Friday 16 August 2013

Fuente de Piedra & Laguna Dulce


I may be over in England at the moment for the British Bird Fair just down the road from my Stamford house at Rutland Water but it is good to see that John and Jenny Wainwright are still getting out and about, this time a joint venture to Fuente de Piedra and the Laguna Dulce.  I attach John's report below and would especially draw your attention to his comment about the huge wasp nest at the Laguna Dulce.  You have been warned so make sure that you do not go poking it about with your tripod legs or  long stick!!!

For myself, I spent yesterday at Frampton Marshes near Boston, Lincolnshire on the edge of the Wash.    More about this, when completed, on my other blog but I will, hopefully, post a summary and link tomorrow.  Yesterday, Friday, may have been a lovely day but the opening of the twenty-fifth British Bird fair was greeted with heavy overnight rain which continued today till after lunch.  What a way to park in a wet field and then enjoy the spectacle as we all tried to get off the field in our respective cars and back on to the track!

 Piedra & Laguna Dulce 14th August 2013

A good breezy day but still very hot.

As we headed for Antequera a Black Kite flew over the autovia, and as we approached Piedra we saw Spotless Starlings, Collared Doves, Wood Pigeons and House Sparrows.

The flood meadows at the start of the reserve were bone dry, as were the boardwalk area and the large scrape, but we persevered along the track to the centre´s mirador.  A pleasant surprise was the Purple Heron that arose from the reed bed to the left of the large scrape.

Looking over the laguna from the mirador we saw countless thousands of Greater Flamingos spread over the entire laguna area intermingled with hundreds of Common Coots, Teal, Whiskered Terns and a few Black-headed Gulls.  Hirundines were in good numbers consisting of Barn Swallows, Common and Pallid Swifts (only two of the latter) and House MartinsBlack-necked Grebes, a Little Egret and a juvenile Woodchat Shrike were also here.

At the small laguna we spotted Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, Bee-eaters, Dunlin, Common Sandpipers, Little and Ringed Plovers, Redshank, Greater Flamingos, Grey Heron, Cetti´s Warbler, Shovelers and Mallards, a Little Stint, Green Sandpiper, Moorhens, Common Coots, Little Grebe, a White Wagtail and lots of Goldfinches.

Black Kite  Milvus migrans  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

En route to the Mirador Catarranas a small party of five Black Kites were seen over the olive groves and at the mirador where we found four Marsh Harriers, more Greater Flamingos, a large gathering of Teal, Crested Larks and more of the same hirundines as at Piedra.

We then headed on to Laguna Dulce - which still holds a fair amount of water -and here we saw Red-crested and Common Pochard, White-headed Ducks, Teal, Common Coots, a Little Egret, a few Greater Flamingos, Lapwings, Black-necked, Little and Great Crested Grebes.

Over the distant large ruin four more Black Kites were seen and closer - above the reed bed to our front - two Marsh Harriers were patrolling, one of these birds put a Purple Heron to flight as well as a mixed flock of ducks.

Cetti´s, Sardinian Warblers and Goldfinches were present among the reeds and thistles, and as I was looking through a small flock of House Sparrows I found one Spanish Sparrow.

As we made our way home an adult Woodchat Shrike was seen as was another Black Kite.

Careful if you enter the hide at Dulce as there is a paper wasps nest in the entrance to the hide itself - just at the rear of the fascia.

Nest of the Paper Wasp just inside the hide at Laguna Dulce (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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