Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica), Les Olles
Location of area covered
Spain; Ebro Delta January 2015 gallery
Spain; Ebro Delta March 2016 gallery
Spain; Ebro Delta March/April 2017 gallery
Spain; Ebro Delta December 2017 gallery
Covering 320 square kilometres the Delta del Ebro is the second largest coastal wetland in Spain after the Coto Donana, and became a Parque Natural in 1986. The statistics are impressive. 75,000 wildfowl and 30,000 waders winter here; about 95 species breed and over 330 species have been recorded.
The river Ebro is 928 kms long, the second longest on the Iberian peninsula. 60% of the delta lies at less
than one metre above mean sea level (MSL) with certain points below MSL; with 30% 1 to 2 metres above, and only 10% 2 metres or more above MSL, it is as flat as deltas can be.
Principal land use is rice production. There are 210 square kms of rice fields and 70 square kms of freshwater wetlands/lagoons.
7,700 hectares are under Ramsar and SPA protection, with another 11,000 ha. covered by the Natura 2000 directives.
Population c60,000 - at 187 people per sq. km, over twice
the Spanish average.
The rice growing cycle
Rice is sown between mid-April and the beginning of May, the fields are then left flooded under 5-10 cms of water. This water ultimately comes from the river Ebro.
After 15-20 days (towards the end of May) the seeds have produced plants. At this point the fields are dressed with herbicides to reduce weed growth.
Nitrogenous fertilizers are applied in June (and sometimes directly on to the soil before sowing).
The plants grow throughout June/July, when the water level is maintained at 15-20 cms.
At the beginning of September, water levels are reduced and harvesting begins, continuing until mid-October.
The fields are then left fallow from November to April, the rice stubble being ploughed back into the soil at some point during that period. Both 'wet ploughing' using special tractors, and 'dry ploughing' in the conventional way occurs.
With the heavy usage of chemicals clearly there are environmental problems. Drainage channels carry water from the flooded fields into the two large seawater bays – together with the pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer residue. That said, apparently water quality has improved over the last decade, due largely to effective EU legislation.
The other less obvious threat is that of lead poisoning, particularly to wildfowl. Hunting is permitted on 57% of the delta, and produces the highest concentration of lead pellets found in any of the world's wetlands - up to 2,500,000 pellets per hectare in some areas. For more info see reference sources.
Some practical points;
- Virtually all roads are badly pot-holed
- Sign-posting on the delta is poor
- Many unmade roads aren't on GPS sat-nav, however some are, and of course most of the surfaced roads are
- Hunting, particularly at weekends and holiday periods, can be a problem in season. We saw decoys on flooded rice fields in January 2015
This area would generally lend itself well to birding by mountain bike.
Most sites we visited are covered by the books abbreviated below - see reference sources;
'WWBNES' – pages 205-212.
'Gosney' – pages 15-19.
'BGES' – pages 59-61.
Rice fields – general
Throughout the delta recently ploughed (wet) paddy fields can be teeming with birds in winter – herons, egrets, gulls, terns and waders. Fields that have just been wet-ploughed attract the greatest numbers, 2-3 days later they can be virtually birdless. Fields left with rice stubble are also good. October to early January is when the fields are at their best. From our visits of March 2016/spring 2017, they are dry from sometime in January through to mid-April (regardless of rainfall). The dry rice fields are virtually birdless even when freshly ploughed, concentrating birdlife on the freshwater and coastal sites.
The delta north (north of the Ebro river);
Apart from a useful bookshop (see reference sources) and some nice fish restaurants, the harbour was ok for small numbers of gulls as long as the small fishing fleet is operating.
Les Olles lagoon
On our January 2015 visit there were plenty of decoys and not much else. Visits here in March 2016/spring 2017 were more productive (no hunting), depending on water levels, and most of the decoys had gone (early March 2016). Good late afternoon/evening gull roost. Quite good December 2017.
Since our visit of January 2015 this site in particular seems to have been 'adopted' by several semi-resident Dutch twitchers, as has the delta generally. This means there is a constant stream of up-to-date observations on ornitho.cat
- good news, although as with all 'real-time' recording a small minority of the observations lack credibility. This appears to have created more interest from the Spanish birders themselves. One or two observers update the website almost daily, and even if they don't count or estimate, it is always interesting. All part of the competitive spirit
Port del Fangar
There is vehicular access along tracks to the south side of the bay of Fangar, via the unclassified road from L'Ampolla to the beach at Platja de la Marquesa. Starting at Lo Golero, just east of Les Olles lagoon, to the Casa de Pages Mirani on the TV-3541, about 3 kms east of the beach. A new reserve, Illa de Mar, is now open (December 2017), but is almost totally reedbed; there is some open water at the eastern (Port del Fangar) end.
