ORNITHOLOGY

OrnithologyLleida flies up

Point between continents, the Iberian Peninsula has always been a key location for the establishment of many species of birds, breeding and/or as an obligatory stop on their long migratory trips. Therefore, Lleida has been one of its main gates of the entrance or exit. Located in the northeast of the country, at the foot of the Pyrenees, Lleida has accumulated more than enviable amount of habitats that favour the fauna richness. The most notable areas are the mountains and dry plains of the southern region.

 

DAUCAT Serveis Turístics de Catalunya, SL organizes tours for birders, “twitchers”, nature photographers and nature lovers in general who want to discover unique species and rich fauna of the region. Guided by the best specialists we will discover hundreds of species of birds, many of them in danger, perfect places to practice their observation, such as the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees and the drylands of Lleida.

DAUCAT is committed to offering nature tourism, especially ornithological tourism, based on a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. In line with this commitment, and the values that emanate from WTO guidelines on sustainable tourism, DAUCAT collaborates with and is part of the Iberaves Project of SEO BirdLife and the Foundation for the Assessment and Action in Defense of Animals, FAADA.

 

OUR TERRITORY

  • PYRENEES
  • PREPYRENEES
  • DRYLANDS OF LLEIDA

PYRENEES

The pyreneesDue to their high levels, the Pyrenees mountains offer special conditions that have made the species that live there extremely special, such as the example of the Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) or the Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria).

Their height makes them a natural border, very difficult to cross for many birds. This has made that many of them are located on the south of the mountains and become species like Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia Cetti) (a very common bird in the peninsula), but a rarity in the rest of Europe.

On the other hand, the extreme conditions of this habitat have meant that the birds which live here are very special. An example of this is the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) (specialist in food marrow that is among the carrion) or the Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) able to blend in perfectly with the snow covering the high parts of the mountains.

The pyrenees

Among the Pyrenees in Lleida there are three protected areas such as:

  • Aiguestortes National Park and Sant Maurici Lake. The only national park in Catalonia and one of fifteen found throughout Spain.
  • Cadí – Moixeró Natural Park. It contains the largest number of species of fauna and flora of European interest in Catalonia.
  • High Pyrenees Natural Park. The largest in size.

PREPYRENEES

PrePyrineesNowadays, when silence and calm is so wanted, the Pyrenees Mountains are the perfect place to practice ornithology surrounded by a landscape which is often unknown. Parallel to the big range, these mountains are the only place in Europe where the four large prey coexist:

The Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), the Black vulture (Aegypius monachus), the Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) and the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus).

To see these birds and other ones, the top places are:

  • Mont-rebei
  • The Boumort range
  • La Terreta and Sant Gervàs range

PrePyrinees

DRYLANDS OF LLEIDA

Drylands of LleidaConsisting by predominantly agricultural areas, far from being an arid area, the dry lands are one of the most ornithological sought sites for bird lovers, due to the transformation of agriculture, increasingly accustomed to the crops irrigation. Dry lands have the disappeared around the south of Europe, showing increasingly, the importance of them.

Thanks to various conservation projects, today we can enjoy these spaces and its birdlife:

  • Mas de Melons-Alfés
  • Segrià Drylands
  • Bellmunt Drylands
  • Belianes Drylands

 

In Lleida plains, apart from drylands, we also have to mention the importance of lake areas, small oasis of water in an area devoid of this resource.
Drylands of Lleida

  • The Ivars and Vila-sana Pool
  • Utxesa reservoir
  • Clot de la Unilla
  • The “Aiguabarreig” of Segre-Cinca

TOP 20 SPECIES

OR – EN

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Lagopus muta
Rock ptarmigan

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Lagopus muta
Rock ptarmigan


The Rock ptarmigan is a characteristic species of the tundra in the northern hemisphere, perfectly adapted to extreme cold. During the last glaciation, its range was much more extensive than today, but at retract the ice, some populations found refuge and were isolated in certain mountain ranges of southern Europe, including the Pyrenees.

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Gypaetus barbatus
Lammergeier

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Gypaetus barbatus
Lammergeier


The silhouette of the Lammergeier flying in front of the imposing walls of any remote corner of the Pyrenees remains one of the most impressive images of Spanish nature. Adapted to living in harsh mountain environments and endowed with excellent skills for flight, the Lammergeier is also a specialist in the making, as it constitutes the last link in the use of carrion.

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Neophron percnopterus
Egyptian volture

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Neophron percnopterus
Egyptian volture


Once common in the most varied corners of the Iberian Peninsula, the Egyptian vulture species has suffered as few severe population decrease that, in a few decades, has left the raptor in a dangerous situation. The loss of food resources and an incomprehensible persecution by ranchers and hunters are at the root of the problem.

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Aquila fasciata
Bonelli’s eagle

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Aquila fasciata
Bonelli’s eagle


Among the great eagles, it is the most agile -which allows it catching a large number of birds of an average size - and the paler color. It is closely associated with the Mediterranean environments.

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Falco naumanni
Lesser kestrel

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Falco naumanni
Lesser kestrel


The smallest of our hawks was, until the middle of last century, a frequent inhabitant of towers, cottages, houses, palaces and castles in regions dedicated to agriculture and extensive livestock farming, which could find abundant invertebrates that feed. The transformations of the Spanish countryside in recent decades decreased their habitat and caused a sharp decline.

