The Hecho and Ansó Valleys -
Hecho Valley Itinerary
Starting point: the village of Siresa.
Time: Most of a day.
From Siresa head north towards the head of the valley. In the fields and meadows on either side of the road look for birds such as Red-backed Shrike, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting and Red Kite.
Park in the pull off just before the gorge called the Barranco del Infierno and continue on foot. Dippers and Grey Wagtails inhabit the rushing river and Firecrests are readily observed in the scrub just before the gorge entrance. Keep one eye on the sky too, as Lammergeier, Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle, Red-billed Chough and Peregrine Falcon can all be seen in the area. However, the main objective of the visit is to look for the dazzling Wallcreeper feeding on the walls of the gorge. With some luck the species will be breeding in the gorge and observation will not be difficult. If that is not the case then another option is to try to see the species near the Gabardito refuge, as described at the end of this itinerary.
Continue on up the valley to Selva de Oza and beyond, where the main attraction is to look for the spectacular but often elusive Black Woodpecker and to admire the beautiful scenery. In the more open area expect Yellowhammer, Rock Bunting, Red-billed Chough and Water Pipit.
Turn round and head back down the valley, taking a left turn to cross the river a few kilometres before reaching Siresa. Follow this windy road up to the mountain refuge of Gabardito. The grassy area around the refuge is frequently visited by the Crossbill and Citril Finch. A walk along the main path to the right of the refuge will take you to areas inhabited by Rock Thrush, Alpine Accentor, Ring Ouzel, Alpine Chough and Lammergeier, and the cries of the Black Woodpecker often ring out from the valley below. To see the Wallcreeper patiently check the largest crags as you emerge from the wooded area.