27/06 Los Filabres mountains

     Again aiming to escape the oppressive heat, we headed up into the Los Filabres mountains behind the village of Tijola. We met up with Brian, Mary, Dave, Myrtle, Adrian and his friend Mike on the bridge in the wooded valley between Bayarque and Bacares. On the farm building above us was a pair of Black Wheatears. A solitary Kestrel flew over being mobbed by Goldfinches. High above were Red-rumped Swallows, Crag Martins and to our joy a flight of 7 Alpine Swifts. I managed to get a fleeting glimpse of a Melodious Warbler. There were loads of butterflies during the day. I've attached some photos for interested parties.

     We then headed to the first lay by some hundreds of feet above us. We heard Golden Orioles, but saw Woodchat Shrike, Cirl Bunting and Black-eared Wheatear on the roadside power lines. The second lay by produced Blue Tit, House Martin and Thekla Lark.
     At the mine birds were few and far between. A few Crag Martins were nesting on the cliff face. We managed to see Turtle Dove, a pair of Black Redstarts, some Rock Sparrows and some Linnets.
     We then climbed towards the 2,168m high Observatory. Passing above the tree line the landscape looks a bit like Dartmoor....minus the rain, of course! On the rocky crags were numerous Northern Wheatears. Also spotted were a Jay, Mistle Thrush and Stonechat. I thought I got a glimpse of a Tawny Pipit. We stopped by the Observatory buildings, seeing a White Wagtail on sentry duty on one of the snow poles as we parked up. We had a small wander round. Sure enough a Tawny Pipit was seen on one of the outcrops.
      Adrian, Mike Gilly and I had lunch in Bacares. As we left the Meson, a beautiful male Golden Oriole flew across the road followed rapidly by a Serin. 32 species in all for the day. A good days birding.

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