Saturday, 30 April 2016

John and Jenny in the Doñana - Day 4

Saturday 30 April

The final day in the Doñana National Park and now John and Jenny Wainwright are calculating how best to bird their way home to Salar in Granada Province.  No surprise that they Osuna on the menu and be not surprised if the final account also refers to Fuente de Piedra!  With John's camera in need of major repairs, it looks very much as if Jenny is taking over the David Bailey role!

Doñana National Park: Day 4 Thursday 28 April 2016 - Homeward bound

Another very hot day, but clouded over later.

Marsh Ponies at El Rocio (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Just prior to leaving the hotel we had a last look at the marismas, still a lack of ducks about with only a few Mallard and Pochard but lots of Spoonbills across the marsh with a small group of Greylag Geese.  Overhead Black Kites, Buzzard and a Common Kestrel represented the raptors and Barn, Red-rumped Swallows, House Martins and one Sand Martin represented the hirundines.  In the reed beds Reed and Cetti´s Warblers were singing and in a small bush a Melodious was noted.  It was then a herd of marsh ponies decided to cross the marsh, putting up everything in sight.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

So making our way back to home, just on the ring road at Sevilla, a Monk Parakeet was spotted, then onward to Osuna.

Southern (Iberian) Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

Coming off at km80 on the A92, and after a coffee break, we headed inland.  En route to the first of the road bridges we saw Red-legged Partridges, more Black Kites and a Sardinian Warbler.  The crops are well up now and even scanning the ploughed fields that were few and far between, we could not get a sighting of any Great Bustards, but we did get an Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus). 

Ocellated Lizard Timon lepidus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Nothing showing at the second bridge either so we took to the track that runs parallel to the railway line, here we picked up our first Ravens of the day and a lone Cattle Egret.  More Red-legged Partridges took off as we progressed down the track, then we noted House and Spanish Sparrows, a Whinchat, Corn Buntings (no shortage of these birds),Crested Larks and a few Bee-eaters.  Common Swifts were about here in good numbers, as were Barn Swallows and House Martins.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Moving onto the Alamillo track that heads down to the "roller ruins", we parked up the hayrick as there was a flurry of excitement overhead, with a huge flock of Ravens leaving the copse and attacking a Griffon Vulture; we even saw one bird pull a feather from the vultures wing!   A few minutes later a pair of Common Buzzard came in sight and from the opposite direction a Honey Buzzard flew into view.  Black Kites were perched in the copse and in the field below a Hoopoe was feeding.  On the power lines several Spotless Starlings and three Turtles Doves, an Iberian Grey Shrike and a Common Magpie were logged.  Moving down to the "dovecote" or should we say "starlingcote", we noted a Common Kestrel perched at the rear of the building, and looking in the area we spotted two Rollers on the fence.   As we came to a dip in the road which had a small amount of water in, two Mallard flew away and as we passed through the groves Ravens were leaving en masse.  On reaching the ruins we noted a Red-legged Partridge perched on a roof-top, then we spotted Rock Doves, Lesser Kestrel and it wasn´t until we passed through the farmyard that we saw more Rollers - eight in total.

Roller Coracias garrulus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

We then headed back to Salar a bit peeved at not getting Great Bustard, but, pleased to see the Rollers again.
Quite a successful trip overall, but disappointed on the amount of waders and ducks seen.

Sounds to me as if you had a good break despite not seeing many waders and ducks but, at least, you had the first Honey Buzzards.  And no time for a stop at Fuente de Piedra.  Looking forward to meeting up again in the very near future.

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

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