Friday, November 20, 2009

Ebro Delta: Day 1 continued

As we approached La Tancada, one of the lagoons known for Greater Flamingos, I was feeling rather nervous. Most of our party were not birders and I knew they would not be very pleased if all we saw were a couple of pink specks far off in the distance. I needn't have worried. The Flamingos weren't right by the road but they were close enough to see with the naked eye, and they were spectacular through binoculars. Plus there were lots of them - I don't know how many but certainly thousands.

After quite a while watching and admiring the Flamingos, it was time to think about lunch. Our hotel had recommended a restaurant called Casa de Fusta ("House of Wood") on the edge of the huge L'Encanyissada lagoon and so we headed for that.

The restaurant didn't look very impressive but the food was excellent and, like every meal we ate out in Spain, very reasonably priced.

I walked over to a nearby observation
tower to check out the lagoon. The landscape was beautiful but I couldn't see a single bird.

I made up for the lack of wild birds by photographing some captive ducks and peacocks that were kept in a large enclosure by the restaurant.

After a great lunch, we drove back the way we had come. And, of course, we again stopped to admire the Flamingos, now in late afternoon light.

The ferry ride to Deltebre was as smooth as our earlier ride, and this time it was enhanced by a beautiful pre-sunset sky.

We arrived at the hotel a little before 5:00 and I remembered that the Canal Vell lagoon would be open to non-hunters for the last half-hour of real daylight. So I persuaded Deanne to drive over there with me.

Unfortunately, the last section of the trail to the observation tower at Canal Vell was blocked and so we never got to see the lagoon or any of its birds. However, we were treated to a magnificent sunset.

All in all, it had been a good day. We hadn't seen many species of birds but the sheer number of herons, egrets and flamingos compensated for this.

I planned to be up and out early again the next day to explore another major birding area on my own. After that, we were all hoping to visit the seaside before heading home to Barcelona.


Birdwoman said...

Those flamingos are spectacular birds. I love watching them feed with their specialized "upside down" beaks.

Jeff said...

It was just a pity that we couldn't get closer - a problem with all the waders and waterbirds in the Delta.