Lots of low cloud but calm following the overnight rain and, with Jenny out all day, I decided to drive over to Fuente de Piedra and Laguna Dulce but also call in at La Herrera on the way. Kestrel and Thekla Larks to see me off the mountain and then welcomed by House Sparrows and Collard Doves as I left the old Cordoba road from the motorway to enter La Herrera. However, no sooner had I reached the stubbled fields and I came across a covey of eighteen Red-legged Partridge in the space of twenty metres. On the track itself a lone Northern Wheatear watched me approach and flocks of Linnets and charms of Goldfinches regularly took to air from the bushes on either side of the track. A dozen Cattle Egrets flew over and then a Kestrel on a wire. No water in the winter laguna but plenty of House Sparrows and Spotless Starlings in the track-side bushes. A Southern Grey Shrike put in an appearance then a few Serins and a Blackbird before regaining the main road back to the motorway for the short drive in to Fuente de Piedra.
|Flamino Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus|
At the laguneta the water level had dropped considerably, so much so that there were no Flamingos to be seen until a solitary individual dropped in just before my departure. There were a number of Mallards, Shoveler and Teal along with a few Black-winged Stilts and many Moorhens. On the far side a pair of Avocet were busy feeding along with a very small number of Ringed Plovers and a single Little Ringed Plover. A half-dozen Little Stints were also present and then I found a trio of Snipe to add to the list. As a Little Egret flew across the water it revealed a couple of Common Sandpipers and these were then joined by an incoming small flock of Sanderling along with a few Dunlin. Meanwhile, in front of the hide, a single Blue-headed Wagtail (Iberian sub-species of Yellow wagtail) was wandering the grass in search of sustenance. Time to move on and, stopping at the road junction to check out the distant pylons and find the resident Buzzard, I also had a Hoopoe fly through my vision. Only a very brief stop at the Mirador de Cantarranas, where I saw many more duck species and Flamingos and also a pair of Marsh Harriers, as the weather had turned quite dark and, on getting back into the car for the drive over to the Laguna Dulce, the heavens opened with some very heavy rain showers. Indeed, approaching the mirador I had a Hare, probably a leveret of the year, standing in the road debating whether or not it was worth the effort to cross to the other side. As they say, "hare today, gone tomorrow!"
|To cross or not to cross, that is the question for this young European Brown Hare Lepus europaeus|
|Northern Shoveler Cuchara Comun Anas clypeata|
|Female White-headed Duck Malvasia Cabeciblanca Oxyura leucocephala|
Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Bonnelli's Eagle, Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Little Stint, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Willow Warbler, Southern Grey Shrike, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet, Corn Bunting.
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