From Australia to Spain, and beyond
Featuring the Ken Cross Back to Europe Trip Log
This May past Ken Cross came from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, and brought his merry crew of Australian birders and companions with him to enjoy a superb classic spring birding tour of Spain.
After many months of e-mails and planning Ken and Steve finally met up in Madrid in mid-May, and from here was launched our tour of the best of Spain and its birds. Over the next 12 we toured and birded Extremadura, the Picos de Europa, the Pyrenees, the Ebro Valley plains and the Ebro Delta, finishing the tour in Barcelona. We also managed to organize a pelagic cruise one morning to look for shearwaters and petrels…How did we get on?
You can read all about it here at Ken’s blog:
The first challenge that faced us was to work out a packing scheme; however if there’s one thing we have come to excel in in the birding circuit it’s just that. As we think the photo shows:
A few days later another challenge arose: how to beat the hotel views, food and service that we had in the Picos de Europa. I don’t think we beat it in the subseqüent hotels, but we came reasonably close.
2 amazing and stimulating views from our hotel in the Picos de Europa
Our impressions were that Ken (Mr Cross) and his crew (Russ, Maria, Vince, Steve, Jan, Karen, Norm, June, Ray) had a good time all round, but in particular they really loved the mountains, and this is judging from the battery of “oohs” and “aahs” delivered by all when the Pyrenees and Cantabrian mountains came into view.
The final tour tally was 213 species of birds, with of course some very interesting and unusual sightings, and with fun and Aussie humour all the way.
Dupont’s Lark and Lammergeier were chosen as the group’s bird of the tour. Although we should remain impartial with questions of taste we are very glad that the Corn Bunting did not enter the competition!
The big surprise to me was that when I arrived home from a later trip I found 2 field guides to Australia waiting for me: one for the mammals, and another for the birds. A big thank you to our Aussie friends for that, and for their great company!
Now though I have to start saving up to go to Australia.