Mirua es una empresa dedicada a las actividades en la naturaleza y que ahora ha puesto en marcha un servicio dedicado a la observación de aves y su entorno llamado MiruaBirds. Nuestro ámbito de trabajo es Navarra (Pirineo Occidental y norte del Valle del Ebro, España). En este blog encontrarás información sobre este territorio y nuestra oferta para conocerlo de la mano de nuestros guías.
Mirua is a local company dedicated to organize activities in nature. We now also offer birdwatching tours and nature guided tours with local experts with MiruaBirds. We work mainly in Navarre, although we also organize tours in the Pyrenees and Ebro Valley area (NortEast of Spain). You’ll find everything you need to know about us in this blog.

Pajareando por Roncal a comienzos de primavera

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Quebrantahuesos adulto peinando las paredes de una foz prepirenaica.
El pasado día 1 de abril recibimos a Fernando y Raquel, de Madrid, dispuesos a conocer el Valle de Roncal (en el Pirineo Navarro) desde una perspectiva naturalística y, sobre todo, ornitológica. Aunque ya habíamos tenido algunos días de cierto repunte de las temperaturas el día anterior nos sorprendió una nevada que dejó una buena capa blanca en buena parte del territorio. Esto hizo que tuviéramos que centrarnos más en la parte baja del valle, por lo que no pasamos mucho tiempo en zonas alpinas.

Larra con un manto de nieve.
Empezamos por Larra, que presentaba un aspecto espectacular cubierto de hasta un metro (¡y más!) de nieve. No pudimos ver muchas aves aquí debido a la nevada, pero aún así dimos con algún zorzal charlo, bisbita alpino, algún carbonero garrapinos y un grupo de rebecos pastando en una de las pocas calvas existentes.

Belagua desde el mirador de Yeguaceros.
Bajando al valle de Belagua dimos con varios zorros buscando la pitanza y hasta un mirlo capiblanco cantando que debía haberse bajado desde Larra ante la adversidad de las condiciones climáticas.

Uno de los varios zorros que se dejaron ver en Belagua.
En Isaba tuvimos la suerte de que un picamaderos negro volara sobre nosotros mientras disfrutábamos que la visión de un quebrantahuesos que aprovechaba las primeras térmicas junto a varios buitres leonados. En unos cortados cerca del pueblo descubrimos un macho de treparriscos ya en plumaje nupcial que se afanaba en buscar invertebrados entre las grietas y recovecos de las rocas.

Aunque no es una gran foto aquí se reconoce al treparriscos que nos alegró la mañana.
Llegado el mediodía nos tomamos el picnic cerca de allí en la compañía de un par de carboneros palustres que vinieron a visitarnos y de allí nos fuimos a Burgi. En esta impresionante foz estuvimos admirando el vuelo de un halcón peregrino, varios alimoches, un quebrantahuesos que pasó bastante cerca bordeando las paredes y una pareja de águilas reales que nos mostraron todo su repertorio de vuelos acrobáticos durante su display nupcial.

Foz de Burgi vista desde el sur.
Terminamos la jornada en el mirador de la Foz de Arbaiun, donde detectamos un macho de roquero solitario, el primer mosquitero papialbo del año y, de nuevo, un par de alimoches y un quebrantahuesos. Así pusimos fin a una jornada de pajareo excelente.

On April the 2nd we had an excellent birding day with Fernando and Raquel, from Madrid. We went to Roncal Valley, in the Navarra Pyrenees, and despite the big snowfall the previous day we managed to reach many places with awesome birds. The highlights during this day were 4 Lammergeier (aka Bearded Vulture), several Egyptian Vultures, 2 displaying Golden Eagles, a Black Woodpecker and a Wallcreeper, among others.

Lista de especies (44 especies)

Cormorán grande (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Quebrantahuesos (Gypaetus barbatus)
Alimoche (Neophron percnopterus)
Buitre leonado (Gyps fulvus)
Gavilán (Accipiter nisus)
Milano real (Milvus milvus)
Milano negro (Milvus migrans)
Busardo ratonero (Buteo buteo)
Águila calzada (Hieraaetus pennatus)
Águila real (Aquila chrysaetos)
Picamaderos negro (Dryocopos martius)
Halcón peregrino (Falco peregrinus)
Chova piquirroja (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
Corneja negra (Corvus corone)
Cuervo grande (Corvus corax)
Avión roquero (Ptyonoprogne rupestris)
Carbonero garrapinos (Periparus ater)
Carbonero palustre (Poecile palustris)
Carbonero común (Parus major)
Herrerillo común (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Mito (Aegithalos caudatus)
Trepador azul (Sitta europaea)
Agateador europeo (Certhia brachydactyla)
Treparriscos (Tichodroma muraria)
Chochín europeo (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Reyezuelo listado (Regulus ignicapilla)
Mosquitero musical (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Mosquitero papialbo (Phylloscopus bonelli)
Curruca capirotada (Sylvia atricapilla)
Petirrojo europeo (Erithacus rubecula)
Colirrojo tizón (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Tarabilla europea (Saxicola rubicola)
Roquero solitario (Monticola solitarius)
Zorzal común (Turdus philomelos)
Zorzal charlo (Turdus viscivorus)
Mirlo capiblanco (Turdus torquatus)
Mirlo común (Turdus merula)
Bisbita alpino (Anthus spinoletta)
Lavandera cascadeña (Motacilla cinerea)
Lavandera blanca (Motacilla alba)
Escribano triguero (Emberiza calandra)
Pinzón vulgar (Fringilla coelebs)
Serín verdecillo (Serinus serinus)

