Monday, 27 October 2014

Four Days Birding towards and In the Donana - Day Two

Friday 24 October 

Black-tailed Godwit Aguja Colinegro Limosa limosa
A day to concentrate of the Marismas del Odiel  with a final cal in at the fresh water lake at El Portil. A little late getting away as I had a meeting with the apartment complex manager which promises good for future visits to the area but, nevertheless, the day's total was only a little short of the sixty mark but with some noticeable absentees including Little Ringed Plover and marsh Harrier.  But, at least, I did get an early sighting of one of the local Ospreys flying overhead within an hour of arriving on site.  I even had a Magpie foraging outside the front door of the complex whilst meeting with the manager!

Greenshank Archibebe Claro Tringa nebularia
Passing both Rock Dove and Azure-winged Magpies followed by Cattle Egret on the short journey I arrived at the Visitors Centre about and hour before low tide to find the banks awash with waders.  The short stretch leading up to the Visitors Centre had already produced a Southern Grey Shrike on the wires and Cormorants were busy flying to and from the waters.  Where to look first?  Lots of Black-tailed Godwits and smaller waders included Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin, Sanderling, Turnstone and Little Stint. No shortage of Curlews, Black-winged Stilts and Common Sandpipers along with numerous Little Egrets and Herons.  The usual three gulls present as I walked round tot he small pool adjacent to the salt works, passing both Robin and Chiffchaff on the way.
Curlew  Zarapito Real  Numenius arquata
The water here held a number of ducks including Mallard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Teal and Pochard.  More Dunlins and Black-winged Stilts along with Ringed Plovers and White Wagtails.  Chiffchaffs feeding in the neighbouring reeds and Cetti's Warbler calling.   A good number of Coots but no Moorhen to be seen. On the other side of the road at the back of the salinas I could hear, then see, the resident Flamingos.

One of very many Little Egrets Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta
Checking out the neighbouring salinas on either side of the road I soon added Greenshank and Grey Plover whilst a single Osprey passes overhead.  One pool held a single Great White Egret and three of the small pools also held more Flamingos.  The roadside vegetation held Stonechats, Chiffchaffs and Zitting Cisticolas.

Just two Great White Egrets Garceta Grande Egretta alba to be seen
Driving down to and beyond the Juan Carlos pool I also found a couple of Oystercatchers and five Sandwich Terns.  More Cormorants, Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks but also great to see so many Curlews and Whimbrels.  Finally, near the water's edge on the town side  a small flock of Audouin's Gulls were taking their rest.  The return journey produced a coupe of Kestrels and a Crested Lark and arriving back at the salinas I was surprised and delighted to meet up with Manu Mojarro who was leading a handful of Dutch birders.  Whilst here Manu pointed out the score or more of Stone Curlews that had been resting on the side of the pool, which took off southwards even as we watched, I also watched the dozen Spoonbills resting on the far bank having just found a single Kentish Plover.

Five resting Sandwich Terns Charran Patinegro Sterna sandvicensis with two Little Terns Sterna albifrons at rear?
After a short interlude to drive into Huelva itself to buy a replacement lens cap for the camera, I finally ended up at the fresh water lake in El Portil.  Again, good numbers of Shoveler and Mallards along with scores of Black-winged Stilts and Coots but also Teal and about a dozen Pintail.  No Red-crested but a good number of Common Pochards were also present.  Both Little and Black-necked Grebes were recorded and a Moorhen paddled across the water towards us. The Chameleons Chamaeleo chamaeleon seem to love this area and before long Manu had found a small green specimen for us all to get a close look.

Female Pintail Anade rabudo Anas acuta with record shot of male below
Then it was back to my apartment to recover and take advantage of the very warm weather by taking a swim in the very inviting pool.  Forget the House Sparrows that arrived a little later, it was a female Black Redstart that hopped down to see what was going on as I dried and dressed myself!

Spoonbills and more waders seen on the marismas

Part of a resting flock of Spoonbills Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia

Oystercatcher Ostrero Euroasiatico Haematopus ostralegus
Whimbrel Zarapito trinador Numenius phaeopus
Grey Plover Chorlito Grid Pluvialis squatarola

Birds seen:
Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail, Pochard, Cormorant, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, White Stork, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Osprey, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Black-winged Stilt, Stone Curlew, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint,  Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Rock Dove, Crested Lark, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff, Southern Grey Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Magpie,  Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.

No comments:

Post a Comment