For the third consecutive year, we went to La Aldea Shelter in Bejes, Cantabria, to give an introductory course to ornithology.

La Quintana neighbourhood, Bejes (Cantabria)
La Quintana neighbourhood, Bejes (Cantabria)

We met there, once again, wiht Begoña y Miguel, what a host couple! They don’t let you get bored at any time, always keeoing an ey on what we needed, funny conversations and delicious meals. They never let you down.

This year we had 7 participants with several knowledge levels, from beginners to a pretty much advanced level. Initially, getting everyone to learn something seemed quite hard to achieve. But finally, thanks to the participants’ interest and the invaluable Miguel’s assistance, we reached our goal.

The hole group
The hole group

Let’s get started…

We had a really funny weekend, spent in good company, talking about birds, nature and all that kind of subjects that tasty meals or a good beer bring up to the table.

The weather was fabulous. Bright and sunny days with almost summery temperatures allowed us to enjoy some amusing birdwatching walks.

On our first outing we went to a high location in order to spot subalpine birds, less fidgety and therefore easier to observe, specially for the beginners.

Some of the participants looking up in the guide books
Some of the participants looking up in the guide books

Right after we stepped out the van to start our walk, we had our first “bimbo” (an ornithology jargon to define the first time you put your eyes on a species never seen before): a short-toed eagle.

At the end of the last excursion we had seen a wide variety of bird species, from riverine to subalpine.

Those participants with more knowledge about birds were attentive at all time not to say outloud the name of the bird species we were watching. This way, begginers were able to find out the way to discover their names through the guide book.

We’d just like to thank all the participants for their attendance and the hosts for their wonderful welcome and attention.

So come on and join us next year in Bejes for the next edition of the introductory course to ornithology!

List of the species seen this year

Common Swift Apus apus

Tawny Owl Strix aluco (heared)

Common Woodpigeon Columba palumbus

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus

Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus (heared)

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus

Common barn-owl Tyto alba (heared)

Iberian Green Woodpecker Picus sharpei

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo

Carrion Crow Corvus corone

Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus

Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

Great Tit Parus major

Common Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris

Bonelli´s Warbler Rhadina Bonelli

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla

Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea

Northern Wren                 Troglodytes troglodytes

White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus

Common Blackbird Turdus merula

Song Trush Turdus philomelos

European Robin Erithacus rubecula

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros

Common Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

Dunnock Prunella modularis

House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Pipit (unidentified)

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

White wagtail Motacilla alba

Common Linnet Linaria cannabina

Rock Bunting Emberiza cia

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