Thursday, 25 September 2014

Laguna Dulce & Fuente de Piedra

Thursday 25 September

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)
The small bushes held Goldfinches, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers, Corn Buntings and House Sparrows, a flock of some eighteen Jackdaws flew off the roof of the centre and a few Spotless Starlings were to be seen.  At the open hide we watched two Moorhens sizing up one another, but nothing else was there.  So moving along to the closed hide and the first thing logged was the sheer number of Sand Martins, interspersed with Barn and Red-rumped Swallows.  A movement in the bushes to our front gave us a Pied Flycatcher, then a pair of Sardinian Warblers moved her on  and they were moved on themselves by a Whinchat.

Pied Flycatcher Papamoscas Cerrojillo Ficedula hypoleuca (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
On the lagunette itself we found eleven juvenile Greater Flamingos but only one adult bird.  Also about were Common Coots, Moorhens, Mallard, Shovelers, a female Teal, a female White-headed Duck, a single Little Egret and just a few Black-winged Stilts.  A Green Sandpiper gave us a fly past and while I was watching that, Jenny spotted some Yellow Wagtails  -  with at least one of these birds being an adult "flavisima", the remainder were  (iberiae).  Little Grebe were in good numbers - as is the norm here - but no Black-necked here today, or rather we didn´t find them.  The cronking of a Raven could be heard but we never spotted it, still, as we were walking back to the car, along by the large (empty) scrape more Pied Flycatchers and Whinchats were noted along with several Willow Warblers which flitted from tree to tree (all just having been pruned) alongside the empty stream.

Whinchat Tarabilla Nortena Saxicola rubetra (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
We headed for the Cantarranas mirador, enroute we saw Hoopoe and Serin and at the mirador (only the smallest of puddles here also) a Spotted Flycatcher, Red-rumped and Barn Swallows, House and Sand Martins, Crested Larks, Stonechats, Sardinian and Cetti´s Warblers and Goldfinches.

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)
The reed bed to our immediate front contained Zitting Cisticola, Goldfinches, Reed Warbler, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers, Corn Buntings, House Sparrows and to our right a Great Tit was calling.  A couple of Sparrowhawks were noted throughout the time, as was a large raptor, high up but the light was so, that only a vague silhouette was made out.  Looking around the laguna  - Jackie one of English friends - spotted two Grey Herons ( adult and juvenile) dropping in for feed, this gave the group of Common Coots a bit of a scare as they all took to the water and the Moorhens scattered into the reeds. 

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.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment