I really ought to have been house painting but it seemed ridiculous to go all that way and not take a look at what was about in the reserve. Blackbirds, Rock Doves and Monk Parakeets to welcome me and a plentiful supply of Barn Swallows and House Martins. However, crossing the footbridge it was obvious that the swifts were out in force as they were everywhere; the place was awash with these scythe-winged wonders. Of the hundreds present in the area and the reserve in general, I would calculate that at least 95% were Common but the remainder were certainly Pallid Swifts. A Little Egret made its way down the western arm of the river and a small number of Spotless Starlings were feeding and bathing at the river's edge whilst a number of House Martins were busy collecting their building materials from the exposed sandy shore, both watched over by a handful of busy House Sparrows.
|Always lovely to come across Little Stints Correlimos Menudo Calidris minuta, here showing different moult stages
|Lots of Ringed Plovers Chorlitejo Grande Charadrius hiaticula to be seen
|One of four Grey Plovers Chorlito Gris Pluvialis squatarola seen on the Rio Viejo
|Black-winged Stilt Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus with two of its four chicks
The walk back to the Laguna Grande via the Laguna Escondida produced both Sardinian Warbler and Stonechat but very little else. The Escondida was quiet with just a Moorhen and female White-headed Duck and, for its size, the Laguna Grande was all but deserted. A single Little Egret, a couple of Black-winged Stilts with four newly-hatched youngsters and a pair of Ringed Plovers. The only new birds were a Blue-headed Wagtail (Iberian race Yellow Wagtail) over-flying the water, Goldfinch and a single immature Yellow-legged Gull.
So with 36 species recorded in a couple of hours I decided to make my way and think about the painting that had not been done, confirming Thekla Lark, Serin and Bee-eaters as I made my way up the mountain track.
Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Egret, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Redshank, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Monk Parakeet, Swift, Pallid Swift, Bee-eater, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.