Monday 1 November
The northbound journey is underway and with a first overnight stop in Daimiel we were in time to visit both the Tablas de Daimiel and the now, very full Navaseca laguna. Certainly no shortage of water albeit very little to be seen at the Tablas reserve. Approaching the new, extensive and very posh car park we encountered both Black Redstart and Crested Lark having already noted a number of both Wood Pigeon and Spotless Starling. I might also mention Magpie but this corvid was the one constant throughout the visit with very many seen.
|Magpie Pica pica|
Following a lovely walk along the boardwalk seeing our regular Magpies we eventually watched one then recorded as many as four quartering Marsh Harrier. These in turn put up a few Mallard and whilst that was going on a quintet of Greylag Geese flew over, presumably from the resident flock seen during the summer months. A Kestrel was busy hovering to our right looking for an easy meal and a couple of Goldfinch flittered from tree to tree. Perhaps the greatest activity was the sudden appearance and descent into the reeds by a flock of twenty or more Spanish Sparrow followed by a Jackdaw flock of at least fifty individuals. Finally, a stop on top of the the rise as we left the car park to check out the distant river revealed not so much a small number of Mallard but at least thirty Crane.
And so on to the Navaseca water and commencing with a handful of Serin on the fence as we took the narrow road down to the min car park overlooking the lake. Once in the hid we could see the large number of Flamingo and a good population of duck, mainly Shoveler along with a healthy supply of Mallard and a few Pochard plus a single female White-headed Duck, along with the ever-present Coots. A few Black-headed Gulls were also seen along with a couple of Little Egret and a solitary Heron on the far side. Overhead more Marsh Harrier sightings plus a single male Stonechat.
|Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis on sentry duty!|
Having decided to drive round the lake and take the farm track back to the main road, we then found a large gathering of Collared Doves on the wires above plus another couple of Little Egret and a Glossy Ibis. White Wagtails were now putting in an appearance and stopping at the back of the water to check out the far side we were greeted by a lone Cattle Egret standing guard in the middle of the road! Having photographed our sentinel we then looked at the water itself and found a single, young Spoonbill. Amusing to watch both Little Egret and Coot trying to share the same miniscule island on which the bird was resting.
|Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia (left) with Little Egret Egretta garzetta giving a beedy eye to the Coots Fulica atra|
Continuing on more House Sparrows a small charm of Goldfinch and a few Crested Larks until Jenny found the hidden bird amongst the upper cross beams of a pylon. The bird eventually dropped to the ground and feed revealing itself to be an Iberian Grey Shrike. A lovely male Black Redstart was also fond in this area. Given the limited time spent at the two sites, the strong breeze and late afternoon with a very full lake a final total of over thirty species seemed most worthwhile.
|White Wagtail Motacilla alba|
Greylag Goose, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Crane, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Crested Lark, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Iberian Grey Shrike, Magpie, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.