The birding concentration was on the higher Cacin Valley with five target birds for the two-hour visit; the Little Owl being something of a bonus. The journey over from Casa Collado had already produced Barn swallow, House martin, Rock and Collared Doves, along with House Sparrow and Goldfinch before I reached Ventas de Zafarraya and the provincial Malaga/Granada border, Then it was Chaffinch, a number of Mistle Thrushes and a single Woodchat Shrike before entering the main area of the "Magpie Woods" where a number of Azure-winged Magpies were seen. Driving across the arable fields to take the old, badly potted road up towards the Salar road I had first a couple of Common Magpies followed by Crested, Thekla and Calanda Larks. Along the journey there was certainly no shortage of both Hoopoes and Corn Buntings. And so to the meet with Mick and our move off to the designated site accompanied by the first of many Common Kestrels seen during the day as a whole.
|Very distant shot of Little Bustard Sison Comun Tetrax tetrax|
|And then the Black-bellied Sandgrouse Ganga Ortega Pterocvles orientalis flew over in the distance|
|Roller Carraca Europea Coracias garrulus posing in its natural habitat|
|Finally, we found our Great Spotted Cuckoos Crialo Europeo Clamator glandarius|
|The object of the Great Spotted Cuckoos nest searching, a Magpie Urraca Pica pica|
|Also seen, many Bee-eaters Abejaruco Europeo Merops apiaster|
|There seemed to be Corn Buntings Triguero Emberiza calandra everywhere|
|In addition to the Laguna Dulce, Fuente produced plenty of Whiskered Terns Fumarel Cariblanco Chlidonias hybrida|
Business finished in Ronda and chance to wish Pieter a happy birthday, it was back to Fuente de Piedra, a passing Grey Heron overhead n the way, and a brief stop at the Mirador Cantarranas. Lots of Flamingos to be seen but I decided to press on to the main entrance having heard that there were many waders to be seen on the flooded field on the left approaching the car park. And that was certainly true with yet more Whiskered Terns also feeding from the surface of the water. Also at this site were numerous Curlew Sandpipers along with a sizable selection of Dunlin, Little Stint, Ruff, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, Redshank and Common Sandpiper. Both Coot and Black-winged Stilts were also making the most of this feeding opportunity whilst a number of Avocet fed near the far bank.
|Numbers down but still plenty of Ruff Combatiente Philomachus pugnax to be seen|
|Now here's the challenge; how many waders can you identify?|
|All the Shovelers Cuchara comun Anas clpeata seemed to be on the laguneta|
Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Little Bustard, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Magpie, Chough, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.
|Another look at the delicate colours of the Roller Carraca Europea Coracias garrulus|
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