Excellent for waders, gulls, terns, wildfowl and flamingos.
Punta del Fangar
Access by foot from the car park at Platja de la Marquesa. We have never ventured along this wind-blown sand-spit, preferring the relative shelter of the Port del Fangar. There is no vehicular access beyond the car park.
A drivable track leading south-east from the car park runs parallel to the beach and ends at the Estacio de bombieg del pla (pumping station) - occasionally good in winter for gulls.
El Canal Vell (Bassa de l'Estella)
No access to this freshwater lagoon during any of our visits. A lookout tower is visible from the nearest point along the unclassified road Cami del Toll from Deltebre to Ruimar. With extensive drainage works in progress since 2011, apparently access isn't envisaged in the near future.
A saline lagoon at the mouth of the river Ebro. Distant views from two hides (scope required), a good site for wildfowl, herons and ibises.
There is a newly constructed bridge over the river Ebro between Deltebre and Sant Jaume d'Enveja, making the drive to the southern delta much easier.
There is an information centre here (signposted), well worth visiting, with good free maps available.
On the northern outskirts of town there's a large Lidl supermarket (signposted) - the only decent size supermarket on the delta. From inside you can weigh your bananas whilst watching cattle egrets in the car park...
The delta south (south of the Ebro river)
The largest freshwater site on the delta, and the best. Five observation towers and an information centre at la Casa de Fusta. There is access all around the lagoon either on foot or by vehicle, the north side west of la Casa de Fusta on foot only. A mountain bike would be very handy here.
The reserve has recently expanded to the east of Mirador de l'Embut, with two more parcels of reedbed/lagoons and two hides and more cycle tracks. The lagoon to the south, El Clot, is a SEO reserve.
A superb area for herons, wildfowl, terns and warblers.
This brackish lagoon has a large hide on the eastern side that is best in the mornings.
The nearby Sant Antoni salinas (disused) were disappointing on our visit of January 2015, although in March 2016/spring 2017 it was more productive, especially for waders and terns.
This part of the coast, towards (and including) l'Eucalyptus can be good for migrants in early spring.
Wildfowl, waders, gulls, terns and flamingos.
Ports del Alfacs
The Punta de la Banya is linked to the delta by a sand-spit, el Trabucador, a drivable causeway starting near La Tancada. This is 5 kms long, on sand compacted by the lorries that pass to and from the working salinas at the end. Here there is parking, no access to the salinas, but a walk along the beach to a tower hide and eventually a lighthouse. Anywhere along the causeway can be good for waders, terns and gulls in winter/early spring. In March 2016 access was impossible for ordinary cars after heavy rain flooded the sandy track. Lorries still made the drive to the salinas at the end. After a couple of drier days we made it to the Punta without a problem. This time we walked to the tower hide from the car park, a lovely walk along the beach in the right weather but not overly productive bird-wise.
No access beyond the hide to the lighthouse after 1st March (nesting gulls and terns).
Riet Vell SEO reserve
Just east of Els Muntells on the TV-3405 this is a SEO reserve growing organic rice on 50 ha of fields, and a freshwater lagoon with a hide. The centre here was closed at the time of our January 2015 visit, but the reserve open; see reference sources. In March 2016 we found the centre open on one occasion. Donations to keep this wonderful 'oasis in the desert' open are much appreciated. Quite simply, no chemicals and loads of birds... including frequent falls of migrants in early spring.
Illa de Buda/L'Alfacada
Near to where the river enters the sea, on the south side, is the beach Platja de Migjorn. Take the unclassified road east out of Sant Jaume d'Enveja, this road runs alongside the Canal de la Dreta de l'Ebre for several kms. Just before the beach is an excellent tower hide giving good views over the Illa de Buda to the north-east and l'Alfacada to the south-west. There is no access to either, both have saline lagoons and saltmarsh, however, with a 'scope many birds can be seen from here.
This area and the paddy fields to the west had the highest concentration of hunting activity when we were there in January 2015, but none at all by March 2016.
In March 2016 we noted a large area just north-west of the tower hide had been made into a reserve with lagoons, hides and parking. Enquiries made indicated that this might be opening this year - here's hoping...
PS... unfortunately not. December 2017 and it was still closed, but tantalizing views of the reserve can be had from the road.
Els Ports/Cardó Massif
In January 2015 and March 2016 we visited several sites in the mountains that form the backdrop to the delta. The flat landscape of the delta can get a little monotonous after a few days, and these sites provide the perfect contrast. All are easy to access, especially if staying at L'Ampolla or Tortosa.
See Birding in spain website
for detailed access info, etc for these sites.
