Another hot and cloud-free day so away as early as possible to drive over to the Monfrague National Park followed by a visit to the Arrocampo reservoir and finally back to the hostal for a well-earned sleep. A great day even if the wrong time of the year for birding (heat and dry) but at least I managed to find all my targeted birds.
|Time for the Griffon Vultures Buitre Leonado Gyps fulvus to rise ans shine!|
Leaving as soon as possible and before breakfast to try and get to Monfrague before the temperatures once more reached the upper thirties and beyond, I had regular sightings of Magpie, Buzzard and Barn Swallows on the journey. A raven crossing the road was a welcome sighting as the first of a couple of Black Kites. A stop for breakfast at El Rubio provided the sight of mass House Martins at their colony. Next up was a Hoopoe disappearing off into the dehesa and apart from Collared Doves I actually came across a single Turtle Dove sunning itself on a telephone wire. At the long, low bridge approaching the destination there were scores of House Martins feeding over the now virtually dry river bed but, at a small pool on the far side of the road a single Black Stork took its leave as I looked over the parapet. In addition to the House Martins, I recorded the occasional Red-rumped Swallow and even a couple of Alpine Swifts. Finally, a few Crested Larks, the first Azure-winged Magpies of the day and a number of isolated Woodchat Shrikes before reaching my first port of call.
|One of many soaring Griffon Vultures|
Following the river down to the mirador overlooking its tributary on the Rio Tietar at La Tajadilla I finally found my Egyptian Vultures along with more Griffons and a smaller number of Black (Monk) Vultures. The wrong time of the year to make a specific visit to the area but very rewarding as I was (almost) passing on my home from the UK to Malaga. Also seen in the area many Southern Grey Shrikes along with Booted eagle, more Black Kites and a Buzzard. No Lesser Kestrels seen on the bullring roof at Trujillo but they were out here feeding over the harvested corn fields.
|This Egyptian Vulture Alimoche Comun Neophron percnopterus is certainly looking for something!|
|This Purple Heron Garza Imperial Ardea purpurea took one look at me and was off!|
|Great White Egret Garceta Grande Egretta alba|
Finally, it was the drive back to Trujillo through the country lanes and dehesas which duly produced a Northern Wheatear, Bee-eaters and, surprise of surprises, a Zitting Cisticola which hopped up out of the long grass onto the nearby fence as I reversed the car. And remained in situ to enable photos to be taken. A Short-toed Eagle did everything close by to frustrate me in trying to capture a shot as the traffic roared past on the adjacent motorway and finally, both a White Stork and a couple of Jackdaws over the town as I took a walk to find a suitable restaurant.
|A beautiful Ziotting Cisticola Buitron Cisticola juncidis looking in magnificent condition|
Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Black Kite, Egyptian Vulture,Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Short-toes Eagle, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Booted Eagle, Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Southern Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Magpie, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.
|Judging from its colouring and resting place, I suspect that this is a juvenile Griffon Vulture Buitre Leonado Gyps fulvus|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.