to the general amusement of all. (You don’t need to go to Blackpool to enjoy the “McGill” postcard sense of humour!)

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