The Massifs of Cardó and Boix; Pintures rupestres
Accessed from the TV-3022 between El Perelló and Rasquera, and therefore very easy from L'Ampolla. Details here
Nice cave paintings, and habitat that shouts birds - on all visits we saw few! Obviously better in May/June, but the lack of residents like Blue Rock Thrush, Griffons or Black Wheatear, etc, was a little puzzling.
The Massifs of Cardó and Boix; Cardó Spa
Accessed from the village of Rasquera. Details here
Beautiful scenery and again great mountain habitat that looks very 'birdy' - but again on our visit of January 2015 we saw virtually none of the resident upland species. Great views though!
Els Ports; From Horta Sant Joan
Accessed from the T-330 at the junction with the T-334 near the village of Horta de Sant Joan. Details here
On our visit of January 2015 we stopped at the viewing point and then took a footpath up to the Roques de Benet. Stunning scenery a bit like the American west, and we did see a few mountain and woodland species, but it was hard work.
Els Ports; From Tortosa to Mont Caro
Accessed from the T-342 between Roquetes and Reguers, just west of Tortosa. Details here
Not for the faint-hearted or those suffering from vertigo, this one. The road runs out of armco the nearer you get to the top!
We visited in March 2016. At the top of Mt Caro is a communications complex, a 'massive' view... and not much else on our visit. There were a few of the woodland species mostly seen at altitude here, but I really wouldn't recommend frequent stops on this road from a safety angle.
We dropped down to Caro refuge where we (actually I
...) made the wrong decision: to continue on, driving the 'track' west to Fredes - thus emerging on the other side of the massif. THIS ROUTE IS A 4WD ROUTE ONLY - BEWARE!
It was very lucky for us that we made it through to Fredes after nearly three hours, partly on a dried up stream bed. Fortunately there had been no rain here for months - it rained all the next day. We passed just one Landrover going the other way, to be stranded up here would not be good. To walk/camp this route would take a couple of days, one way. We did see some nice things, e.g. hundreds
of Siskins, a few Crossbills, etc... but we won't be repeating the experience any time soon.
In conclusion, drive to the top of the mountain and return by the same route - if you consider it worthwhile. Wintering Wallcreeper and Alpine Accentor are occasionally recorded there.
Finca Gamundi, Carrer Garidells 11, Urb' Meligó, L'Ampolla 43895, Tarragona province, Spain.
'WWBNES' - Where to Watch Birds in Northern & Eastern Spain. Michael Rebane & Ernest Garcia. Helm, 2008.
'Gosney' - Finding Birds in Northern Spain. Dave Gosney. Gostours, 1996.
'BGES' - A Birdwatching Guide to Eastern Spain. Malcolm Palmer/Luis Fidel. Arlequin, 2001.
Bookshop - Llibreria Avelina SCP, Av. Barceloneta, 14, 43895 L'Ampolla.
Map – 'Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre. Birdwatching & BTT'. Scale 1:30,000. Superb map available from the above bookshop.
Map – Michelin. Costa Daurada, no. 148, ZOOM Espana series. Scale 1: 150,000. Available from the above bookshop.
Birding in spain website
Riet Vell website
Reservoir Birds website
- Rare birds in Spain
Arroz del delta website
- Rice production info
- Use search engine
- Visionature style 'real-time' observations.
BIRDS - 168 species.
12 raptors, 30 waders, 6 gulls, 5 terns.
- 'Common', 'scarce', etc, refers to our observations at that time of the year; it may or may not reflect the true status/abundance throughout the year – see reference sources.
- 'Common on rice fields...' etc normally refers to January sightings when the fields are 'wet'. In March/early April the fields remain drained of water - see 'The rice growing cycle' above
Cygnus olor - 1 adult La Tancada 12/2017.
Anser anser – 4 Illa de Buda 3/1/15, 1 Port del Fangar 4-5/1/15.
Tadorna tadorna – Common on freshwater lagoons and saltmarsh in winter. March 2016 - 80+ Punta de la Banya 17/3/16. 80+ La Tancada 12/2017.
Anas penelope – 6 La Tancada 3/1/15. March 2016 - 4 l'Encanyissada 9/3/16. 3 L'Alfacada 28/3/17, c20 El Garxal 4/4/17. 70+ l'Encanyissada 5/12/17, 50+ Illa de Buda 6/12/17.
Anas strepera - Common on freshwater lagoons in winter. March 2016/spring 2017 - common El Garxal, otherwise scarce throughout. 1 in Fangar Bay 5/4/17.
Anas crecca - Common on freshwater lagoons in winter. March 2016 - scarce throughout. Not seen spring 2017. 500+ Illa de Buda 6/12/17.
Anas platyrhynchos - Common on all 'wetlands', including flooded paddy fields. Also on the sea; 300+ Port del Fangar 5/1/15.
