John and Jenny Wainwight were able to visit the Dulce and Fuente de Piedra yesterday and seem to have found more birds than I did on my visit nearly a fortnight ago. it would appear that the birds of choice at the moment might Pied Flycatcher and Whinchat so keep your yes open. I am especially envious of the sighting of not one but two Sparrowhawks!
Piedra & Dulce Lagunas: 24 September
A warmish day but quite overcast later in the afternoon. As we approached the laguna at Piedra, the lake dazzled us in the sunlight, just a couple of small puddles with a group of Lesser Black-backed Gulls on one and next to nothing on the other, just fourteen Greater Flamingos to be seen. We could see the water in the lagunetta, so we headed for that.
|Adult and juvenile Flamingo Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus Roseus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
|Pied Flycatcher Papamoscas Cerrojillo Ficedula hypoleuca (PHOTO: John Wainwright)|
|Whinchat Tarabilla Nortena Saxicola rubetra (PHOTO: John Wainwright)|
So a short bumpy ride (when will they get this road fixed?) and joining up with the main road to Campillos and Laguna Dulce. Here we met a couple of our English birding friends and had a very comfortable afternoon with them, despite being mobbed several times - once by a Speyside birding group then two smaller groups.
Again lots of Sand Martins, Barn and Red-rumped Swallows and also a couple of Common Swifts here. The foreshores were more or less empty bar a small group of Mallard who never moved all the time we were here. A Common Sandpiper paid a couple of visits along with two Black-winged Stilts, a Redshank and a couple of juvenile Yellow Wagtails(iberiae). Scattered around the far side of the laguna were fifty plus Greater Flamingoes (juvenile and adults), also White-headed Ducks, Shovelers, Mallards, Common Coots and Moorhens, a juvenile Marsh Harrier made a few passes across the reed beds and took to landing on the far foreshore before ensconsing itself in the bushes, during its flights it disturbed the waders and ducks just enough to let us see some of the hidden birds, including Redshank, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Black-winged Stilt, Snipe and a couple of plovers which we couldn´t id - although Kentish and Little Ringed are quite local here, also two Great Crested Grebes put in an appearance - so nice to see these very elegant birds.
|Willow Warbler Mosquitero Musical Phylloscopus trochilus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)|
A bonus was a small party of six Gadwalls (three males, three females) coming into the small bay to the left of the hide, but didn´t stay long. The clouds were darkening and the breeze had freshened, threatening rain, so as the afternoon had been quite good, we all opted for home. I think considering the lack of water - although I am still amazed at Laguna Dulce having so much - the birding we had was very enjoyable.
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