Sunday 22 December 2013

Correction from Thursday and Laguna Dulce

Saturday 21 December

I thought it was strange and I had my suspicions with the flock of over fifty Short-toed Larks seen on the north side of the laguna at Fuente de Piedra as we returned to the village and, on posting the blog, I got my first response.  As Andy says, Short-toed Lark is a purely summer visitor and has not been recorded in any of the SEO winter surveys.  There are a few regular sightings of Lesser Short-toed Larks but these always tend to be in the far west of the region, not in our local area.  So what did we see?  Back to the drawing board, check the photos and confirm my theory, especially when my latest copy of Birdwatch had photos of winter flocks, that we actually had feeding in the stubble was a lovely wintering flock of Skylarks.  As soon as this blog is published I will amend the original.

Meanwhile, with better weather, Mick Richardson took a trip over to the Laguna Dulce form Loja and managed to find a rather lovely flock of Tufted Duck as his email below states.  All three photos by and courtesy of Mick Richardson.

All dozen Tufted Ducks Porron Monudo Aythya fuligula at Laguna Dulce captured in one shot

Looks as though you had a great day, sorry I could not make it but as usual Jayne had the car.  I did have a days work out that way today however and we did quite well.  We had 12 Tufted Ducks at Laguna Dulce (all twelve in the attached shot), along with several Dunlin, Little Stints, three Hen Harriers a dozen or so Marsh Harriers and a few hundred Common Cranes.  At Fuente de Piedra we had brief views of a Bluethroat, another female Hen Harrier, Spanish Sparrow, more Common Cranes and loads of Stone Curlews.

Female Hen Harrier Aguilucho Palido Circus cyaneus
It sounds to me as if the Stone Curlews and Hen Harriers had prior warning about the storm that was to hit Fueuente de Piedra as soon as we finished our visit!  We only had the two Stone Curlews and no Hen Harriers.  And what about the Golden Plovers; where are they at the moment? 

Marsh Harrier Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental Circus aeruginosus

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

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