Anas acuta – 1 Port del Fangar 5/1/15, 2 (1 m, 1 f) La Tancada 6/1/15. 2 (1m, 1 f) Riet Vell 28-30/3/17. 2 males Riet Vell 5/12/17.
Anas querquedula - March 2016 - 2 m, 1 f. Trabucador causeway 19/3/16. 2 (1 m, 1f) Riet Vell 28/3/17, 2 (1 m, 1f) El Garxal 4/4/17.
Anas clypeata - Common on freshwater lagoons winter/spring.
Netta rufina - Common on freshwater lagoons winter/spring.
Aythya ferina - Scarce. 3 males l'Encanyissada 5/12/17.
Melanitta nigra - 1 female Trabucador causeway 6/12/17.
Mergus serrator – 7 Port dels Alfacs 3/1/15. March 2016 - 1 male Trabucador causeway 19/3/16.
Great Northern Diver
Gavia immer - 1 juvenile Trabucador causeway 8/12/17.
Tachybaptus ruficollis - Common on freshwater lagoons winter/spring.
Great Crested Grebe
Podiceps cristatus - Common on freshwater lagoons and the sea, winter/spring.
Podiceps nigricollis – A few on the sea (Port dels Alfacs), also on freshwater lagoons, mainly winter. 8+ l'Encanyissada 6/1/15. March 2016 - 10-30 La Tancada throughout. Not seen spring 2017.
Puffinus mauretanicus – 5+ Port del Alfacs 6/1/15.
Morus bassanus - Fairly common offshore in winter. March 2016 - 2 Platja del Serrallo 15/3/16.
Phalacrocorax carbo – Common, widespread all visits.
Botaurus stellaris – 2 in flight l'Encanyissada 2/1/15.
Black-crowned Night Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax – 3 juveniles la Casa de Fusta 6/1/15.
Ardeola ralloides – 1 l'Encanyissada 2/1/15 and 6/1/15. Fairly common spring 2017.
Bubulcus ibis – Common, widespread all visits.
Egretta garzetta – Common, widespread all visits.
Egretta alba – Common, widespread in winter. Scarce by April (2017).
Ardea cinerea – Common, widespread all visits..
Ardea purpurea - March 2016 - 1 adult l'Encanyissada 17/3/16. Common spring 2017.
Ciconia ciconia - 1 adult near Sant-Jaume 5/12/17, 14 there 9/12/17.
Plegadis falcinellus – Common, large flocks (1000+) on rice paddies (winter) and reedbed sites. March 2016/spring 2017 - confined to reedbed sites.
Platalea leucorodia - March 2016 - 2 ads. L'Alfacada 9/3/16.
Phoenicopterus roseus – Common, widespread winter/spring. 1000+ La Tancada all visits January 2015.
Gyps fulvus - >10 Els Ports 8/1/15. March 2016 - 15+ Mont Caro 13/3/16. 18 Toscar (Els Ports) 7/12/17.
Circaetus gallicus - March 2016 - A passage of 4 over accom. L'Ampolla 12/3/16, 1 l'Encanyissada 17/3/16. 1 L'Ampolla 27/3/17, 1 l'Encanyissada 28/3/17.
Western Marsh Harrier
Circus aeruginosus – Common, widespread all visits.
Circus cyaneus – 1 f. Platja del Serrallo 3/1/15. 1f. La Tancada 4/4/17.
Accipiter nisus - 1 over accom. L'Ampolla 2/4/17.
Buteo buteo – Occasional sightings (delta) Jan. 2015. March 2016 - 1 near Santa Barbara 13/3/16. Occasional sightings (delta) spring 2017. Fairly common 12/2017.
Aquila pennata - March 2016 - 1 pale morph ad. Port del Fangar 8/3/16,1 pale morph ad. l'Encanyissada 17/3/16. Several seen spring 2017. Fairly common 12/2017.
Aquila fasciata - March 2016 - Six sightings over accom. L'Ampolla 12/3/16. One definite pair displaying. Presumably resident pair(s) drawn out from nearby mountains by passage of Short-toed Eagles and bright sunny weather.
Pandion haliaetus – 1 la Casa de Fusta 6/1/15. 1 adult La Tancada 5/12/17, 1 ad. Port del Fangar 6-9/12/17.
Falco tinnunculus – Common, widespread all visits.
Falco columbarius - March 2016 - 1 female-type l'Encanyissada 19/3/16.
Falco peregrinus – 2 (1 adult, 1 juvenile) near Els Muntells 9/1/15, chasing a Barn Owl. 1 Port del Fangar 6/4/17 caught a stilt. 1 ssp. brookei
Illa de Buda 6/12/17.
Rallus aquaticus - Common at all reedbed sites in winter. Completely silent and not recorded spring 2017.
Porzana parva - 1 f. Les Olles 27-28/3/17.
