We stayed in the Hecho Valley for three nights. This was because we might need that time to look for two of the seminal birds of this area: the lammergeier and wallcreeper. We had been very lucky to get lammergeier on our very first day of the tour. So that left us to find the little pink-winged gray moth-like cliff dweller.
We left our dwellings in the Hecho Valley and within 20 minutes we were at Boca del Infierno, a known hotspot for the wallcreeper.
A sketch from my room balcony in the Hecho Valley.
Boca del Infierno, one of the hotspots for the sometimes elusive wallcreeper.
Bird life was just starting to become active in the cold early morning and we looked at an avian world that was just stirring from the roadside. We had not been at the pullout for more than ten minutes when our guide spotted a wallcreeper, working the cliff on the opposite side of the road!
The cryptic-colored wallcreeper at Boca del Infierno.
Here was a bird that I thought, if I were lucky, might see on a distant rock face, only with the aid of a scope. But here was the prize of the Pyrenees no more that 30 yards up a rock face! What a lifer! The wallcreeper was easily observed with the naked eye. It was really that close!
We headed down the road in search of dipper, which we didn’t dip on and when we returned to the van, we spotted another wallcreeper on the opposite side of the gorge. A two wallcreeper day is not a bad haul!
A few days later, while birding at Mallos de Riglos, sight of our first lammergeier, we found an unexpected avian delight. Another wallcreeper which we assumed would be up at elevation in April but here was the bird standing out against the burnt Sienna cliffs of Mallos de Riglos.
A wallcreeper showing up a bit better on the cliffs of Mallos de Riglos.