Whilst I was trying to shale off the recent illness John and Jenny Wainwright were off on a short visit to Fuente de Piedra and rewarded with a couple of Black-shouldered Kites; now that's a lovely New Year present.
Fuente de Piedra: Wednesday 3 January
A bright but chilly day
What a nice change!! As we approached the reserve we could see water all over the place, the flood meadow was almost devoid of birds still, only a few Coots, Teal and a Common Sandpiper were noted.
After parking we walked down to the newly repaired causeway bridge where we saw lots of White Wagtails, Greenfinches and Chiffchaffs.
Along the path to the scrape we spotted male and female Blackcaps, Meadow Pipits and Stonechats, while the scrape only produced a Moorhen.
Looking out from the mirador we saw Greater Flamingos in the distance, while closer in rafts of gulls, mostly Black-headed and Yellow-legged. A large flock of Lapwings here and scanning the edge of the laguna, a large flock of Stone Curlews and several dead gulls were noted. A few Crag Martins were about overhead as was a flock of Stone Curlews.
At the lagunetta Shovelers, Gadwall, Mallard, Red-crested and Common Pochard were here as were Lesser Black-backed, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls, two Dabchick, Moorhen, Shelduck and a lone juvenile Greater Flamingo. In the shrubs we saw Blackcaps, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers, Robins, House Sparrows, Blackbirds and Stonechats.
Moving round to the Cantarranas mirador we had three groups of Common Cranes fly over and at the mirador itself a nice surprise was two Black-winged Kites sat in the bare tree in the middle of the marsh (no water visible) and a ring-tail Hen Harrier was spotted quartering the reedbed. On the roof of the house to our left a Southern Grey Shrike was seen. More Common Cranes were spotted in the olive groves opposite the car park.
|Distant record shot of the two Black-shouldered Kites Elanus caeruleus (HOTO: John Wainwright)|
A very productive second outing of the year .
Reading John's report it was reassuring to see the reference to the "lots of Greenfinches" as I had just been reading the latest from Bird News reporting on the recent sad demise of this this bird in the UK which is now on the Amber List.
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