It would appear that whilst I was looking for the Allen's Gallinule on Saturday John and Jenny Wainwright were over near Osuna looking for Great Bustards and judging by John's report, unlike me, they were successful with good views of many individuals. And also rewarded with lots of raptors, especially Red Kites.
Osuna: 27th January
A very overcast and chilly day, although brighter later.
We started off in the fog this morning and it wasn´t until we got close to our exit at km80, that the fog had started to lift. We then logged Red Kite, Ravens, three Buzzards, Collard Doves, Spotless Starlings and of course White Wagtails. We stopped for coffee at km 80. then headed down the Lantejuela road. The first sighting was of a male Marsh Harrier over the olive groves, then a Red Kite. Lots of White Wagtails about, on the road and in the fields.
A few Raven were noted as turned off the road prior to the second bridge and scanning the fields here a Peregrine Falcon was spotted on top of a clod of earth. Up and over the bridge, Jenny spotted a group of at least fifteen Great Bustards skulking in the olive grove to our far right. We decided to follow the track down to see if there were any more about and after about 400 metres another group of twenty birds were spotted. We got some distant photos of them but they took off and headed out into the newly tilled fields. As we headed back for the main road we saw Corn Buntings, Stonechats, Red-legged Partridges and Crested Tits.
|Group of 25 Great Bustards Otis tarda (PJHOTO: John Wainwright)|
We then headed for the "Roller" ruin, down the track we saw more Ravens, two Black Kites, two Buzzards, a Hoopoe and yet more Stonechats and Corn Buntings. No luck here as there were at least seven vehicles and several guns about in the fields.
So we headed for the flooded fields alongside the new railway track. Here we logged Little Ringed Plovers and one Kentish Plover, at least forty Golden Plovers and the same amount of Lapwings, several Meadow Pipits and large numbers of White Wagtails. Looking under the bridge we noted forty three White Storks, more Lapwings and one Common Snipe, while under the bridge itself Rock Doves were nesting.
As we headed back along the new railway track another three Little Bustards flew over, then another Red Kite, and a female Marsh Harrier, while in the bushes Spanish and House Sparrows were seen as well as a Sardinian Warbler, a Greenfinch, Black Redstarts, Goldfinches, Azure-winged Magpies and more Corn Buntings.
Still, good to know there are at least thirty five Great Bustards roaming the fields and olive groves.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information