Gorrión común (Passer domesticus)

Late winter birding in the Western Pyrenees

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Four kind birdwatchers from Finland came recently to Navarra. Some of them had already been in the area, but they wanted to try a different time of the year with a very clear target in mind: Wallcreeper. So Jouko, Mauno, Jarmo and Kari came in mid March as this in this time of the year the grey-black-white and red birds are still in the lower parts of the mountain valleys.
We spent two days guiding them with two purposes: get some ‘lifers’ and complete their Spanish bird lists.

First day was dedicated to the Southern part of Navarra visiting some steppe areas and wetlands such as the Lor Lake and the Pitillas Lagoon. Despite the windy weather we managed to hear (and see!) a few Dupont’s Larks in our first stop. Other interesting birds in the area were Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Thekla Lark and Dartford Warbler.  During the rest of the day we found and enjoyed with three Great Spotted Cuckoos, A Golden Eagle, a couple of Hen Harriers, both Kite especies, Booted and Short-toed Eagles and Bearded Reedlings among others, but we had luck and got good views of two local rarities like e Great Northern Diver and a Ring-necked Duck.

One of the many Red Kites we saw in these two days.
Pitillas Lagoon Reserve 

The Great Northen Diver in the Lor Lake


The second day we went to the Roncal valley, in the Pyrenees. Weather forecast was not very good, but we were lucky and avoid most of the announced rain.  We started the day very well as we found a Wild Cat close to the road; we could even take some pictures of it: great moment!
In the valley we had good sights of Griffon Vultures and Egyptian Vultures feeding on a sheep carcass, many Red Kites, a group of 8 migrating Black Kites and a Bearded Vulture flying close to us. The highest part in Larra Reserve was not very busy with birds, but Red-billed and Alpine Choughs were trying to find some food in the areas with less snow. And then, when we stopped in one of the villages, we saw a small bird climbing in a sunny building’s wall: a Wallcreeper! We also visited Arbaiun and Lumbier Gorge and we saw more Griffon, Egyptian and Bearded Vultures, more Kites, more Choughs… and we added another interesting species: Bonelli’s Eagle (two individuals).
The day ended stopping in another place before returning to the hotel in order to find the Black Woodpecker: we saw male and female quite well. This was the best end we could expect for two fantastic days of birding in Navarra.

Bearded Vulture silhouette in the Ronal Valley sky.
Surprise: a Wild Cat!
Wallcreeper!

Griffon and Egyptian Vulture resting after feeding

The spectacular Arbaiun Gorge mirador

Bird list (100 species)

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
Red Kite (Milvus milvus)
Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus)
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)
Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)
Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
Hen harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata)
Water rail (Rallus aquaticus)
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Rock Dove (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius)
Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Iberian Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis sharpei)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Pico picapinos (Dendrocopos major)
Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Merlin (Falco columbarius)
Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
Common Magpie (Pica pica)
Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus)
Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla)
Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus)
Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus)
European Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus)
Common Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
Greater Short-toed Lark (Chersophilus duponti)
Common Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
Eurasian Crag martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata)
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)
Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria)
European Nuthatch (Sitta europea)
Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla)
Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus)
Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Common Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Common Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia)
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
White wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)
European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)
Common Linnet (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
European Serin (Serinus serinus)
Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)
Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)
Common Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra)

Finding new birds in Lumbier Gorge

Three intense days of birding in Navarra

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Entrance of the Lumbier Gorge, in the Navarra Prepyrinees.
Renée, Jeanet and Boukje came from the Netherlands to learn Spanish and for some birding and nature experience in the Basque Country and Navarra. This short trip of three days was made during the first half of October and we had to design an itinerary that visited as many habitats as possible to get a general oversight of what our area offers: steppe, beech forests, high mountain, gorges and cliffs, oakwoods, Mediterranean shrub and wetlands.

The Bardenas steppe is one of the most amazing landscapes in the Iberian Peninsula.

Belagua Valley in the Navarra Pyrenees. 

