Friday, 31 October 2014

Fuente de Piedra

Thursday 30 October 

The Grebe Gathering at the Laguneta
A committee meeting in Antequera this mroning so able to spend a couple of sunny hours at Fuente de Piedra during the mid-afternoon under clear blue skies and warm weather with the temperature in the upper mid-twenties.  But where is the water?  No shortage at the laguneta at the back but the main lagoon seemed almost dry with only the odd damp patch here and there, which probably explained the very few Flamingos present.  Most of the bird life on the main "pool" was resting and included both Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls along with the odd Grey Heron and a small number of Dunlin and Ringed Plover seeking out some food at the edges.  But no shortage of Black-winged Stilts.

Can you find and name the four species at the laguneta?
More birds on the laguneta but by no means could the water be described as "full" nevermind "crowded."  Just the few Mallards and Shovelers plus a few Little Grebes but quite a "flock" of Black-necked Grebes of varying ages.  Similarly, a few Coots and the odd Moorhen along with some Flamingos and an assortment of the above gulls.  A number of Jackdaws were working the fields next to the water along with a small party of Spotless Starlings and, of course, the resident House Sparrows were in attendance.  A single Snipe was feeding in the long grass at the water's edge below me and a couple of Stonechats continued to put in an appearance.  However, the dominant wader was the Lapwing with sightings on both the  laguneta and main pool.

Lapwing Avefria Europea Vanellus vanellus

Away to the left on a field adjacent to the main laguna, when viewed from the Visitors Centre, about 150 Crane formed a tight group and, on moving to the Mirador de Cantarranas, a further quartet were found in the company of a couple of Cattle Egrets and a Little Egret.  Very little water here but sufficient to support a dozen duck, equally divided by Mallard and Shoveler.  A Blackcap dashed into the Olive trees.  Continuing around the main lauguna in an anti-clockwise direction I came across a few Crested Larks, White Wagtails and a small charm of Goldfinches.

Finally, approaching the level crossing, I took the unpaved road to the left to cut through the olive groves and arable land to the entrance to the Reserve just below the railway overbridge and came across a rather lovely Southern Grey Shrike and a single male Kestrel.  The final birds were a pair of Collared Doves as I started back to the railway bridge to make may way home.

Southern Grey Shrike Alcaudon Real Lanius meridionalis

Birds seen:
Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackcap, Southern Grey Shrike,  Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.

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

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