Sierra de Albarracín
Sierra de Albarracín
A tour of the pine and Juniper forests, and high paramo in the heart of the Sierra de Albarracin.
ALBARRACÍN, BRONCHALES, THE POZONDÓN PARAMO, CERRO DE SAN GINÉS, RODENO PINE FOREST, DORNAQUE INTERPRETATION CENTRE, MASÍA DE LIGROS, BEZAS LAGOON.
RESIDENTS: Golden eagle, Griffon vulture, Peregrine falcon, Red billed chough, Goshawk, Crossbill, Blue tit, Crested tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Firecrest, Goldcrest, Blue rock thrush, Nuthatch, Dipper, Kingfisher, Tawny owl, Greater spotted woodpecker, Mistle thrush, Iberian grey shrike, Cirl bunting, Eagle owl, Grey heron and Red knobbed coot.
SUMMER VISITORS: Egyptian vulture, Short toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Red backed shrike, Ortolan bunting, Common rock thrush, Northern wheatear, Black eared wheatear, Dartford warbler, Subalpine warbler, Garden warbler, Orphean warbler, Spectacled warbler, Golden oriole, Wryneck, Red-rumped swallow, Redstart.
WINTER VISITORS: Ring ouzel, Fieldfare, Redwing, Hawfinch, Brambling, Yellowhammer, Siskin, Red kite, Merlin, Woodcock.
PASSAGE MIGRANTS: Black kite, Pied flycatcher, Whinchat.
BEST TIMES OF YEAR: Spring, Summer and Autumn. Avoid the hottest days in Summer.
HABITATS: Very varied with extensive Scots and Maritime pine forests, open Juniper tree forest (Juniperus thurifera), high paramo with a mosaic of native scrub and dry land cereal fields, rocky cliffs, riverine forest and shallow lakes with marsh vegetation around their edges.
The forests are home to diverse species – Blue and Great tits, Booted Eagle, Tawny owl as well as mammals such as Red squirrel, Red deer, Roe deer and Wild boar.
The Pozondón Paramo is a Special Bird Protection Zone (ZEPA) and is home to typically steppe species including Dupont´s lark, Stone curlew, Little bustard, Merlin, Tawny pipit and Black-bellied sandgrouse.
The small, seasonal lakes near Cerro de San Ginés (Tordesillos, Los Ares…) are visited by migrant waders (Redshank, other shanks and plovers, sandpipers and Lapwing) as well as other more common water birds such as Mallard, Coot, Black-winged stilt and egrets.
The pine plantations on the Cerro de San Ginés are home to Wren, Chaffinch, Tree creeper, Greater spotted woodpecker, Goshawk, Long-eared owl and Sparrowhawk.
Around the red sandstone outcrops around Peracense and Rodenas we can see Blue rock thrush, Black redstart, Crag martin, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Red billed chough, Golden eagle, Peregrine falcon and Eagle owl.
In the Laguna de Bezas wetland coots and ducks share the habitat with Grey heron and, notably, there is a Red knobbed coot (more usually found in coastal wetlands) which has been here since May 2019.