City tour

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

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!


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