Friday, 16 June 2017

Pyrenees 17 - Day 6. Gavarnie area

Managed to sneak a few words down waiting in vain for a Lammergeier to show...

Early start at 6. After a slight scare we were having croissants and coffee in Gavarnie at 7.30. Then it was back to the Valle d'Ossoue. I managed​ another view of the Red-backed Shrike but no sign of any Lammergeier's as the cliff was shrouded in mist. So we decided to try and climb above it and headed for Gavarnie Ski Station. This was my No 1 site for Rock Thrush. I gave it 2hrs plus on the switch backs but not a sniff. Disappointing.
      After lunch (crepes and ice cream) it was time for a Golden Eagle stake out while Louise visited the village shops. Nothing in over an hour. After she re-joined me we sat in the shade by the church and scanned the crags.
            Then... there one was, carrying prey. It was hugging the slope but the powerful jizz was apparent...and the huge frame.
             Unfortunately the camera wouldn't play at first (rather disappointing) costing me a better image. In fact I thought I'd blown it completely as it disappeared into the trees before I could get "on it". VERY fortunately​ it took off again some 15mins later allowing me to get a record shot. It's many years since I've seen this species, so this was another special moment.
              We spent the last couple of hours back at the Lammergeier site which was now bathed in sunshine (a wonderful 20c today with a cool breeze). No show but I did see my first Rock Bunting of the trip.

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