Dutchman meets the Flying Pelican

I met up with Marten van Dijl from the Netherlands recently. We did a spot of birding around Montsec and then the drylands of Alfés, before going our own ways.

Marten was back in Holland for the New Year, but still found the time to send an e-mail with some of his photos.

The following are his photos of the White Pelican that’s been loitering with the local White Storks. Check out some of Marten’s work at his website.

 White Pelican with storks near Lleida

Preening is a very important task for any Stork, sorry, Pelican.

White Pelican on church roof with Storks

Can’t think why they’re ignoring me.

“I had a great time again, seeing some friends, birding and coming back with some good photos. I’ll tell you what I saw after I met with you at Alfes – first of all the white pelican, which was roosting at the church in Torres de Segre, until it flew off. You don’t have to be a psychic to predict it went to the rubbish dump, and there it was.

 White Pelican at rubbish dump

Oh! The promised land!

“Later, at the same spot the three little bustards were still there, in exactly the same spot, still not moving. There was also a flock of pin-tailed sandgrouse, I counted 70! Other good birds included a perched golden eagle at Bellmunt.

The next day I went to Laguna de Gallocanta – lots of cranes, hard to photograph, and after that I decided to spend my last day in the Ebro Delta. I was surprised by the number of chiffchaffs (everywhere, along the shores and canals) and kingfisher (10+). I had good photos of a circling booted eagle after a short chase in the car.

Like you suggested, I started reading your book during my flight back, I’ve now just finished the chapter about the Bewick’s Swan at Buda Island. I enjoy reading it, it’s a good read, recognizable stories and interesting because it deals with an area of Spain I’ve come to know. At the same time, it’s useful to refresh my English.”

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