Birding in Spain: Wintering Little Bustards

Got the Little Bustards!

After an evening and a morning search around alfafa fields near Lleida, following fellow birders’ last-minute reports of “more than 500 Little Bustards“, or “a flock of up to 700 birds” I finally managed to pin down a smaller, but still respectable flock of about 250 Little Bustard. Parked near a busy roundabout I stayed in the car so as not to worry the little darlings, took a photo which I knew to be of no use at all, and just enjoyed the thought that large numbers of these birds still frequent this part of Spain in the winter.

A few years ago a Little Bustard flock of about 1,300 birds was found near here, certainly the largest flock ever recorded in Catalonia, if not in Spain. This flock will have dispersed by late March or early April, but then hopefully a good number of these Little Bustards will stay around to breed on the remaining drylands of Lleida.

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