Thursday, 11 September 2014

Laguna Dulce & Fuente de Piedra

back on the road again with John and Jenny Wainwright whilst, for me, all being well I'll be in the Osuna area come Sunday morning checking out the Great Bustards and wandering raptors.  Perhaps there will also still be some Rollers to be seen.

Lagunas Piedra & Dulce  10th September

A hottish day with good breezes about.  As we approached Piedra laguna, there were two areas of water - if you could call them that - one was occupied by Yellow-legged and Black-backed Gulls and the other by a few Shovelers and  Greater Flamingos.  The boardwalk, large scrape and stream were devoid of water, hence no birds.  Lots of Sardinian Warblers in the bushes below the centre´s mirador, and as we scoped the Flamingo´s a Squacco Heron sat atop the bushes.

(Blue-headed) Yellow Wagtail Lavandera Boyera Motacilla flava iberiae (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
So off round to the closed hide at the lagunetta.  Here a fair bit of water, considering the state of the main laguna.  We saw Greater Flamingos, at least six Ruff, Mallard and Shovelers, Black-necked and Little Grebes, two Moorhens and a couple of Common Coots, three Green Sandpipers flew in from the far shoreline and joined the Black-winged Stilts.  While hirundines were represented by good numbers of Sand Martins, but only three Barn and one Red-rumped Swallow.  In the reeds and bushes about here we found House Sparrows, a female Black Redstart, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers and a juvenile Woodchat Shrike.
Whinchat Tarbilla Notena Saxicola dacotiae (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

As we were leaving the reserve we stopped to view a Whinchat on the flood meadow, a Stonechat on the fence and two Honey Buzzards - dive bombing each other as they passed over.  Our first Goldfinches, Collared Doves and House Martins of the day, plus several Red-rumped Swallows and some Crested Larks were seen here as well.  We drove round to the Cantarranas mirador, on the way seeing a Blackbird and another Whinchat, which sat and posed for photos before disappearing over the fields.  There was a teaspoon of water at the mirador, and also a work party, so again not a bird in sight.

So over to Laguna Dulce, here we were welcomed by a Cetti´s Warblers, and close by on the water two Black-headed Gulls.  Looking to the left of the hide on the foreshore there, we spotted four Kentish Plovers, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper and one Black-winged Stilt, and in the field behind a Cattle Egret was seen.  Across the lake we could see lots of White-headed Ducks in all stages of plumage, also about were Shovelers, Mallard, Pochard, Common Coots, Moorhens and Greater Flamingos. A Marsh Harrier came out of the reed bed to our right and landed in the reed bed over the other side of the lake not to be seen again this afternoon, but it did bring a Redshank, more Ruff and Black-winged Stilts out into the open.

In the reeds and bushes to our front a juvenile Woodchat Shrike sat on the reserve sign and on the immediate foreshore two juvenile Blue-headed Yellow Wagtails were noted, then an adult bird landed on one of the skeletal trees at the waters edge - getting late for these birds isn´t it, also a family of three Reed Warblers were seen feeding close by, but never sat long enough for photos.

A few Black-necked and Little Grebes about - but no Great Crested Grebe today.  A wader flew across my vision and following it, it landed among the Kentish Plovers, it was a Little Ringed Plover.  A few more Barn Swallows here as well as House and Sand Martins then a Turtle Dove flew across the front of the hide.  Lots of Blue Emperor and Red-veined Darter dragonflies about here at Dulce again.

As we neared the turning for Bobidilla Station a Grey Heron flew across the road here.

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