Day 5: Donana National Park
After saying our goodbyes to those who were actually up and about, Derek and Barbara followed our car as we headed back towards Isla Mayor in the hope that there would still be plenty of activity in the harvesting rice field and, just possibly, the chance to see a Purple Heron. However, despite all the birds seen, it was not to be.
|Black Stork Ciconia nigra (PHOTO: Steve Powell)|
No sooner on the country road and we were seeing numerous Azure-winged and (Common) Magpies along with Blackbirds, Spotless Starlings and Goldfinches. No sooner had we recorded both Crested Lark and Corn Bunting than we had our "first real sighting" with a lovely Hen Harrier. On down the road of a "thousand sleeping policemen" and a pair of Ravens on the pylon and a couple of Serins. The next surprise, earlier then hoped, was to see a Black-shouldered Kite drifting by the car to be met by a second individual. Lovely to watch these handsome raptors as they elegantly move through the air. More sightings of the pair plus both male and female Hen Harriers along with Common Kestrel as we moved on towards the rice fields passing Greenfinch, Blackbird and quite a collection of Common Buzzards on the way. Just for a change, we even manged to see a Peregrine Falcon, spotted by Barbara and Derek, moving away across the adjoining field.
As we approached the first paddies more marsh harriers and even another hen harrier and then we were amongst the White Storks, Little Egret and Herons with numerous Cattle Egrets following the tractors. Even a couple of Great White Egrets and at the edges small waders including Black-winged Stilts, Ringed Plover, Green and Common Sandpipers and Lapwings. A solitary Marsh Sandpiper was an added bonus as were the couple of Black Storks at the back of the field. Cett's Warblers were singing behind us and there seemed to be a regular movement of other small birds including both Goldfinches and Linnets. Add on both Reshank and Greenshank along with a handful of Mallards and the variety of species was almost complete.
|Adult and juvenile Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus (PHOTO: David Hackett)|
|Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus|
|And then there were thousands of Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus in the air (PHOTO: Steve Powell)|
Mallard, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret, Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Flamingo, Black-shouldered Kite, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Black-winged Stilt, Lapwing, Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Whinchat, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Melodious Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Rufous Bushchat, Southern Grey Shrike, Azure-winged magpie, Magpie, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Corn Bunting.
|Black Stork with Little Egrets and Flamingos|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.