Hi, can any one suggest places to go bird watching in or near Sitges accessible by public transport in the next 2 weeks.
Pandachris2 is a bird watcher expert and will give great advice, but right now he is busy on the Torredembarra Concurset. if he has not replied in a couple days you could send him a PM.
around Barcelona - el Prat airport there is the delta del llobregat area. from Sitges you could take the train to el Prat de Llobregat. there you should transfer to bus PR2 or PR3 that go to estany de la ricarda and the beach area.
on the other side of the airport there is the parc del remolar-filipines in Viladecans, but dont know how to arrive there by public transport.
Thank you for advice re buses etc.
Although a birdwatcher myself and a visitor to Sitges/Barcelona, I’ve never birdwatched in this area of Spain but have researched the idea for a future trip This site may be of interest to you in reference to your request. I’d be interested to know how your birding plans in the area work out, perhaps you could post a follow up report here ?
Enjoy & good birding !
It's possible to walk from Prat de Llobregat station - it's on the other side of the town but not too far. The area is pretty well managed with access tracks and hide looking over the ponds/pools - but no wandering off into the undergrowth off track. I know nothing about birds, so have no idea as to what you might see.
We're packing now (in Vilanova i la Geltrù) and will be home tomorrow. I'll try to find a few minutes to add to the already helpful info people have added, but for a bit of additional reading if you go onto the forums on birdforum.net (you might need to register) you should find my recent thread on Autumn Passage in Catalunya (My Local Patch etc.) I've not been able to do much birding in our 3 visits in that period (back again on Friday) but it might give some clues.
Just a thought ... if you are in Catalunya on Saturday 6th October, keep the date free and I'll tell you how to have a memorable day, see one of Europe's loveliest cities and find one of the world rarest gulls. Plus some terns and who knows what else. Also, would you be prepared to rent bicycles?
Finally, if you are not already here and land at BCN in daylight, seconds before landing if approaching from the north east (usual direction) it's possible to see a flock of Greater Flamingos in the Llobregat river between the bridge and the sea. Right hand side of the plane is usually better.Edited: 01 October 2018, 17:13
The Llobregat Delta can be quite good fun, although the Ebro Delta is much better. You’ll need Google Maps open and centred on El Prat de Llobregat. Note that the reserve is closed on Mondays and from memory the gates close at 15:00. There are a couple of places that views can be obtained even when it’s closed but they are more likely to be frustrating than rewarding. Slatkin needn’t worry too much about the birds being gone for winter. That’s true of some species but others are passing through on migration, some are arriving to spend the winter from further north and some are resident.
So looking at the map of El Prat de Llobregat, find the south-east corner of development where the B-250 and the B-250a meet at a roundabout and you should see a road marked Carretera de la Marina heading south-east towards the coast. Follow this to the reserve entrance. If you are on foot, then there should be birds along the route and if you are lucky perhaps a Viperine Snake (harmless, unless you are a frog or toad) in the ditches alongside the road. However if you can get a taxi from the station then do so because the walk can be merciless in strong sunlight and there’s little or no shade and certainly nowhere to get a drink etc. (take plenty of drinks!).
Better still, if you are prepared to rent bicycles and there were several places offering bike rentals in Sitges, then the Ebro Delta opens up to you. If you think this sounds like a good idea we might need to ask some of the forum travel experts about carriage of bikes on trains. We definitely saw some cyclists on trains we used this weekend between Barcelona and Torredembarra. I’ve never done this but Camarles-Deltebre looks like the place to get off, with L’Aldea-Amposta-Tortosa being the next best choice. Cycling should be easy because everywhere is flat. If this looks like a possibility, then let me know and I’ll give you some pointers re locations and species – but I was last in the delta in October 2017 and there were thousands of birds everywhere. We’re looking forward to going there again next Monday.
