|Heron Ardea cinerea|
The early morning rain cleared away and I was able to take advantage of the extra hour so could pretend it was 9.15 when Bryan Stapley arrived for our drive over. Pleasantly warm with only a little cloud but very few birds about. The most exciting was the overhead circling of a Booted Eagle. Indeed, such was the lack of birds that we left by about 11.30 (real time) and spent a little time searching the fields in "Turtle Dove Alley" before an early return to Mezquitilla.
First to arrive at the site we went straight to the new hide overlooking the Laguna del Alamo Blanco where the intention was to spend most of our time watching such birds as Water Rail, Kingfisher and Red Avadavats. In the event, all we found were a few Mallards at the back, the occasional Moorhen and a pair of Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers in front of the hide.
|Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio with male Mallard Anas platyyrhynchos|
|Male Teal Anas crecca (above) with female below|
|Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo|
Obviously not a great birding morning so we decided to leave early and spend a short while checking out the field either side of "Turtle Dove Alley." Both a Kestrel and House Sparrows seen as we arrived and then a small charm of Golfinches accompanied by a greater number of Serins. A walk down the track at the side of a field produced a short glimpse of a Bluethroat and as we continued we had more Stonechats and Chiffchaffs along with a Corn Bunting. A Marsh Harrier was quartering the fields and our final bird of the morning was a Spotless Starling bringing the morning's tally to28 species.
|Ever thought about what a Heron must do to prepare himself for a little loving?|
|Now where's that chick?|
Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal. Pochard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Heron, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Kingfisher, White Wagtail, Bluethroat, Stonechat, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.