Private day trip 23rd March 2021 – Migration and other birding around Leucate
Guide of the day: Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson
Participants: Delia, Richard and Sam
Weather conditions: sunny with moderate wind(perfect for migration) dropping from mid-day, temps ranging from 8°C to 18°C+
Highlights of the day: Penduline tit, Short-toed eagle and general migration (Sparrowhawk 30+, Alpine swift, a few Common crane…)
The aim of the day was to see some active migration, so when Richard said at the end of the morning, I hope it calms down a bit now, I knew we’d achieved our goal!
Sparrowhawk were coming through thick and fast, with several Osprey overhead and a few Black kite not quite so close. A few Common crane passed overhead and Cormorant were heading through in large groups (we saw one of 80+ birds). We were lucky to see 3 or 4 Penduline tits on a migratory stop over, including a couple that showed nicely, sitting out in the sunshine feeding on the seed heads. Excellent views!
We picnicked in style, in warm sunshine, at the Leucate vismig spot, looking south to the Pyrenees, hoping to see some more migration, but the birds were having a break too…
In the afternoon, we headed inland where we picked up a couple of Short-toed eagle (recently arrived summer residents) one of which posed for us at the top of a pine tree in the valley below, a clear but distant view after seeing them circle directly above us.
Another great day’s birding!
Just click on the link below to read or download the detailed trip report and bird list.
P.S. Vismig at Leucate: Med Migration logs records and the indefatigable Gabi Caucal writes a daily humorous report (in English) on Trektellen.
Total counts for 23/02/21 included a group of over 800 White stork (which we somehow managed to miss!), over 1,000 Cormorant, nearly 150 Sparrowhawk, and very nearly 17,000 (yes, seventeen thousand!) Chaffinch. It was a very good day for vismig – but there is plenty more to come!