New species in winter time in Ebro Delta

Due to climate change or to local features it is a reality that every time more species of birds, formerly though as a summer visitors, are spending winter time in some areas of South Europe.

I have been absolutely surprised by the view of a Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) in Ebro Delta. It was on Sunday November 4 and I was spending the day with a couple just arrived from Switzerland. We had nice views of many birds but we saw five different species that until few years ago were summer visitors and now are becoming more common during the winter.

First was the Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) leaving the reedbeds at raisang with tens of White Wagtails (Motacilla alba alba). Later a group of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) (5 of them) flying over the fields with some Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris). Barn Swallow is coming up in numbers every winter and its presence is considered “not rare” in Ebro and Llobregat deltas. We counted 6 Hoopoe (Upupa epops) in different areas. Hoopoe is a quite common summer-but-also-winter bird in Catalonia, specially along the coast. In the paddy fields we saw one White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), though this species is specially common in winter in Lleida Steppes. Finally a number of  Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) were spending the day alongside channels, reedbeds and on paddy fields.

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