Sunday 3 March 2013

Fuente de Piedra & Laguna Dulca

Whilst I was down at the Rio Velez and then waiting for the computer to come back on line, It seems that John and Jenny Wainwright were once more about their birding travels and this time, the day before me, to Fuente de Piedra and the Laguna Dulce amongst other places.  It cannot have been that bad, despite the strong winds, as they managed to find both Little Bustard and Ferruginous Duck.  Their report follows below and, as John says, with Jenny in charge of the camera on this occasion.

Fuente de Piedra & Laguna Dulce:  27th February 2013

A very warm day although still very cold in the shade.  As we drove up the road to the car park the left hand flood-meadow gave us Redshank, Shoveler, Black-winged Stilt and Black-headed Gull.  We then headed for the boardwalk area; here we saw Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff, White Wagtails, Common Coots, Moorhens, a Little Stint and three Black-tailed Godwits.  In the marshy area we found a single Snipe, Little Ringed Plovers and Meadow Pipits.

On and around the scrapes we found more of the all the former and a lone Reed Bunting.  From the mirador we looked over the main laguna, all the Greater Flamingos were in the right hand corner  (into which the wind was blowing) also with them were Shovelers, Teal, Mallard, Avocets and five Shelduck.  Above the ducks we saw House and Crag Martin and Barn Swallows, as well as Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls.  In the shrubs and bushes below the mirador a Sardinian Warbler was heard as well as Robin and Black Redstart.

Onto the Laguneta, the islands had been completely stripped of any cover, where we saw Jackdaws, Black-winged Stilts, more Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls, Shovelers, Teal, Mallard, a Redshank, Little Grebe and Pochard.

As we were leaving the centre, two Woodlarks flew into the light rough .   As we drove up to the Cantarras Mirador we found a few Common Cranes feeding in the fields to our left but the bulk of them were in and just in front of the olive groves to our right.  At the mirador the wind was gusting really hard and it was a job to keep the scope still, but we did manage to find several Great Crested and Little Grebe, Greater Flamingos, two Red-crested Pochard and a few Common Pochard.

Laguna Dulce:
On the way we saw two Common Kestrels and  just opposite the turning for Bobadilla Station, Jenny spotted a group of some twenty Little Bustards feeding in the remnants of a flood-meadow not forty yards from the road. 

Little Bustards Sison Comun Tetrax tetrax (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
At the hide we located another eight Great Crested Grebes plus more Common and Red-crested Pochard a few Black-necked and Little Grebes, White-headed Ducks, good numbers of Coots, and a handful of Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls.  In the reeds and the bushes around the laguna we saw Blackcap, Corn Bunting, Chiffchaffs, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers, House Sparrows, Goldfinches and a few Spotless Starlings.  Masses of hirundines here, Barn Swallows, House and Crag Martins but no Red-rumped Swallows or Sand Martins were seen today.  A single female Marsh Harrier was seen as well as a single Lapwing.

Ferruginous Duck  Porron pardo Aythya nyroca (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
We then journeyed round to the hide at the Laguna Redonda where we found four Ferruginous Ducks along with several common Pochards. Coots had started nesting on the small islands here, also here we saw Black-winged Stilts, Little Grebe and the same hirundines as before.

I think possibly that the strong winds accounted for the small tally of passerines today, but its not Spring yet awhile!!

Great day John and many thanks for the report.

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