The total list of species, if not very numerous for three days, was built with many interesting species. The birding highlights of the trip were:
-       - A flock of more than 50 Dotterels in the steppe.
-       - Several groups of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse flying around us also in the steppe.
-       - Two late Alpine Swifts that were still in the area.
-       - A Wallcreeper found in a Prepyrenean gorge, the first down here after the breeding season.
-       - Two adult Bearded Vulture flying over us very close before going to sleep in the cliffs in the last day.    

A bad picture (made with mobile phone through the scope) of three of the Dotterels we found in the steppe.
Boukje, Jeanet and Renée in Southern Navarra.
Weather was very nice (to warm and dry for the season, we need urgently some rain) which made our birding experience easier. We also visited some magic places like the ‘enchanted’ beech forest of Urbasa Nature Park or the ancient oakwoods in Sakana Valley (with some trees that are 300-400 year old).
Most of the trip was made in Spanish, so that Renée, Jeanet and Boukje could improve the language, but I had to rescue the Dutch bird names from my mind, names that I learned when I was a child!

The Enchanted Beech Forest of Urbasa, in Northwestern Navarra.
Bird species list (82 species)

Mute Swan – Cygnus olor
Northern Shoveler – Anas clypeata
Gadwall – Anas strepera
Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
Northern Pintail – Anas acuta
Red-crested Pochard – Netta Rufina
Common Pochard – Aythya ferina
Tufted Duck – Aythya fuligula
Little Grebe – Tachybaptus ruficollis
Black-necked Grebe – Podiceps nigricollis
Ardea cinerea – Grey Heron
Bearded Vulture – Gypaetus barbatus
Griffon Vulture – Gyps fulvus
Red Kite – Milvus milvus
Common Buzzard – Buteo buteo
Western Marsh Harrier – Circus aeruginosus
Eurasian Coot – Fulica atra
Northern Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus
Eurasian Dotterel – Charadrius morinellus
Ruff – Calidris pugnax
Common Snipe – Gallinago gallinago
Common Redshank – Tringa totanus
Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Rock Dove – Columba livia
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse – Pterocles alchata
Alpine Swift – Apus melba
Common Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus
Iberian Green Woodpecker – Picus viridis sharpei
Southern Grey Shrike – Lanius meridionalis
Eurasian Jay – Garrulus glandarius
Red-billed Chough – Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Alpine Chough – Pyrrhocorax graculus
Eurasian Jackdaw – Corvus monedula
Carrion Crow – Corvus corone
Common Raven – Corvus corax
Woodlark - Lullula arborea
Crested Lark – Galerida cristata
Eurasian Skylark – Alauda arvensis
Eurasian Crag Martin – Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
Coal Tit – Periparus ater
Crested Tit – Lophophanes cristatus
Marsh Tit – Poecile palustris
Eurasian Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus
Great Tit – Parus major
Long-tailed Tit – Aegithalos caudatus
Eurasian Nuthatch – Sitta europea
Short-toed Treecreeper – Certhia brachydactyla
Wallcreeper – Tichodroma muraria
Eurasian Wren – Troglodytes troglodytes
Zitting Cisticola – Cisticola juncidis
Common Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus collybita
Eurasian Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
Sardinian Warbler – Sylvia melanocephala
Dartford Warbler – Sylvia undata
Dunnock – Prunella modularis
European Robin – Erithacus rubecula
Common Redstart – Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Black Redstart – Phoenicurus ochruros
European Stonechat – Saxicola rubicola
Whinchat – Saxicola rubetra
Northern Wheatear – Oenanthe oenanthe
Black Wheatear – Oenanthe leucura
Blue Rock Thrush – Monticola solitarius
Eurasian Blackbird – Turdus merula
Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos
Mistle Thrush – Turdus viscivorus
White Wagtail – Motacilla alba
Grey Wagtail – Motacilla cinerea
Meadow Pipit – Anthus pratensis
Water Pipit – Anthus spinoletta
Cirl Bunting – Emberiza cirlus
Common Chaffinch – Fringilla coelebs
Common Crossbill – Loxia curvirostra
Eurasian Bullfinch – Pyrrhula pyrrhula
European Goldfinch – Carduelis carduelis
Eurasian Linnet – Carduelis cannabina
Citril Finch – Carduelis citrinella
European Serin – Serinus serinus
Eurasian Siskin – Spinus spinus
House Sparrow – Passer domesticus
Rock Sparrow – Petronia petronia

Renée, Jeanet y Boukje vinieron a comienzos de octubre para aprender castellano, pero aprovecharon su viaje para visitar Navarra, guiadas por nosotros, durante tres días. Aunque continúa la sequía, que es muy desfavorable para las aves de la zona, pudimos observar bastantes aves interesantes tales como chorlito carambolo, ganga ibérica, treparriscos y quebrantahuesos.