An easy one from Sitges that might be worthwhile is Els Muntanyans reserve, Torredembarra. Get off the train at Torredembarra, cross to the seaward side and walk left along Passeig de Fransesc Masia/Carrer Joaquim Costa to the point where Google Maps shows a road layout rather like a ‘B’ that has toppled forward. The small reserve starts there. There’s a rather graffitoed watch tower near the entrance. I’ve been there when there has been plenty to see and also when there wasn’t much. A couple of decent restaurants just back from the beach where you might happen upon gules (baby eels) in garlic.
Re my slightly cryptic comments above, on Saturday the biennial Concurs de Castells takes place in beautiful Tarragona, a short train ride from Sitges. Tickets for this, which is the continuation of the Concurset referenced by Slatkin are pretty much impossible to get but there’s a free preliminary event, the 2nd Diada Internacional de Castells. This starts with pillars (the smallest human towers that are regularly built) in front of Tarragona Cathedral, I believe at 10:15, followed by a display from 5 groups from outside Catalunya (Castellers d’Andorra, Xiquets de Copenhaguen Castellers de Madrid, Castellers de Paris and my group, Castellers of London. Although the towers will not be of the quality and size of the main Concurs, enthusiasm and colour is guaranteed and it’s likely that some of the groups will be looking at building some structures that they haven’t built before. The main event takes place in Plaça de la Font from 12 midday. We drew quite a big crowd in 2016 but we’re hoping this year it will be even bigger.
There’s some raptor migration visible from Plaça de la Font although this seems to have declined in recent years, but for lunch if you make your way down to the port area of the city (Serallo) then careful searching of the birds around the harbour should turn up the distinctive Audouin’s Gull which has a stronghold in the area but might be the 2nd least common gull in the world (I think that there are fewer Galapagos Gulls). Other gull species and some terns, including Caspian Tern, are likely to be present. There are some decent fish restaurants, although I believe that the ones with views of the port (and therefore the birds) are generally not as good as the ones a street further back. They’re ok though.
Finally we had a super little walk yesterday in Vilanova i la Geltrù. The main interest was access to some semi-wild countryside with birds that are relatively common but not easy to see in towns. Crested Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper were highlights but with a bit more effort I imagine there will be plenty more. From the railway station a taxi to Platja d'Adarro would eliminate the boring bit (about €8) then you can walk out to the statue representing the Pasiphae myth where you could get lucky with gulls, terns and migrating birds, then past the mirador at the west end of town, turning inland after the mirador and before the nudist each (people with binoculars are viewed with suspicion on nudist beaches, apparently) through a railway tunnel. Crossing the car park and heading right/east back towards Vilanova you will soon come to the signposted entrance to a track called the Antic Cami d'Adarro. This is a short track characterised by aged drystone walls, with some trees and plants labelled. There were a lot of birds in the pine trees near the start of the track. From the end of the track there are other trails heading in different directions which you could follow dependent upon commitment, preference, time etc. There will be birds in these fields, scrub and woods. Take drinks though and maybe a picnic if you want to spend some time in the area. If we ever return to Vilanova I suspect I’ll spend some time here. Particularly of note were the butterflies. There were lots, with Clouded Yellows, Cleopatras, a couple of fritillaries and some blues and arguses that I will probably identify from photographs.
Returning to the start of the trail, continue in the direction of town and you soon come to another tunnel under the railway by the excavations of a Roman Villa and close to the Pasiphae statue where you started.
Hope this helps. As mentioned, if you need a bit more, let me know. I should be on the forum between now and Thursday afternoon, on and off. After that it will be a bit patchy as we will be rather busy.
That’s a really informative posting PandaChris2. I’m an occasional birder myself and hoping to be there (Sitges) between Christmas & early New Year so perhaps might get to see some wintering birds around the delta & other sites you’ve mentioned.
I think the Ebro Delta is pretty good at any time of year, Woodville. Easier with a car, especially with the reduced daylight hours. Dependent upon how much time you have and where your interests lie, then a bit further away there is the marvellous El Planeron reserve in Aragon and Laguna de Gallocanto, considered by some to be Spain's second best wetland. You could see both with an overnight stop. Bustards, Cranes, Sandgrouse and the very rare Dupont's Lark all possibilities, plus plenty of birds of prey.