We made a return trip to Spain

We made a return trip to Spain

We just returned from two weeks in Spain. This happened after we received an invitation to visit the small town where we spent six months in 1979-80. Our oldest son Jonathan was 7 at the time, and he has always wanted to go back. Recently he and his wife and 3-year-old daughter were given tickets for a trip to Spain. They asked us to join them, which we decided to do.

Our trip started out poorly. The flight from Chicago to Barcelona was delayed for six hours, taking off at 4 a.m. By the time we got to Barcelona and found the way to our hostel, we were completely exhausted. After many hours of sleep, we spent two days exploring the beautiful city of Barcelona.

While at the hostel, I checked out the common birds we could hear or see from the outdoor patio. Common swifts whistled by at high speeds. Many of the buildings had active common house martin nests up under the eaves.

I heard parakeets soon after we arrived and assumed they were in a cage on a balcony, but they turned out to be monk parakeets, and they have flourished in Barcelona. Eurasian collared doves could be seen and heard everywhere.

More difficult to track down but quite common were European greenfinch, European serin. They often called or sang from trees and shrubs.

From Barcelona we flew 90 minutes to Almeria, rented a car and drove to the little coastal town of Agua Amarga, where we stayed many years ago. The village hasn’t changed much. There is still one small grocery store, two ice-cream shops, a number of hotels and restaurants, and a lovely beach.

We stayed for a week, taking daily hikes, checking out several other beaches that required hiking up and down the rocky coastline.

My favorite bird was the Eurasian blackbird, a very plain bird with a pleasant song. Some of you may remember this song from one of the Beattles songs from long ago. We also saw white wagtails, crested and Thekla’s larks, a gray heron, and red-rumped swallows. Most days we saw at least one black wheatear on our walks. At the beach the common gull was the yellow-footed gull. I saw several sandwich terns one day but no shorebirds or hawks. A lone common raven soared by several times.

All too soon it was time to fly back to Barcelona and catch our return flight to Chicago. This time the delay was only two hours, and the flight was much easier going west. It was great to get back to Spain, something I didn’t think would happen. Now it’s time to do a breeding bird survey, a sure sign that summer is here.

Good birding!

Email Bruce Glick at bglick2@gmail.com or call 330-317-7798.

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