We all know the saying about mad dogs and Englishmen going out in the midday sun, but what about when the Englishmen(and women) go to a freezing mountain? Brian said the mountain was virtually clear of snow on their (the southern) side. As El Fondo's North Gate was still closed we took the risk. I should've realised what was ahead as I scraped the ice off the windscreen prior to our departure!! After a warming cuppa in María we made our way up to the chapel carpark. We managed to spot Woodlark, Linnet, Rock and Cirl Bunting on the approach. A Rock Sparrow was chirping away on top of the chapel's spire. A good start.
There was no sign of the Ring Ouzels, but we did see a Mistle Thrush and also a pair of Crossbills. As the sun hadn't reached the snowy northern slopes yet we (Mary) decided it would be a good idea to do the plains first and work our way back to the Botanical Gardens. Once we'd cleared the pine forest and hit the plain we drove into low lying mist with visbility about 100yds.