Spain: Trip report
The Spanish curse has been lifted!!
Every year I try to photograph a species that it would be almost impossible for me to do, but it does need a lot of preparation.
This year, I wanted to photograph three species. The pin-tailed Sand Grouse, the black-bellied Sand Grouse and the Rock Thrush. In order to do this I had to go back to Spain. All my previous trips to Spain had been disastrous (Steve west and Birding in Spain, had been a catastrophe!)
This time I decided to go with a company that is owned and run by photographers.
The company we used is called Photo Logistic. Roger and Carless of Photo Logistic, are wildlife photographers, and that is the difference. They know exactly where to place the hide, they know that people will want quality pictures, they know about the perches, they know about the distances, the background etc…
We arrived there late in the afternoon and we met Carless. We had a quick drink and Carless asked us if we wanted to go in a hide with a drinking pool for two hours, we said yes. Carless took us to that hide and we photographed a few species. It was good to take some pictures.
Carles came back and told us that we had to drive for two hours for our first target species (the Sand Grouses) and we arrived in a little town called Belchite at 23h00. We were starving. The hotel was behind a petrol station and we really thought that we were going to end up in a shit hole. We met the garage and hotel owner and he told us to drive to the back of the petrol station. We arrived at the rear and we were really surprised, it was like a little oasis. It was very very nice. (Never judge a book by his covert! ) I am not very extravagant when I travel, but I like to have minimum comfort. We were shown our bedrooms, they were roomy, with aircon and really clean. It was like paradise and my friend Mike went for a quick dive in the swimming pool.
As I was saying, we were starving so we went and asked the owner if it was possible to have two or three slices of bread. The chap said “No, no, no, we are going to cook for you.” A lady called Olga appeared and asked us what we wanted and we told her to do whatever she wanted. After five minutes she came back with some very tasty Spanish food. The hospitality we had there was extraordinary and Olga could not do enough for us. It was also very very good value for money. If you are in this area I can’t recommend this place highly enough.
Their website address is: www.rincondelcierzo.com
The next day we went off to the Sand Grouse’s hide. I had last seen Sand Grouse some years ago, but the birds were always in flight and far away. This was the first time that I had had these birds so close. The colours were spectacular! We photographed these species and more during the morning.
After, we went back where we met Carless the day before, and he took us to another hotel. This hotel was in the middle of nowhere. Again, we were received like kings! The owner of the hotel Enric and Angel could not do enough for us. We stayed there for three days and it was like being in paradise! Beautiful place, good food, and calm. You could actually hear the silence. The noisiest neighbours were Scops Owl and Nightjar, it was a magical place. Here is their website: www.calmiramunt.com
The next day we went to photograph the Rock Thrush. Again, this was a fantastic bird to photograph. The colours were incredible, and we stayed with the bird all morning.
We had completed our target species and we were very pleased with the results. The next day we went in another hide to photograph Roller, and again birds performed, after that we went back to the drinking pool.
Overall I had a great time in Spain. The hospitality of the Spanish people has always been excellent.
I will definitely use Photo Logistic again, because I think that they look after their clients very well and they know exactly what you want.
The Spanish curse has been lifted!
Photo logistic Website: http://www.photo-logistics.com/wp/