Thursday, 17 March 2016

Fuente De, Picos de Europa

Arrived at Fuente De yesterday and staying at the very nice and well positioned Parador de Fuente De. There has been a lot of snow here recently although all the roads are clear. Spent the afternoon around the hotel. 
Firecrest - male
Great views of Firecrest, which were singing, the males orange crest looked like it was almost glowing in the shadow of the trees, fantastic birds! Also saw Crested and Marsh Tits.  
Crested Tit
There were several Black Redstarts in the area. These are the Iberian race P. o. atterimus with black extending on to the nape.
Black Redstart - male
Some nice looking Eurasian Nuthatch, I think this could be the race S.e. cassia, lacking white spotting on the under tail.
Eurasian Nuthatch
This morning before we took the telecabine to the mirador viewpoint I did another circuit around the hotel grounds and found a nice Rock Bunting. I'm expecting to see more of these but the first on a trip is always special.
Rock Bunting - not sure on age and sex, perhaps female?
The telecabine gives access to the higher mountains, there has been a lot of snow recently and the upper area was covered with deep snow 
Fuente De- top of telecabine
We quickly found some Chamois and saw about 12 in total, none very close but appearing less wary than their Alpine counterparts with which I'm quite familiar but these Pyrenean Chamois were new to me.
Pyrenean Chamois
We struggled to find any passerines so Alpine Accentor and Snow Finch will have to wait! Plenty of Alpine Chough in the area and some distant Griffon Vultures.
Moving south tomorrow.