Friday 28 October 2011

Lleida Steppes

I'm off to Germany today! And that'll be the last of all this ambling around Europe...for the most part. So I'll keep the blog going with things from Spain.

As I've mentioned before the Lleida Steppes weren't as productive for me as the other two habitats I visited in Spain. Nonetheless I did see some unexpected species.

The drive there took 3 times longer than expected because I got lost several times - partly because of false directions by Google Maps (I couldn't believe that that ever happened) and partly because I was a bit slow to react to signs at times...

Anyway, I eventually made it there. After wandering around a bit I decided that this wasn't the right place so I went back into town to email my Spanish contact for some directions!
But during that short walk I did see a Eurasian Hoopoe. A bird I wasn't really expecting but I certainly was happy to see - it's sort of the equivalent to the Loggerhead Shrike in Ontario. The Hoopoe is symbolic of the conservation work being done to combat the illegal bird hunt in Europe.

After returning to the Steppes I eventually saw a distant Little Owl sitting right out in the open:
 It was very far away!

Several Red-legged Partridges were a welcome find as well:

I was enjoying the sunset and a little curious as to why some of the leaves were already changing colour down there - it was 25 degrees! No frost could have done that.... wimpy trees!

And in the evening I was very surprised and happy to see 42 White Storks hanging out on 2 cranes in the city:

Next up is the Pyrenees which were a little better ;)