John and Jenny continue with their exploration of the Donana National Park and the Odiel Marshes and, no doubt, are hoping not to start each day with the heavy mist that seems to accompanied them to date. When John in his last report said that they were off to the Odiel on the morrow, I said to Jenny that means they will be visiting on a Saturday and most probably every man and his boy will be out with a fishing rod! Guess what? Read on.
Donaña: Day 4 14 March
A continuation of the Donaña trip, a rather short one today, but the area was so full of fishermen/ladies that birding was quite a chore. Still it was enjoyable none the less
A very bright, sunny day with not a lot of wind. The trip across to km13 was very uneventful, if it had not have been for the myriads of Common Magpies this sentence would have been superflous. At the site a lot of clearance had been done and the track is quite negotiable, only Spotless Starlings and Azure-winged Magpies were seen on the way to the hide, mind you, I would have loved to have been across the fence in the strawberry tunnels!!
From the hide we saw Mallard, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Common Coot, Purple Swamphen and Grey Heron, whilst in the bushes and willow trees we saw Chiffchaffs, Sardinian and Cetti´s Warblers, House Sparrows, Zitting Cisticola, Goldfinches and Blackbirds. In the firs behind us a family of Long-tailed Tits were feeding. A flash of blue/grey and a Sparrowhawk streaked across the reed-bed, and a few minutes later two Little Bitterns came from the reeds by the opposite strawberry tunnels and dropped into the reed bed, not seen again this morning, but we did see Wood Pigeon and a Hoopoe as we departed.
|Whimbrels Zarapito Trinador Numenius phaeopus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)|
Moving on to the Odiel Marshes and first stop is the closed off car-park just prior to the centre, walking down to the shoreline we spotted Gull-billed Terns,Whimbrel, Turnstones, Little Stints, Ringed Plovers, Black-tailed Godwits, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls, Grey Plovers, Redshanks, a single Greenshank and Little Ringed Plovers. On the "pond" we noted Shovelers, Mallard, Greater Flamingos, Black-winged Stilts, Gadwall and lots of immature gulls - mostly Yellow-legged I surmise as there were adults on the pond.
|Turnstone Vuelvepiedras Comun Arenaria interpres (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
The visitors centre foreshore held nothing different than what we had already seen so we moved on up in the direction of Punto Umbria. Looking out to sea at various locations did gain us several adult and juvenile Gannets, whilst on the estuary shores we picked up Kentish Plovers, Sandwich Terns, three Dunlin, Redshanks, Cormorants, Grey Plovers, a few hirundines in the shape of Barn Swallow, House Martin and one Sand Martin.
|Grey Plover Chorlito Gris Pluvialis squatarola (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
On the return journey back towards the centre the Ospreys were in situ on their nest ( the heat haze was not the most conducive to good photos but have included one) and as we walked down to the shoreline close to the centre a male Marsh Harrier came off of the estuary. Three Hoopoes, Meadow Pipits and a few Sanderlings were also noted.
|Breeding Osprey Aguils pescadora Pandion haliaetus at nest (PHOTO: John Wainwright)|
Lots of butterflies about today including Common Swallowtails, Painted Lady´s, Large White´s and Red Admirals.
|Red Admiral Butterfly Vanessa atalanta (PHOTO: John Wainwright)|
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