2010 Spain for lynx

2010 Spain for lynx

6th April


Jeff and I met up with John and Maz in the early hours of the morning and we caught the first flight out of Gatwick, even if our Easyjet flight was delayed due to an ill pilot.

Our Citroen Berlingo was ugly as hell but very practical, apart from the lack of central locking. After booking into the excellent value Los Pinos we were out looking for wildlife.

Hoping for lynx on our first day was probably rather over optimistic but we did have a good afternoon stuff seen included: a pr blue rock thrushes, red-rumped swallows, black vulture, Iberian green woodpecker. griffon vultures, lots of bee-eaters, southern grey shrike, Sardinian warbler (below), hoopoe,


woodchat shrikes (below), corn buntings and lots of azure-winged magpies, which proved remarkable hard to photograph.


On the mammal front red deer were common, but only really evident at night, and we got confused by roosting bats.

We're pretty sure this is greater mouse-eared:


But not sure about his one:


Crag martins were seen around the bridge .


Soprano pipistrelle and serotine were seen around the hotel.

Having skipped a night's sleep we did the only sensible thing: stayed up to the early hours drinking!

7th April

Highlights of today included Spanish imperial eagle, black vulture and Montagu's harrier. I had some success photographing the magpies:


Mammals included Daubenton's bat, 3 mouflon and masses of red deer after dark, We were just starting to get a little worried about the lack of lynx.

8th April

Arriving the lynx watch point we saw rock bunting and 2 mouflons. Then at last. After a brief panic 2 lynx were seen distantly, but on and off for a couple of hours and then there was a call a rush and one was much closer. Of course as soon as I went for the camera it disappeared! So thanks to John for letting me pinch his, I should always travel with a dedicated photographer:


Photo: John Dixon

We had a relaxed afternoon. Viperine snake and sharp-ribbed newt were new for me and the trip.


We did our bit for the Spanish wine and beer industries in the evening.

9th April

I for one was a least slightly hungover, so I could have done without a rather long discussion with the park rangers/wildlife police about the complex, and IMHO rather draconian, Spanish wildlife laws, which certainly taxed my Spanish skills. Finally we were off to the beautiful Sierra Nervada.


It's fair to say that Jeff and I enjoyed the dramatic drops rather more than Jon and Maz! The target here was Spanish Ibex. Some were seen at a distance of several miles. Another was just beside the road on the way down, unfortunately there was a lack of places to stop. Two golden eagles and an Iberian wall lizard were also seen.

Iberian wall lizardweb.jpg

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