|Summer plumage Curlew Sandpiper|
Starting with the local Collared Doves and White Storks to be followed by plenty of Blackbirds. The Barn Swallows were bust feeding overhead and then a Buzzard on the lookout for the odd rabbit or two. Next up a couple of Crested Larks, a Sardinian Warbler and those beautifully-coloured Bee-eaters. However, the whole of the first part of the drive through the woods was delivering a non-stop supply of Azure-winged Magpies.
Crossing the tiny stream I could hear the Cetti's Warblers calling and soon after my first Stonechat since arriving in the National Park. Goldfinches were out and about and overhead yet another Black Kite.
Then it was time to start the long journey home but not before a slight detour to take in the steppe area to the west of Osuna. No sooner had I arrived than a Hoopoe crossed the road to join another on the adjacent grassland whilst, overhead, I had a pair of Red Kites. Moving onto my favourite stretch of road I was encountering numerous Red-legged Partridges and both Raven and Common Kestrel passed overhead. A trip down the rutty track to the farm ruin produced at least three pairs of Rollers and, at the farm, a number of Lesser Kestrels. Not just Rock Doves but a pair of Spanish Sparrows as I made my way back to "Roller Nesting Tower".
|Spanish Sparrow Gorrion Moruno Passer hispaniolensis|
|Little Stint Correlimos Menudo Calidris minuta|
|Curlew Sandpiper Correlimos Zarapitin Calidris ferruginea with Dunlin Correlimos Comun Calidris alpina in background|
|Ruff Combatiente Philomachus pugnax|
Returning via the lower path I noticed that there was still some water on the main road side of the causeway so stopped to have a look. This is where the small waders had made a necessary retreat so, without further ado, back to the car to exchange scope for camera. Returning I was able to confirm at least forty Dunlin and about a score of Curlew Sandpipers along with two Little Stint. Imagine my surprise when, moving another five metres along the causeway in the hope that the other birds I could just make out might be nearer to the camera, I discovered not just a single Ruff but a wonderfully black Spotted Redshank. Even a couple of House Martins flew over to complete the picture.
|Spotted Redshank Archibebe Oscuro Tringa erythropus|
|Spotted Redshank and a left leg that looks even longer!|
Mallard, Pochard, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Little Egret, White Stork, Flamingo, Red Kite, Black Kite, Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Great Bustard, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Rock Dove, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Southern Grey Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Goldfinch
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.