|Roller Carraca Europea Coracias garrulus|
Whilst the rest of our little group was travelling home from Punta Umbria on Thursday, John and Jenny Wainwright stayed another night to give them more time in the Donana National Park. It seemed like a great idea at the time but then an earlier email from John on their travails and woes gave an unwanted insight to the perils of birding in the area during the main festival at El Rocio.
All photographs courtesy
Birding Trip Day 5: Osuna 22nd May 2015
A hot day but clouded over later.
We started off for the Valverde Centre and all was OK until we turned off at El Rocio. We had wanted a coffee here but the place was crawling with Guardia Civil and masses of people. We could park up the road for 5 Euros and walk back but we decided to head out towards Villa de Condessa. Part ways along this road we were stopped by the Guardia again and asked where we were going, so I explained where and he said just be careful there are lots of people about.
|Little Owl Mochuelo Comun Athene noctua|
|Black-shouldered Kite Elanio Comun Elanus caeruleus|
|Part of the huge flock of Black Kites Milano Negro Milvus migrans|
We picked up the track to the farmhouse and at the "dovecote", on the sign, sat a Roller. More Black Kites over the stubble fields here and as we approached the farmhouse four more Rollers came out of the olive grove.
At the farmhouse we noted Lesser Kestrels, a Little Owl, Turtle Doves, Collared Doves, Hoopoes, Ravens, Crested Lark and a Red-legged Partridge with at least seven chicks. As we came back to gain the metalled road again, Spanish Sparrows were having dust baths and a Cetti´s Warbler and Nightingale were heard here.
|Spanish Sparrows Gorrion Moruno Passer hispaniolensis|
Heading for the railway bridge, more Ravens, a few Linnets, Black Kites, a Buzzard, Bee-eaters and yet more Turtle Doves were seen. Getting onto the track that runs alongside the railway track, we saw Cattle Egrets, Spanish Sparrows, Corn Buntings, White Wagtail, a Brown Hare put in a fleeting appearance as did thirty or more Rabbits and a pair of Stonechats. Gaining the road again I spotted a movement in a field to our right where we picked up a male Great Bustard. While over the corn-field, Red-rumped and Barn Swallows, Common Swifts and House Martins were noted.
|At last, a Great Bustard Avutarda Comun Otis tarda|
Trust John to end up with all the excitement - but I bet he and Jenny wished they had not!
|The lovely, delicate Turtle Dove Tortola Europea Streptopelia turtur|