Aragon

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris ©Joël Bruezière Website
Birding Aragon

Aragon is an ornithological destination par excellence. This amazing region gives you the opportunity to observe most of Spain’s avifauna in the four most characteristic habitats of the Iberian Peninsula; Alpine peaks and meadows, Mediterranean forest mixed with spectacular limestone rock cliffs , semi-arid steppes and inland lakes, all of them in a relative short distance from each other.

Entering the untamed Pyrenees; the high valleys as Ordesa, Hecho or Benasque, allows visitors to spot the difficult alpine specialities such as Alpine Accentor, Snow Finch & Wallcreeper whilst enjoying the magnificent forest of beech and fir trees surrounded by spectacular rock cliffs.

The exciting pre-Pyrenees of Aragon: Sierra de Guara, Riglos, or San Juan de la Peña are wild and sparsely populated with humans. However, they densely populated with birds of prey and Mediterranean birds such as wheatears, thrushes, buntings, warblers, bee-eaters and many more. The famous Sierra de Guara is a real Lammergeier sanctuary holding the highest known density of this magnificent bird, as well as Egyptian Vulture and Griffon Vulture. Here, too alpine birds such as Wallcreeper or Alpine Accentor are easy to observe at close range from late autumn to early spring.

Inland the steppes of the Monegros and Belchite dotted here and there with saltlakes, are an arid but fascinating contrast. They are home to perhaps the most Spanish avifauna: raptors, bustards, sandgrouse and larks.

Top Sites
  • Monegros

    Satellite View
    This is a semi-desert area occupying an extensive plain of around 70,000 hectares, with some seasonal lagoons. It is covered with an interesting steppe vegetation. It is an excellent area to observe Great Bustard (32 individuals). There is also a big population of other species, like Stone Curlew, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Dupont's Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark.
  • Spanish Pyrenees

    Satellite View
    This mountainous barrier, that separates France from Spain, is made up of high mountains, extensive pine forests, streams, and green mountain meadows, and is especially recommended for its abundance of birds of prey. One can see Golden, Short-toed, Booted and Bonelli's Eagles; Montagu's Harrier; Red & Black kites, Peregrine and Hobby; and the magnificent Lammergeier, which here has one of its two last strongholds in the entire continent. Other interesting avian species are: Ptarmigan, Capercaille, Dotterel, Tengmalm's Owl, Black Woodpecker, Crag Martin, Water Pipit and Dipper. Apart from bird species, it is remarkable for the presence of Pyrenean Chamois and Red Deer. This area is probably one of the last refuges in Europe of the Boreal Linx and the Brown Bear.
Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 384

    (As at August 2018)
Useful Reading

  • A Birdwatching Guide to The Pyrenees

    | By Jacquie Crozier | Arlequin Press | 1998 | Paperback | 87 pages, 8 colour plates, illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9781900159753 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Guía de Aves de Aragón [Guide to the Birds of Aragon]

    | By Javier Blasco Zumeta | Editorial Prames | 2014 | Paperback | 319 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations | (Text is Spanish) ISBN: 9788483214237 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Where the Birds are in Northeast Spain

    | By Steve West Illustrated by Ernest Leahy | Steve West | 2004 | Paperback | 269 pages, Colour photos, colour illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9788460915997 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Where to Watch Birds in Northern & Eastern Spain

    | By Ernest FJ Garcia & Michael Rebane | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2017 | Paperback | 384 pages, 30 b/w illustrations, 125 b/w maps | ISBN: 9781472936752 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • NR Reserva Natural de los Galachos de La Alfranca de Pastriz

    InformationSatellite View
    …nesting colony of Black-crowned Night Heron etc…
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding in North East Spain

    Tour Operator
    BOLETAS (Egyptian Vulture in the local language) was formed in 1994, a stroke of luck enables us to live our long-awaited dream; install ourselves in the peaceful rural village of Loporzano, in the midst of one of the best birding areas in the Iberian Peninsula dedicating ourselves exclusively to our interest in birds…
  • Birding in Spain

    Tour Operator
    Plan your Birding trip to Catalonia, Aragon and Navarra...
  • Birdwatching Spain (Pyrenees)

    Tour Operator
    In this birding tour Pyrenees we will go in search of one of the rarest and most amazing birds in the entire world, the Lammergeier. Before that, we try to find one of the most elusive birds, the Dupont’s Lark in one of the best preserve steppe habitat of Europe. Other targets are Alpine Accentor, Ring Ouzel, Citril Finch, Yellow and Red-billed Chough, Dipper, Water Pipit, Marsh Tit, Black and Iberian Green Woodpecker, Egyptian and Griffon Vulture and mammals such as the Chamois and Marmot. We will visit amazing landscapes, deep gorges in search of great number of birds.
  • Iberian Wildlife Tours

    Tour Operator
    John Muddeman, Teresa Farino and Mike Lockwood are British natural history tour guides who have been living in their respective regions of Spain for many years Together, they operate as Iberian Wildlife Tours, offering guided natural history holidays that will take you in search of birds, butterflies and wildflowers in the stunningly beautiful surroundings of Andalusia (Andalucía), the Picos de Europa, the Spanish Pyrenees, Extremadura, Catalonia (Catalunya) and western Portugal, to name but a few of our carefully selected Spanish and Portuguese destinations.
Trip Reports


Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • 2010 [06 June] - Steve Bird

    PDF Report
    …views of several Calandra Larks as well as Hoopoes, Bee-eaters, Red Kite, Black Kite, Lesser Kestrel, Crested Lark, and Red-legged Partridge. Near one canal, we encountered a Golden Eagle …
  • 2011 [05 May] - Honeyguide - Spanish Pyrenees

    PDF Report
    …and a short-toed eagle which drifted over us was followed even more leisurely by an adult lammergeier, barely flicking its wing-tips as it traversed the valley…
  • 2012 [02 February] - Chris Hall

    Report
    …It’s 20th February at the Boletas Birdwatching Centre near Huesca, and the crisp dry early morning air is stirred by the whistles of Spotless Starlings and the bill clapping of White Storks, nesting on the church tower. After breakfast, Josele announces that he has received a call to say that we have an appointment with a Wallcreeper at 10.30am! By 10, we are starring up at the spectacular towering salmon pink and grey conglomerate cliffs above Riglos, watching a pair of shrieking Peregrines gliding on a perfectly clear deep blue sky, while numerous Griffon Vultures soar silently by. Next, we find the Wallcreeper, at 10.27am precisely! I don’t know how Josele did that, but as this charismatic bird busily flicks its moth like wings, while probing the cracks along the base of the cliffs for insects, with a delicately decurved beak, we lie back and enjoy the show for almost an hour…
  • 2013 [04 April] - Chris Gibson - Spanish Pyrenees

    PDF Report
    A clear dawn saw the early morning crew walking around the hill to the Badlands, taking in excellent views of rock sparrows and an Egyptian vulture low overhead. But the big news was the arrival of nightingales, at least four birds were heard and seen, indicating a substantial overnight arrival – the magic of migration unfolding before our eyes…
  • 2013 [05 May] - Kathie Claydon

    Report
    …At Gabardito we saw Citril Finch, Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle and Alpine Chough. At Lizara, Rock Bunting and a huge flock of about 200 Alpine Choughs were of note. However, birds were often few and far between and we spent a lot of time photographing frozen or very wet plants - including a good range of orchids, hyacinths, wild daffodils and hellebores…
  • 2014 [05 May] - Chris Gibson - Spanish Pyrenees

    PDF Report
    ...the sun came out. The results were almost instantaneous with griffons appearing from nowhere, red and black kites, and then single booted and short-toed eagles for good measure. A singing male cirl bunting posed well and parties of migrating alpine swifts started to hurtle through every few minutes...
  • 2016 [06 June] - Chris Gibson

    PDF Report
    Red and black kites, and before long a few Egyptian and griffon vultures and a hobby, kept us looking up, while the carpets of blue beautiful flax, pink shrubby rest-harrow, and both purple and yellow Jerusalem sages were quite stunning.
  • 2017 [06 June] - Bob Buckler

    PDF Report
    ...the Zaragoza Plains were boiling, the Pyrenees foothills were sweltering and even up on the high plateau in the Picosit was very hot. Nevertheless, we saw all of the most wanted specialities: Lammergeier, Wallcreeper, Citril Finch, Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Alpine Cough, Alpine Accentor, Snowfinch, Black Woodpecker...
  • 2019 [02 February] - Matthew Mellor - Catalonia & Aragon

    PDF Report
    The main targets were Moustached Warbler, Dupont’s Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark and Red-billed Leiothrix, and for photographs, Wallcreeper, Eagle Owl, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse and Lammergeier.
Places to Stay


Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • Boletus Birdwatching Centre - Pyrenees

    Accommodation
    Birdwatching Centre in the Spanish Pyrenees, we inform birders where to go and we organize tours in the northeast of Spain
  • Hospedería Villa Pintano

    Accommodation
    Hospedería Villa Pintano is a nice rural house located in a small medieval village into the mountains of Aragón (Prepirineos) with a population of 30 where you will find total peace and quiet in a natural setting, surrounded by rich natural contrasts, living proof of the pastoral way of life which is still preserved today and where you are sure to be received with plenty of hospitality. …
Other Links
  • Birding Aragon

    Website
    Más de 300 especies diferentes en un territorio cruce de rutas migratorias, donde se pueden observar a lo largo de la primavera y el verano las migradoras llegadas desde África, mientras que en otoño e invierno nos acompañan las procedentes del Norte de Europa. (Species, locations, observations excursions and news all about birding in Aragon)
Blogs
  • Héctor Bintanel - Blog de ornitología y observaciones en la naturaleza

    BLOG
    …aficionado a la ornitología a Zaragoza. Observaciones de aves en la naturaleza….
  • S Hortensis - Blog De Anillamiento En Tj Y Alcañiz

    BLOG
    Bird ringing in Aragon… Blog de un chico español de 16 años aficionado a las aves y al anillamiento…

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