Gallinula chloropus – Common, widespread all visits.
Porphyrio porphyrio – Common at all reedbed sites, winter and spring.
Fulica atra - Common at all reedbed sites, also on salt water, all visits.
Grus grus – c50 over Les Olles lagoon 1/1/15, 2 over l'Encanyissada 2/1/15. c45 over l'Encanyissada 6/4/17. 28 near Ullals de Baltasar 6/12/17, 53 there 8/12/17, 33 there 9/12/17.
Haematopus ostralegus - March 2016 - 1 ad-summer Port del Fangar 16/3/16, 3 Trabucador causeway 19/3/16. Fairly common Les Olles/Port del Fangar spring 2017. 1 El Garxal 4/4/17.
Himantopus himantopus - March 2016 - Small groups; common on freshwater sites by 20/3/16. Very common spring 2017.
Recurvirostra avosetta - March 2016 - >100 Illa de Buda most visits, occasional Riet Vell and Les Olles winter/spring, 40+ El Garxal 16/3/16, 5+ Punta de la Banya 17/3/16.
Glareola pratincola - c30 L'Alfacada 7/4/17.
Little Ringed Plover
Charadrius dubius - March 2016 - 2 on flooded rice field behind Riet Vell throughout, 1 Riet Vell 17/3/16. 1 Les Olles 5/4/17.
Common Ringed Plover
Charadrius hiaticula - Common on coast and paddy fields in winter, coastal in spring.
Charadrius alexandrinus – Fairly common on coast, c100 Trabucador causeway 2/1/15.
European Golden Plover
Pluvialis apricaria - 2 with Lapwings near Sant-Jaume 8/12/17.
Pluvialis squatarola - Common on coast, winter and spring.
Vanellus vanellus – Common in winter, large flocks on rice paddies. March 2016 - occasional individuals/small groups. Spring 2017 scarce.
Calidris canutus - 28 Port del Fangar 5/4/17.
Calidris alba – Common on coast winter and spring.
Calidris minuta - Common on coast, sometimes rice paddies in winter.
Calidris maritima – 1 adult-winter L'Ampolla 9/1/15.
Calidris ferruginea - March 2016 - 1 ad-winter Port del Fangar 16/3/16. Fairly common Port del Fangar spring 2017; 50+ 5/4/17.
Calidris alpina – Large flocks on coast, also sometimes on paddy fields (winter).
Philomachus pugnax – 10+ on paddy field 3/1/15, 6+ on paddy field 5/1/15. March 2016 - 1 L'Alfacada 9/3/16, 14 Riet Vell 17/3/16, 3 La Tancada 19/3/16. 14 Port del Fangar (reserve) 5/4/17.
Gallinago gallinago – Common on rice stubble (winter), and reedbed sites. March 2016/spring 2017 - common in wet ditches and canals, all freshwater sites. 1 Pintures rupestres 29/3/17... presumably on passage!
Limosa limosa – c70 on paddy field near Els Muntells 9/1/15. March 2016 - 2 Riet Vell 9/3/16, 1 flooded rice field behind Riet Vell 19/3/16.
Limosa lapponica – Numerous Trabucador causeway all visits, c50 Port del Fangar 7/1/15. March 2016 - 10-12 Port del Fangar throughout. c20 Port del Fangar 5/4/17.
Numenius phaeopus - 1 Port del Fangar 5/4/17.
Numenius arquata – Small flocks on coast, also sometimes on rice stubble (winter). 50+ Port del Fangar 5/1/15, c70 Port del Fangar 7/1/15. March 2016 - numerous Port del Fangar. Spring 2017 - 3 only, Port del Fangar throughout.
Actitis hypoleucos – Common, widespread winter and spring.
Tringa ochropus – Common, widespread winter/March 2016. Not recorded spring 2017.
Tringa erythropus – Small groups on paddy fields (winter). March 2016 - occasional in wet canals. 4 El Garxal 4/4/17.
Tringa nebularia – Common, widespread winter and Spring.
Tringa glareola – Common, widespread winter and Spring.
Tringa flavipes - 1 l'Encanyissada 5/12/17, found by Spanish birder the previous day.
Tringa totanus – Common, widespread winter and pSpring.
Arenaria interpres - Common on coast winter and Spring.
Stercorarius parasiticus - March 2016 - 1 dark imm. Trabucador causeway 17/3/16.
Larus ridibundus – Very common, widespread. Huge numbers on flooded paddy fields in winter.
Larus genei – Can be scarce in winter (500+ pairs breed here). March 2016 - more numerous (mainly coastal). Spring 2017 - fairly common. Presumably most move south in winter.
