Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Wednesday 10 June

And so the show goes on with another new birding day for John and Jenny Wainwright.

Tarifa 10 June  Day 3:  Barbate area
Another warm day with a lovely breeze to keep the temperatures down.
As we exited the hotel site we saw Blackbirds, Collared Doves, Cattle Egrets, Spotless Starlings and House Sparrows. Turning right along the N340 we were soon at our turn off point at Zahara de las Atunes.

Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
At the village of La Zarzuela we spotted a Little Owl sitting on the wires adjacent to a telegraph pole, lots of Cattle Egrets in the fields hereabouts as well.  As we neared Zahara the Army were out in force with huge field guns deployed on the right hand side of the road - but never heard being fired.  We turned off prior to the Rio Barbate into the marismas here, as we accessed the rough track to the right of the marismas, there were several juvenile Collared Pratincoles - sitting on the track itself - waiting for the parents to feed them, which in time they did. 

Juvenile Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola (above) with adult below (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Moving on after feed time we parked up at the earliest area we could.  Here there were masses of Collared Pratincoles - flying, feeding and nesting, a few Kentish Plovers here as well as good numbers of Short-toed Larks. Scoping the marismas we found Grey Herons in company with Great White Egrets and Spoonbills, as well as Stone Curlews, Little Terns, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls, Little Egrets and Black-winged Stilts.  A sudden take-off of Collared Pratincoles made a Short-toed Eagle change course and on a fence post a Calandra Lark started singing.

Great White Egret Egretta alba (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

Moving along to Vejer (A314) - to where the Bald Ibis nest sites are we found at least twenty five (including several juveniles) in-situ.  On speaking to the warden there he informed us that the colony itself was now numbering at least eighty individuals as of date - a great success story!   Also here were Raven, Jackdaws and a large Cattle Egret colony at the back of the car park.

Bald Ibis Geroniticus eremita at nest (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

From here we drove round to the Barbate pinewoods - where we had a bite to eat - and at the same time we noted Greenfinches, Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers - then a walk around in the shady pines, where we found Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Sardinian Warblers, Blackcaps, Crossbills, Chaffinches,a Common Redstart, Short-toed Treecreepers, Great Tit and Coal Tit.

Stone Curlews Burhinus oedionemus (PHOTO: John Wainwright) 

Back to base for a few bevvies and a search for tomorrow's ( Day 4 ) destination - possibly the Ojen Valley area.

Another great day so roll on tomorrow!

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

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