Once winter has gone, the steppe migration birds begin to arrive from Africa to breed in the Monegros. In the desertic barren lands and salty areas are living the Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata), the Black-beilled Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis), the Eurasian Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicneus) and many species of larks as Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra), the Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla), the Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens) and the rare and difficult to watch Dupont’s Lark (Chersophilus duponti). It’s especially remarcable the presence of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax), which starts the amazings performes during the peak of display. In the maquis and the scrubblands we can find the Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata), the Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae), the Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica) and the Iberian Green Shrike (Lanius meridionalis). In the middle ofÂ the steppe there is a high density of old farmhouses, which are currently in ruins, where the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), the Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) and the Little Owl (Athene noctua) breed. The the rocky slopes areas are we can spot the Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) and the Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura), while in the villages there is the Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor) present all the year and easily spotted on the roofs of houses.
In the summer the climate of the Monegros is very extreme, with high temperatures during the day and very cold during the night. Due to the droughts and exesive heat that the region suffers, summer is the best time to watch large flocks of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata) and the Black-beilled Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) flying to points where they may find some warter. One of the late migration species that arrive at Monegros is the European Roller (Coracias garrulus) and it is during the summer months we will see them in many of the old houses of the dry land.
During autumn itâ€™s possible to watch rare migratory species like the Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus), the Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) and the Eurasian Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus). We will continue watching the Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra), the Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata), the Black-beilled Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis), the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax), which little by little will start to group themselves to spent the winter. During autumn the migrant species will gradually leaving the Monegros, so it will be the last period to be able to see the Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla), the Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia cospicillata), the Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) the Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica), the European Roller (Coracias garrulus) and Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni).
During winter the migrant species are already gone, and we will find apart from the year-round residents, species that are moving to hibernate from the northern regions. During this period, it’s common to spot young Golden Eagle (Aquila Chrysaetos) flying alone that come to hunt in the Monegros from the Pyrenees. Other raptors are present during this time, especially cold, for example the Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus), the Red Kite (Milvus milvus) and the Black Kite (Milvus migrans). Still present is the Dupont’s Lark (Chersophilus duponti), but it requires more effort to watch than in the spring. In winter many steppe birds group together to form large flocks. This is the case of the Pin-tailed Sandfrouse (Pterocles alchata), the Black-beilled Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) and the Great Bustard (Otis tarda), which can be seen in groups of dozens of them.