Larus melanocephalus – Less numerous than expected in winter. >30 Trabucador causeway every visit throughout, occasional on rice fields. March 2016 - much more numerous throughout.; a regular evening roost of >400 Les Olles. Spring 2017 - occasional large gatherings Les Olles, etc. Presumably many move south in winter.
Larus audouinii – Quite scarce in winter. The Ebro delta has the world's largest colony of breeding Audouin's Gulls – over 15,000 pairs. March 2016/spring 2017 - much more numerous throughout, common. Presumably most move south in winter.
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Larus fuscus – Common, widespread winter and spring. Good numbers on flooded paddy fields in winter.
Larus michahellis – Very common every visit, widespread on coast and rice paddies (winter). March 2016 - 150+ Sant Carles de la Rapita.
Sterna nilotica – 1 (probable adult) on a paddy field near Platja del Fangar. 2 Port del Fangar 5/1/15, 2 l'Encanyissada 6/1/15. 2 Port del Fangar 5/4/17, 11 L'Alfacada area 7/4/17, including signs of possible breeding on a new island.
Sterna caspia – 3 (2 ads, 1 1W) Trabucador causeway 2/1/15, 3 (2 ads, 1 1W) Port del Fangar 7/1/15 – presumably the same birds. March 2016 - 5-8 La Tancada throughout, 1 Port del Fangar 16/3/16 (high tide). 1-3 Les Olles spring 2017, 2 Port del Fangar 5/4/17. 1 La Tancada 5/12/17.
Sterna sandvicensis – Common on coast and freshwater lagoons in winter. March 2016 - 70+ Port del Fangar on high tide. Spring 2017 - scarce, mainly offshore, c25 El Garxal 4/4/17.
Sterna hirundo - 3 L'Alfacada 7/4/17, a possible pair on a new island.
Chlidonias hybrida – Winter 2015, Port del Fangar only; 5 4/1/15, c20 5/1/15, 3+ 7/1/15, 15+ 9/1/15. March 2016/spring 2017 - quite common (mainly coastal). 40+ l'Encanyissada 6/4/17, passage of 80+ L'Alfacada 7/4/17.
Columba livia domestica – Common in towns.
Common Wood Pigeon
Columba palumbus – 3 Els Ports 8/1/15. March 2016 - a few seen in mountains 13/3/16. Fairly common Els Ports 12/2017.
Eurasian Collared Dove
Streptopelia decaocto – Common, widespread.
Tyto alba – 1 near Els Muntells 9/1/15.
Athene noctua – 2 heard L'Ampolla throughout (Jan. 2016), occasionally heard there spring 2017.
Asio flammeus - March 2016 - 1 Trabucador causeway 19/3/16.
Apus pallidus - 6 Les Olles 2/4/17.
Apus melba - 14 L'Ampolla 27/3/17.
Alcedo atthis – Common, widespread in winter only
; absolutely anywhere with water. Not recorded at all spring 2017.
Upupa epops – Occasional sightings in winter; widespread. March 2016/spring 2017 - more numerous, average 2 per day.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Dendrocopos major – 1 Els Ports 8/1/15. 2 Els Ports 7/12/17.
Lesser Short-toed Lark
Calandrella rufescens – c20 sand dunes Platja del Serrallo 3/1/15. 1 El Garxal sand dunes 5/1/15. March 2016 - small group >6 La Tancada throughout visit. Spring 2017 - 6+ near Eucalyptus 30/3/17.
Galerida cristata – Thinly dispersed but widespread in winter. March 2016/spring 2017 - common, widespread everywhere.
Lullula arborea – 1 Pintures rupestres 8/1/15. March 2016 - 1 Pintures rupestres 7/3/16, 10+ olive groves behind accom. L'Ampolla 12/3/16. 2 Pintures rupestres 29/3/17.
Alauda arvensis - March 2016 - 2+ fields, Port del Fangar, one or two small groups seen thereafter on dry fields. c25 near Ullals de Baltasar 8/12/17.
Riparia riparia - March 2016 - Scarce at first, common by 20/3/16. 30+ Les Olles 28/3/17, occasional thereafter spring 2017.
Eurasian Crag Martin
Ptyonoprogne rupestris – Common, widespread winter only
Hirundo rustica - March 2016 - Scarce at first, very common by 20/3/16 and spring 2017.
Common House Martin
Delichon urbicum - March 2016/spring 2017 - Very common throughout.
Cecropis daurica - March 2016 - 4+ Les Olles 8/3/16, 1 Les Olles 11/3/16, 3 Port del Fangar 16/3/16. 4 L'Ampolla hinterland 1/4/17.
Anthus pratensis – Common, widespread, particularly on rice paddies in winter.
Anthus spinoletta - Common, widespread, particularly on rice paddies in winter.