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Tetrax tetrax
Little bustard

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Tetrax tetrax
Little bustard


Spread over large parts of the peninsula, once the Little bustard has suffered a major decline as a result of the profound changes experienced by agricultural landscapes.

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Pterocles orientalis
Black-bellied sandgrouse

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Pterocles orientalis
Black-bellied sandgrouse


Species typical of semi-arid areas, moors and upland field crops, both the Peninsula and Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, an island that reaches relatively high densities. Easier to hear than to see his distinctive voice is disappearing gradually from the Spanish fields. This is one of the steppe birds that have experienced a greater decline in recent decades, and in Spain it is estimated that there a

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Pterocles alchata
Pin-tailed sandgrouse

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Pterocles alchata
Pin-tailed sandgrouse


The Pin-tailed sandgrouse are birds typical of steppes and deserts of Africa and Asia, which are represented in the Iberian Peninsula, marginally, by two species, which means take advantage of traditional upland farming. The deep field modification is responsible for the serious decline suffered by the population of the Pin-tailed sandgrouse, now reduced to only 8000 to 11,000 individuals.

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Melanocorypha calandra
Calandra lark

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Melanocorypha calandra
Calandra lark


As the generality of the lark, common lark is a bird of earthy tones, characteristic of cereal plains and steppe environments. Distributed by the Mediterranean basin, some parts of Eastern Europe and central Asia, the Iberian Peninsula is - together with Russia - the main population center of the species.

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Prunella collaris
Alpine accentor

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Prunella collaris
Alpine accentor


This typical bird high mountain can live up to the highest peaks of Pyrenees or Sierra Nevada, altitudes to which very few species venture. Frequents the main mountain ranges, although it is more abundant in the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa. Often approach shelters and ski resorts, which shows very confident to human presence.

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Oenanthe leucura
Black wheatear

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Oenanthe leucura
Black wheatear


For its general tone black or very dark, and its partially white-tailed, it is an unmistakable bird. Its global distribution is limited to northwestern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, where he holds, denuded and rocky, arid areas of the warmest and driest regions. It is especially common in the Levant and the southeast peninsula and scarcer in hills and mountains of the southern half.

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Monticola saxatilis
Rufous-tailed rock thrush

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Monticola saxatilis
Rufous-tailed rock thrush


Typical in mountains, where it appears in the summer. It lives in places where rocky areas with scrub and grassland other alternate. The male is unmistakable, with a beautiful color design, while the female shows a more discreet brown hue. Despite being present in much of our massifs, it is an abundant species.

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Sylvia hortensis
Western orphean warbler

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Sylvia hortensis
Western orphean warbler


The Western orphean warbler is characterized by its very distinctive and melodious song which reminds the Blackbird, hence his name, his dark mask, which contrasts with its white- throat and robust peak. It is a typical inhabitant of rinses Mediterranean forests and tree crops (pastures, pine forests, olive groves).

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Acrocephalus melanopogon
Moustached warbler

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Acrocephalus melanopogon
Moustached warbler


It is a small insectivorous linked to wetlands with abundant vegetation such as reeds, rushes and bulrushes. From ‘circunmediterranean’ distribution in Spain it is the only warbler played regularly, although it is restricted to a few wet areas of the eastern coast, the Balearic Islands and some parts of the peninsular.

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Panurus biarmicus
Bearded reedling

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Panurus biarmicus
Bearded reedling


Discrete character, the mustachioed is closely linked to the masses of marsh vegetation between nimbly wandering in search of food and dependent to install their nests; the vulnerability of these to predators (especially rats) when you are exposed to changes in water levels is compensated with high reproductive potential, which leads them to perform up to four put a year.

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Tichodroma muraria
Wallcreeper

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Tichodroma muraria
Wallcreeper


One of the most enigmatic and scarce birds and that lives in Europe, the Wallcreeper, is a small bird with an unmistakable look and erratic flight, which is installed in the highest and inaccessible limestone peaks of the continent. Totally dependent on their low montane habitat where it lives, this insectivore is a scarce and difficult to observe bird.

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Pyrrhocorax graculus
Yellow-billed chough

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Pyrrhocorax graculus
Yellow-billed chough


Inhabitant of the highest peaks in the north of our country, the Yellow-billed chough is an elegant corvid of confident and gregarious, feeding invertebrates usually obtained in the alpine meadows and through the cracks of the rocks. Given inaccessible places that frequents and its adaptability to exploit the remnants of food left by the man, their populations do not suffer significant threats.

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Montifringilla nivalis
Snowfinch

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Montifringilla nivalis
Snowfinch


The highest and inhospitable peaks of the Eurasian mountains, where icy winds and snow reign almost all year, provide habitat chosen by this singular representative of the family of sparrows: Snowfinch, a species linked as little to the existence of peaks and snow fields and meadows where is their livelihood. A hard and difficult habitat, however, could disappear or decrease dramatically.

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Carduelis citrinella
Citril finch

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Carduelis citrinella
Citril finch


Bird from the mountains with beautiful green and yellow, gregarious, and very little singsong in spring. It preferably lives in clearings in the upper fringe of the forests of our major mountain systems.

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Emberiza hortulana
Ortolan bunting

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Emberiza hortulana
Ortolan bunting


The Ortolan bunting is a species of medium mountain areas of the northern half of the peninsula, where it is installed in a variety of environments - orchards, hedges, provided that they have appropriate perches and abundant food resources. The Spanish population of this species seems to be stabilized after the sharp decline experienced in past decades.

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