|Stars of the show: some of the many Greater Flamingos on view at Catalonia's Delta Birding Festival.|
I was impressed. This was a well-organised event, thoughtfully planned by Francesc and his team, and full of attractions and activities, with an excellent line-up of speakers including Hadoram Shirihai, Dick Forsman, Carles Carboneras, Conor Jameson and Dani Lopez Velasco. It was also set in a superb location in the heart of an area of bird-rich lagoons and salt pans, and it’s the first trade show I’ve attended where visitors can watch glowing pink lines of Greater Flamingos, hawking Caspian and Whiskered Terns, and rafts of Red-crested Pochards while browsing books and testing optics.
|The elegant Audouin's Gull, something of a speciality of the Catalan coast.|
The schedule allowed for some birding before and after the event, and in company with Carles Oliver of Barcelona Birding Point, Conor and I had a good journey down from Barcelona on the first day, the varied species list including Griffon Vulture, Booted and Short-toed Eagles, Little Bustard, Eurasian Crag Martin, Thekla Lark, Woodlark, Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper, Crested Tit and Blue Rock Thrush, as well as Spanish Ibex.
|Male Spanish Ibex on the lookout in the mountains of El Port, overlooking the Ebro Delta from the west.|
|A Little Bustard 'ups periscope' in a sea of alfalfa.|
Thanks to Francesc Kirchner and colleagues, especially Ricard Gutiérrez and Miquel Rafa, for being such accommodating hosts.