Friday, 25 January 2013

Laguna Dulce with the Wainwrights

Just back from our cruise, see following blog, but John and Jenny Wainwright managed to find a brief lull in the weather to venture forth to the Laguna Dulce near Campillos plus neighbouring lagunas and then back to Fuente de Piedra befopre the weather got the better of them.  But at least they got to see some birds and especially still a pair of Ferruguious Ducks, compared with the seven seen last week..  The report follows:

23 January 2013

A real biting wind with sunny spells.

Ferruginous Duck Porron Pardo Aythya nyroca with (as is often the case) a Common Pochard Porron Europeo Aythya ferina in  foreground (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

At the Dulce the wind was directly through the hide viewing slots and made holding even the binoculars steady; it didn't matter that much as the lake - excepting for a few Shoveler, Common Coots and Little Grebes - was devoid of birdlife. So we drove on round to the small Laguna Redonda, where we found two Ferruginous Duck, two Pochard, Black-winged Stilts, Moorhen, three Booted Eagles and two Ravens. A good number of Greater Flamingos and Black-headed Gulls were about on the flooded fields to our rear and in the trees lining the road House Sparrows, Chiffchaffs (singing) and Corn Buntings were seen. The whole area was alive with Crag Martins.
Mum, Dad and youngster Common Crane Grulla Comun Grus grus enjoying their winter hols at Fuente de Piedra (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

From here we drove across country to Piedra on the way seeing at least 400+ Common Cranes in the fields alongside the A384 and turning onto the very holed road to Sierra de Yegaus we had great views of a male Sparrowhawk as he flew low over the olive groves, a Raven, a Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Collared Dove and a female Marsh Harrier.  A couple of Common Kestrels were noted as well as a single Buzzard, two male and one female Marsh Harriers, Stonechats, Black Redstarts, Song Thrush and a Sardinian Warbler.

Approaching Piedra more Common Cranes were seen - no more than a hundred metres from the road - and with them were White Wagtails and Meadow Pipits.

At Piedra, by the boardwalk, we picked up Common Snipe (flying), Bluethroat, Robin, Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler and Goldfinches in the tamarisks. In the scrapes we saw Teal, Mallard, Black-winged Stilt, good numbers of Black-tailed Godwits and Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Moorhens and Coots.

From the closed hide we saw Gadwall, Little Grebe, Pochard, Black-necked Grebe and Mallard.  The bushes in this area were crawling with Chiffchaff, Stonechats and Black Redstarts whilst House Sparrow, Hoopoe and a Southern Grey Shrike were also noted. Again the area was awash with Crag Martins.

The wind is picking up speed again and getting colder with homeward bound it was!

Thanks very much John and Jenny but, as I said, at least you have seen some birds this week which is more than most! 

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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