Friday, 3 March 2017

Spain - Hervas - Blazing sun to Blizzard!!

The forecast for today was rain but there was a window of birding opportunity before around 1100hrs when the heavens would open up! I set out early and headed for Hervas which I would access via Sierra de Gredos. The journey on the way out was clear and blustery and I made good time to Hervas.

Just outside Hervos I checked out a reservoir that held numerous Great Crested Grebe and Cormorants. There were also a couple of immature Black Headed Gull just to remind me of home!

I could not find the site for the woodpeckers but saw an Azure-winged Magpie on the roadside. I was feeling peckish so pulled in to an open space bordered with trees and scrub. This area was littered with passerines inc Serin and several Azure-winged Magpies, Corvids, and starlings but the birds seemed to be in a great hurry to vacate the area.

The reason for this soon became apparent as the rain crashed down on to the roof of the car making it hard to think. The rain eased off and after a local man pulled up to ask what I was doing I tucked into my lunch.

I then made a crucial decision to start making my way back towards Avila via the Sierra de Grados Campsite. I took a brief stop at the ski resort at La Covatilla where a large flock of Chaffinch, Blue and Great Tit were just as frantic feeding on the edge of a group of pines. The cloud was closing in fast and the rain turned to snow and it was time to move down to lower ground.

That was to be my last stop as the snowfall turned into a full blown blizzard. The road quickly turned white bar the odd set of car tracks. Many birds were moving to feed by the roadside including a small flock of Linnet. An hour later and I had negotiated the pass and was back on a main road and heading into Avila. Whew! 

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