More rain than dry back in Lincolnshire, UK albeit we did gave a lovely, clear sunny day last Tuesday but bitterly cold with the temperature struggling to reach 5C. The good news (?) is that I am receiving regular reports form my friends back in Spain complaining that the temperature is too warm! Derek and Barbara Etherton, along with Jerry and Barbara Laycock, were down at La Janda/barbate earlier in the week and provoking me with comments that at 26C it was too hot for birding and that they were recording Sociable Lapwing Black-shouldered Kites, fighting Sparrowhawks et all and no doubt by now have also managed to see the Great Bittern seen and photographed by Rick Owen at La Janda. Now I have just received a report (published below) from John and Jenny Wainwright pointing out that yesterday was, "A very bright, warm day with no perceptible wind." Thank goodness we are flying back to Malaga in the morning; warm sunshine and away from here before the forecasted winter weather that is expected to arrive at the week-end.
5 December 2018
A very bright, warm day with no perceptible wind.
As we had been to the Carrefours Centre in Antequera we decided to pop along to Laguna Dulce (on the Campillos Road) to see the state of the area as it had had major floods awhile ago. As we pulled in the car park Mallard, Teal and Common Coots were noted on the flooded field. Moving into the hide we began counting the Black-necked Grebes that have made this place quite a popular breeding area- we counted 23 but there are probably a lot more in the reeds. A nice find was the five Pintails - 2 males and 3 females - at the back of the laguna. Then a Grey Heron and next to it a Greylag Goose was grazing.
A few Little Grebes but only one Great Crested Grebe were logged and as we scanned the laguna a large number of Red-Crested Pochard and Common Pochard were seen. Also noted were Black-winged Stilts, Shovelers and a lone Shelduck along with several White-headed Ducks. Two Marsh Harriers were seen sitting in the fields as were a pair of Ravens. While in the reed bed itself Corn Buntings, Cetti's and Sardinian Warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackbird and House Sparrow were logged.
We then moved over to Fuente de Piedra itself . In the flood meadow to the left of the approach road we could only log Common Snipe and Black-winged Stilt along with some White Wagtails. We then scanned the fields to our right where we found at least twenty Stone Curlews, Meadow Pipits and Crested Lark.
Along the boardwalk just a few White Wagtails, probably due to the high water levels and on the main laguna several thousand Greater Flamingos were noted along with rafts of Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legged Gulls along with a spattering of Black-headed Gulls. Another two Marsh Harriers and Common Kestrel were noted here as well and above the centre the ubiquitous Jackdaws frolicked.
As we departed the reserve a Hoopoe, Stonechat, Goldfinches and Linnets were also seen.
Many thanks to Derek and Barbara along with John and Jenny for keeping me up to date. In truth, lovely to hear about so many birds to be seen once again and, all being well, I might get down to the Guadalhorce and Fuente de Piedra before the year's end. maybe even Zapata but I think time might be against me. Is it me or are many of us seeing more Pintails than usual? And when will the Razorbills arrive?
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