Walking around the heart of the old city may not necessarily result in mindblowing urban birding, but you can expect to spy overflying Jackdaws, Black Redstarts on the rooftops plus House Sparrows and Spotless Starlings nearer to terra firma. Urban open spaces like Taconera Park, the city’s oldest green space, are popular tourist hotspots that are great for a stroll with the family and also good for the common finches like Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Serin. However, perhaps the best urban park to visit would be Ciudadela Park, the city’s largest park. Situated in the city centre it is characterised by its pentagonal fortified walls. A wander around should result in more Serins, Spotless Starlings as well as Hoopoe. During the summer be sure to closely examine the walls for Little Owl while Scops Owls nest in the nearby clumps of trees. On the outskirts of Pamplona lies the Magdalena area. It’s a pleasant suburban spot consisting of gardens, horse paddocks and footpaths, alongside the Arga River that you may know flows along the northern edge of the city. This again is a popular choice with tourists,
Reference guides: Collins Bird Guide – Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström SPAIN This starling would be an Iberian endemic if wasn’t for the fact that it also occurs in north-west Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and parts of southern France. Despite that, most people try to connect with this species in Iberia, where it is the default starling during the summer. Its oily-looking spotless black plumage with flashes of iridescent purple or green set it apart from its more common relative, as does its simple whistling song that is still full of mimicry. The main confusion with the Starling arises during the winter when many thousands arrive, often flocking shoulder-to-shoulder with Spotless Starlings before returning to northern Europe in the spring. Spotless Starlings confusingly acquires some spotting in its winter plumage but never as much as the Starling. Spotless Starlings are marginally larger than their northern cousins and have a slightly slower flight pattern. Their population is increasing in Iberia and there has been a northward spread since the 1980s, and we in Britain are still awaiting our first official record of this southern bird. Good luck!