Many years ago I stumbled upon a permanent hide at a man made drinking pool in the Belchite area of Spain. Photographically it looked wonderful and I imagined all the birds that might come to drink there, which would include the Black-bellied and Pin-tailed sandgrouse. It had the look of a hide that was built for commercial use and I later Googled it and found out how to book it for a couple of days. It has taken a while for me to get around to it, but in July 2016 I finally did.

There are actually two hides close together. One is better for the Black-bellied sandgrouse although both species come to either hide. Many species of larks, Raven, Chough, Stone curlew, Rock dove and other species also came to drink.

The shot I really wanted was of a sandgrouse leaping from the water after they finished drinking, but the wind was coming from behind them and they always turned their back to the hide before taking off. It would be nice if I could book the hide for a morning with an easterly wind.

Pin-tailed sandgrouse, Pterocles alchata, Single male on ground, Spain, July 2016

Pin-tailed sandgrouse, Pterocles alchata, Single male by water, Spain, July 2016

Black-bellied sandgrouse, Pterocles orientalis, Single female by water, Spain, July 2016

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