Off as soon as it was light this morning in the hope that the Little Swifts might still be about the colony in the fish harbour at Chjipiona. A look down his bill from the resting Yellow-legged Gull as I arrived but no sign of the Little Swifts. Just as I was about to get back into the car a sudden movement behind me from the metal canopy and there it was quickly followed by a second Little Swift. No doubt off into the interior do some feeding and, presumably, rising as the temperature increase and the insect life rises with it. But I had my sighting and a few House Sparrows as I then set out for the day's birding based on the active salinas at Bonanza just beyond the town of Sanluca de Barrameda.
First call was to the two small ponds just inland from the river but, unfortunately, the visiting Allen's Gallinule had moved on yesterday afternoon. However, a good choice of birds including Moorhen, Purple Swamphen and Coot along with Mallard and many White-headed Ducks. A handful of Little Grebes were actively feeding whilst above the water were feeding Barn Swallows and a couple of House Martins. Nearer the edges plenty of activity with Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff and Common Waxbill, although the resting Wood Pigeon paid no attention at all.
|Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild|
|A few of the passing Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus|
|Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus|
Then a very special moment. Having found a distant Osprey feeding itself on a distant bank I happened to look up and there was the Osprey coming straight towards me complete with the remainder of his fish meal.
|Osprey Pandion haliaetus with morning snack|
Herons, Sanderling and Cormorants were added to the mix before I came across a small group of Slender-billed Gulls with both Lesser Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls further bank on the sand bars. Lovely to also note the good-sized flock of Avocet.
|Slender-billed Gull Larus genei|
|Record shot of very distant Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor|
Straight back along the track and to the edge of the mighty Guadalquivir passing a number of Stonechat on the way along with both Short-toed and Lesser Short-toed Larks and watching a single Spoonbill fly past. At least two Kestrels were observed and more Cormorants noted roosting in a dead tree.
|Redshank Tringa totenus|
|Night Herons Nycticorax nycticorax|
|Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis|
Too early to check in so returned to the ponds visited this morning and confirmed no Allen's Gallinule present but a trio of Snipe and a Green Sandpiper had turned up. And as well as the Barn Swallows, high above them a few Crag Martins yet to return to their mountain homes were noted. The large pool at the back still had a large number of roosting Night Herons. Interestingly, looking back this was the first day since I returned from the UK on 2 January that I did not see a single White Wagtail!
Mallard, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Night Heron, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Osprey, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Common Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Snipe, Curlew, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Swift, Short-toed Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.
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