Motacilla flava - March 2016 - 2 Riet Vell 15/3/16. Reasonable flocks spring 2017, particularly Port del Fangar area, c20 El Garxal 4/4/17.
Motacilla cinerea – 1 rice paddies 2/1/15, 1 L'Ampolla 8/1/15, 1 rice paddies near Els Muntells 9/1/15. March 2016 - scarce but widespread. Not recorded spring 2017. Fairly common 12/2017.
Motacilla alba – Very common, widespread in winter, less so in spring.
Troglodytes troglodytes - March 2016 - 2+ Mont Caro 13/3/16. 1 Pintures rupestres 29/3/17. 1 Pauls (Els Ports) 7/12/17.
Erithacus rubecula – Not uncommon in suitable habitat (winter). March 2016 - a fall of 6+ La Tancada 19/3/16. Another fall (3+ each visit) Eucalyptus area spring 2017.
Luscinia svecica – Fairly common throughout, rice paddies and marginal land in winter. March 2016 - mainly reedbeds. Spring 2017 - not recorded.
Phoenicurus ochruros – Common, widespread (winter). March 2016 - 8+ olive groves behind accom. L'Ampolla 12/3/16 (fall), 15+ La Tancada 19/3/16; a fall with the thrushes, etc. Spring 2017 - numbers low, mainly Eucalyptus area.
Phoenicurus phoenicurus - March 2016 - 1 m. Riet Vell 15/3/16, 1 m. La Tancada 19/3/16. 2 m. Riet Vell, 1 m. Eucalyptus 30/3/17, 1 m. L'Ampolla acomm. 1/4/17, c3 Riet Vell 4/4/17.
Saxicola rubicola – Common, widespread in winter. Not recorded spring 2017.
Oenanthe oenanthe - 1 female-type near Eucalyptus 30/3/17.
Blue Rock Thrush
Monticola solitarius - 1 male Aldover (Els Ports) 7/12/17, 1 male Cap Roig 9/12/17.
Turdus torquatus - March 2016 - 4 Riet Vell 19/3/16; part of a fall of thrushes, etc.
Turdus merula – Quite scarce but widespread in suitable habitat (winter). March 2016/spring 2017 - much more numerous; a fall of 5+ La Tancada 19/3/16.
Turdus philomelos – 3+ Pintures rupestres 8/1/15. March 2016 - much more numerous, with one or two 'falls'; 10+ La Tancada 19/3/16. Not recorded spring 2017. 10+ Els Ports 7/12/17.
Turdus viscivorus – 2 Pintures rupestres 8/1/15. March 2016 - 1 Mont Caro 13/3/16. 1 L'Ampolla hinterland 1/4/17 and 8/4/17. 1 Cap Roig 9/12/17.
Cettia cetti – Common all visits in suitable habitat.
Cisticola juncidis – Common all visits in suitable habitat.
Acrocephalus melanopogon – Fairly common but typically difficult to view. Not recorded 2016.
Sylvia cantillans - A small fall spring 2017, Riet Vell, Les Olles, El Garxal, etc.
Sylvia melanocephala – Common all visits in suitable habitat.
Sylvia atricapilla – Thinly dispersed in winter. Common spring 2017. Common Els Ports 12/2017.
Western Bonelli's Warbler
Phylloscopus bonelli - Spring 2017; first noted (1) near wind turbine, El Perello, 29/3/17, also 1 Riet Vell 4/4/17.
Phylloscopus collybita – Common, widespread all visits. Often huge numbers in winter.
Phylloscopus trochilus - Spring 2017; A fall of 5+ Eucalyptus/Riet Vell 4/4/17, 1 L'Alfacada 7/4/17.
Regulus ignicapilla – 2 Pintures rupestres 8/1/15. March 2016 - common in mountains. Occasional in suitable habitat spring 2017, 12/2017.
Aegithalos caudatus - March 2016 - 2+ Mont Caro 13/3/16.
Parus cristatus - March 2016 - 3+ Mont Caro 13/3/16. 2 Els Ports 7/12/17.
Parus ater - March 2016 - Common Mont Caro 13/3/16. 10+ Els Ports 7/12/17.
Eurasian Blue Tit
Parus caeruleus - 1 Pauls (Els Ports) 7/12/17.
Parus major – 1 L'Ampolla 1/1/15, 1+ Pintures rupestres 8/1/15. March 2016 - 1 olive groves behind accom. L'Ampolla 12/3/16. 2 Mont Caro 13/3/16. Spring 2017; 1 garden of accom, occasional L'Ampolla hinterland. 3+ Els Ports 7/12/17.
Sitta europaea - 2 Pauls (Els Ports) 7/12/17.
Certhia brachydactyla - March 2016 - 2+ olive groves behind accom. L'Ampolla 12/3/16. 3+ Mont Caro 13/3/16. Spring 2017 often heard L'Ampolla hinterland.
