A couple of years ago I was fortunate in being able to live in Spain for a 14 month period. I was based at the University of Lleida and worked on some streams in the Pyrenees. My work focussed on the ecology of some invertebrates in these streams, but of course I was in a great place for birding. Lleida is very close to some of the steppe habitats and conveniently close to the coast and the Ebro delta, where I spent many a long weekend looking at waterbirds. This post shows some images from my time in Spain. The camera and lens I had in those days was not so good (a Canon 30D with a 100-400 lens) but the good light more than made up for my lack of skill and the less-than-perfect kit. The bird above is a Calandra lark.
Southern Emperor dragonfly Anax parthenope
, near Lleida
Great Spotted Cuckoo, Lleida
Squacco Heron, Ebro delta.
Chicken, Ebro delta
Southern Grey Shrike, Lleida.
Subalpine Warbler. This photo was taken in the park in the middle of Lleida, a great place for passage warblers in the spring.
Calandra lark, Lleida.
Pin-tailed Sangrouse, Lleida. The lush spring vegetation is what makes this photo.
I spent several weekends with the ringers (David Bigas, Albert Cama and Joan Ferrer) on the Ebro delta. Orphean warblers are rather scarce here, so this one was a nice surprise.
Lesser short-toed lark, Candasnos.
Thekla Lark, Candasnos.
Lesser Kestrel, Fraga.
Lesser Kestrel, Fraga. Males are stunning birds, especially against a bright blue sky
The same male
Black Tern, I'vars
Black-necked Grebe, Ebro delta
Griffon Vulture, Pyrenees
Short toed Eagle. This photo was actually taken from the balcony of the house we rented.
One of Tarragona's pigeon-eating michahellis
; this remains one of my favourite pictures
Red Kite, Lleida rubbish dump. Red Kites were always outnumbered by Black kites here, but this one came close enough for some photos.