On Saturday (15th February) I went back to Sierra Espuña again, this time with Mick Brewer who had never been there before, and was keen to see the birds I wrote about last week. We went straight up to the ‘pozos de nieve de Cartagena', arriving there at around 10:15, and unlike last week, this time there was very little cloud, no wind and the temperature was a very mild 15º. We must have been the first people to have walked to the ‘pozos’ this morning, as on the way there, we bumped into a herd of around 50 Barbary sheep (or Arruí in spanish, (Ammotragus lervia)). These animals are normally extremely shy, but although we couldn’t approach too closely, they didn’t seem to be particularly bothered by us, just ambling off as we approached. We saw some more later on, a more typical sighting, up on top of the rock hills.
Part of the herd of Arruí, or Barbary Sheep
They didn't seem at all bothered by us
Arruí, or Barbary Sheep, as they are more typically seen
Some of the birds seen during the morning
Male Ring Ouzel
Pair of Crossbills with male Chaffinch
Female Cirl Bunting
Another male Ring Ouzel
Female Rock Bunting
Male Rock Bunting
Male and female Crossbill
One of the restored 'pozos de la nieve'
Record shot of one of the Firecrests - it IS there, honest! Right in the centre
And that’s all for now folks, so good birding!!