Sunday, 24 May 2015

Four days in the Odiel & Donana with the ABS:4

Day 4:  Thursday 21 May

Our last day and everybody, save John and Jenny Wainwright who were staying an extra night, made their farewells and set off for their respective homes by about 9.30.  Not really a coincidence that all bar a couple made a return visit to the Odiel Marshes on their way, even, if like my group, we only visited the top section covering the the river by the Visitors Centre and the nearby ancient salinas.

Derek and Barbara Etherton managed to find a pair of Avocet further down the spit and for my pleasure I discovered a lone Whitethroat working the bushes behind the Centre adjoining the river bank.  Then, as they departed Huelva towards the Donana, Derek and Barbara managed to record the first Black-shouldered Kite of the week, another lovely sighting which, I think, takes our final tally of sightings up to a magnificent 126.

For those visiting the Odiel we were rewarded by most of Tuesday's waders along with sightings of the Osprey, Black Kite, White Storks and numerous Greater Flamingos.  No sign of the Western Reef Egret but a Purple Heron flew across the road in front of the car whilst scoping the Osprey on its nest.  Common Swifts and Barn Swallows in the air along with House Martins and Zitting Cisticolas, Sardinian Warbler and Yellow Wagtail near the VC pond along with the usual ducks.

Osprey Aguila Pescadora Pandion haliaetus over the Marismas del Odiel

Following on behind John and Jenny managed to find a very "skittish" Dartford Warbler followed by three male and a female Marsh Harrier on the other side of the estuary and whilst enjoying the view an Osprey along with three Purple Herons arrived on the scene.  Unable to reach the area where he had seen the Collared Pratincoles, the road being blocked by a barrier and an accompanying security guard, John and Jenny returned to the marismas and on leaving the reserve saw both Shelduck and a pair of Montagu's Harriers.

Purple Heron  Garza Imperial Ardea purpurea (PHOTO: Steve Powell)

It would, therefore, appear that we saw just about everything we might expect but still left us with that birding urge to return as soon as possible, and for some of us that means early October.

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