Eurasian Penduline Tit
Remiz pendulinus – Fairly common but typically difficult to view.
Lanius senator - 2 (m, f.) Eucalyptus area 4/4/17.
Garrulus glandarius – 2 Cardó Spa 8/1/15. March 2016 - scattered sightings, mostly in mountains. March 2016 1+ Mont Caro 13/3/16.
Pica pica – Common, widespread all visits.
Corvus corone – 2 Els Ports 8/1/15. 2 Mont Caro 13/3/16. 1 Toscar (Els Ports) 7/12/17.
Corvus corax – 2 Els Ports 8/1/15. 4 Mont Caro 13/3/16.
Sturnus unicolor – Common in towns and on delta, all visits.
Sturnus vulgaris – Common on rice paddies in huge flocks in winter, often roosting in nearby reedbeds.
Passer domesticus – Common, widespread all visits.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Passer montanus – Locally common on delta, all visits, also L'Ampolla hinterland. 80+ sheep pen south of Sant Jaume 15/3/16, 20+ cattle pen La Tancada 15/3/16.
Fringilla coelebs – Common in suitable habitat, olive groves etc, all visits. March 2016 - huge numbers Mont Caro 13/3/16.
Serinus serinus – Common, widespread all visits.
Carduelis chloris – Common, widespread all visits.
Carduelis carduelis – Common, widespread all visits.
Carduelis spinus - March 2016 - 100's locally in mountains, Mont Caro 13/3/16. 4 Ullals de Baltasar 6/12/17.
Carduelis cannabina – 3 Pintures rupestres 8/1/15. March 2016/spring 2017 - more numerous, occasional small groups >10 on dry fields.
Loxia curvirostra - March 2016 - 2+ Mont Caro 13/3/16.
Coccothraustes coccothraustes - c6 Pauls (Els Ports) 7/12/17.
Emberiza cirlus - March 2016 - 8+ around pond/wheat fields behind accom. L'Ampolla 12/3/16. 1 Mont Caro 13/3/16. Spring 2017; occasional L'Ampolla hinterland. 2 Toscar (Els Ports) 7/12/17.
Common Reed Bunting
Emberiza schoeniclus – Common all reedbed sites in winter only
Emberiza calandra - 2 near Eucalyptus 28/3/17, 1 L'Ampolla hinterland 1/4/17.
Myotis daubentonii – 1 flying around museum, la Casa de Fusta 6/1/15.
Vulpes vulpes – 3 Pintures rupestres 8/1/15.
Capra pyrenaica – 1 male Els Ports 8/1/15. March 2016 - 3 Mont Caro 13/3/16.
Sciurus vulgaris – 1 Pintures rupestres 8/1/15.
Perez's / Graf's Hybrid Frog
Rana perezi / Rana kl. grafi
European Pond Terrapin
Papilio machaon - 2-3 seen March 2016. Common spring 2017.
Zerynthia rumina - 1 L'Ampolla hinterland 12/3/16.
Moroccan Orange Tip
Anthocharis beliaMont - 1 male Caro 13/3/16. 1 male Wind turbine site El Perello 29/3/17.
Colias crocea – Thinly dispersed throughout. Fairly common spring 2017.
Gonepteryx cleopatra - 3+ Wind turbine site El Perello 29/3/17.
Gonepteryx rhamni - 1 male Mont Caro 13/3/16.
Vanessa cardui - Several seen spring 2017.
Vanessa atalanta - Several seen March 2016. Common spring 2017.
Pararge aegeria - In suitable habitat, spring 2017.
Lasiommata megera - Several seen March 2016/spring 2017.
Tomares ballus - 4-5 seen L'Ampolla hinterland spring 2017.
Lampides boeticus - 1 Ullals de Baltasar 2/4/17.
Celastrina argiolus - 2-3 seen March 2016.
Pseudophilotes panoptes - 6+ Wind turbine site El Perello 29/3/17.
Polyommatus icarus - 1 male L'Ampolla hinterland 1/4/17.
Macroglossum stellatarum - 2-3 seen March 2016.
Autographa gamma - grassy places, spring 2017.
Ischnura elegans - several sites spring 2017.
Erythromma lindenii - 1 male Ullals de Baltasar 2/4/17, 4 there 6/4/17.
Hemianax ephippiger - Fairly common, all habitats spring 2017.
Sympetrum fonscolombii - 1 male imm. Port del Fangar 6/4/17.
Anacridium aegyptium - 1 Ullals de Baltasar 2/4/17.
Tropidopola cylindrica cylindrica - 2 Ullals de Baltasar 2/4/17.
Western Honey Bee
Fritillaria lusitanica - Hills above El Perello.
Coastal (Sea) Medick