Garrigue and Montagu’s harrier
Garrigue is a plant community where kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) is predominant. This is a shrub from the same genus as the holm oak but it is shrubby, short and thick and very thorny. If we want to be specific, there are several types of garrigue, in this case the dominant plants accompanying the kermes oak are cistuses of both the grey-leaved and salvia varieties, rosemary and gorse. In the winter, gorse and rosemary provide a floral spectacle with their great carpets of yellow and blue flowers respectively. In springtime, however, grey-leaved cistus, with its striking purple-pink flowers and the sprinkled yellow marks of some genistas (photo) are the stars.
This is the habitat of Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus), a bird of prey which favours open spaces with low vegetation such as garrigue for hunting and nests on the ground, well camouflaged among the grasses. This is why in this area you are especially asked not to leave the marked path, as, without intending to cause harm you could stand on its nest and its eggs in the breeding season. It is a protected species, and this part of the Montgrí Massif is one of its few habitats in the Girona region.