Saturday, 25 July 2015

Roncal Valley

Well another 8am breakfast before heading out for another relaxing day in the Spanish Pyrenees. A male Red Crossbill calling from the conifers at the edge of the car park was a bit of a surprise before leaving and heading to the Anso Viewpoint. A calling Western Bonelli’s Warbler was only seen by a couple of us, but a flotilla of Eurasian Griffons overhead was quite a spectacle, and they were joined by a Booted Eagle, Red Kite and European Honey Buzzard in quite an impressive kettle. 

Eurasian Griffon

European Honey Buzzard

This open forest was superb for butterflies with Woodland, Great Banded and Rock Graylings, and a Ripart’s Anomalous Blue

Ripart's Anamolous Blue - great name huh..

Dark-Green Fritillary

Marbled White

We then crossed into the Anso Valley where a brief appearance by a Lammergeier left us a little frustrated before we set off up and over to the Roncal Valley. Great scenery continued as we headed up higher and higher, stopping for coffee and fries at a little restaurant.

Beautiful scenery high up in the Roncal Valley

Well I’m pleased to report we got Citril Finch at their usual spot very easily (the same place I last saw them 6 years ago!) , before searching for Alpine Accentor which took a little longer to find. But we eventually had 3 birds, one of which flew in and landed 3 metres away!! Wow! 

Alpine Choughs are common...

Alpine Choughs were common up here, and distracted us a little from the accentors, with a singing bird on top of a conifer being very obliging as well. 

Alpine Accentor

The Citril Finches were on view for ages, whilst a Common Quail was flushed from an alpine meadow and an awesome Lammergeier hunted right in front of us. 

A poor effort at phone-scoping a Citril Finch

Must admit this is one of my favourite spots with spectacular views, beautiful craggy habitat, nice weather and good birds. We even spotted a Pyrenean Aquilegia on the way down and then drove straight back to the Hecho Valley. More time for chilling, quaffing beer and relaxing. Ahhh this is the life! 


  1. Looks like a great trip Nick.

  2. More (fluttering) butterflies! Get a Life. You are becoming a Leper Dontist.