Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fuente de Piedra & Laguna Dulce with the Wainwrights

Wednesday 16 April

As can be seen from the following report from John, They were unable to join the monthly Axarquia Bird Group field meeting at the Guadalhorce, Malaga so took a very rewarding birding trip out today; and what a great selection of birds they encountered.  Hopefully, most will still be present when I cal in at the same venues on Friday afternoon.

Fuente de Piedra & Laguna Dulce: 16th April

A very warm day, little or no breeze.

As we cannot attend the monthly meeting we went out today (Wednesday) instead. On our approach to the reserve the Gull-billed Terns were wheeling over the fields and we could see masses of waders in the flood meadow.

After parking up we walked down to the flood meadow and here we saw Curlew, Common and Wood Sandpipers, Little Stints, Ruff, Kentish and Little Ringed Plovers, Coots, Moorhens, Avocets, Black-winged Stilts and Redshanks.  In the opposite meadow by the boardwalk we saw Yellow Wagtails - iberiae and flavissima, Corn Buntings, Chiffchaff and Nightingales.  Above us lots of Barn Swallows but a limited number of Red-rumped Swallows and some House Martins plus, also, a single Black Tern.

Avocet Avoceta Comun Recurvirostra avosetta (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
At the boardwalk it was nice to see the water levels so well maintained, which held good numbers of Little Stints, Avocets, Dunlin and more of the previously mention waders.  A Reed Warbler was seen in the reed bed as well as House and Spanish Sparrows.  As we were scoping the former two Whiskerd Terns came over and we could also hear the Bee-eaters overhead.

Wood Sandpipers Andarrios Bastardo Tringa glareola (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
At the "scrape" we added two Common Snipe to the list, as well as Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers, Zitting Cisticola, another flavissima Yellow Wagtail and a Wood Sandpiper flew in. More Reed Warblers and Nightingales were heard as we made our way up the mirador.  Looking over the laguna the number of Greater Flamingos was quite impressive, as well as the huge rafts of mixed gulls on the water, and in the air good numbers of Gulled-billed Terns and a few Jackdaws.

Jackdaw Grajilla Corvus monedula (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Onto the covered hide where the Nightingales, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers were singing well, although from on and above the water, Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls screamed at each other almost drowning out the formers songs.  Several pairs of Red-crested Pochard were about as well as Mallard, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Shovelers, Little and Black-necked Grebe, Greater Flamingos, Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, and two male White-headed Ducks were found in the far left corner of this lagunetta.

Moving on to the Cantarranas mirador we found a male and female Little Bustard in the fields just prior to the mirador along with seven Ravens.  A few Bee-eaters, Crested Larks, two Montagu´s Harriers and a Marsh Harrier were also seen on the way.

Distant record shot of Little Bustard Sison Comun Tetrax tetrax (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Looking over the from the mirador we saw a female Marsh Harrier sat in the bare tree, and on the water we saw Shovelers, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard, Little and Black-necked Grebes, Black-winged Stilts, two Spoonbills, a Little Egret, Greater Flamingos and a few Great Crested Grebe. The passerines included Reed, Sardinian and Cetti´s Warblers, White Wagtails, Yellow Wagtails (iberia only), Crested Larks, House Sparrows, Linnets, Goldfinches and a Greenfinch.

Ruff Combatiente Philomachus pugnax with Curlew Sandpipers Correlimos Oscuro Calidris maritima (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Over to Laguna Dulce where a few members of the ABS were seen.  Here we saw Black-necked Grebes, Purple Swamphens, Grey Herons, Little and Great Crested Grebes (the latter displaying just in front of the hide), Red-crested and Common Pochard, Gadwalls, Coots, Moorhens, Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls; also a female Marsh Harrier was seen perched in one of the numerous bushes along the rear of the laguna.

Great Crested Grebe Somormujo Lavanco Podiceps cristatus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Over the fields behind the laguna we found a large flock of Collared Pratincoles, two female and two male Montagu´s Harriers, two Buzzards also Gull-billed and Whiskered Terns.  Lots of Barn Swallows about as well as House Martins, Red-rumped Swallows and a lone Common Swift.
At the front of the hide a pair of Reed Warblers were in and out - like a fiddlers elbow - to the Tamarisk bush, we think they have a nest here.  Also about were Goldfinches, Cetti´s Warblers, Great Tits, Corn Buntings, Crested Larks and several more White Wagtails.

Not a bad day overall!

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

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