Sunday, 13 April 2014

Osuna Area with John and Jenny

Sunday 13 April

I spend all day yesterday in the Osuna area and before I get chance to write up my report I not on;y have an afternoon down at the Guadalhorce, Malaga but John and Jenny Wainwright also take off for the former for a day's birding - and see a couple of the birds, just looking at the photos, that I missed yesterday.  Ah well, such is birding!  here follows John's report complete with photos taken by both himself and Jenny; mine should follow tomorrow.

Osuna area: Sunday 13 April
Collared Pratincole Glariola pratincola (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Black Kite Milvus migrans (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
A hottish day with a stiff breeze at times.

En route to Osuna - albeit the first 40km of autovia was thick fog - we saw Blackbirds, Spotless Starlings, Wood Pigeons, House Sparrows, Hoopoes, Goldfinches, Common Kestrel, Jackdaws, House Martins, Buzzard, Crested Larks, Red-rumped Swallows and Collared Doves.

After breakfast at the 80km turn off we headed for the "bridge", lots of Red-legged Partridges about this morning as well as Corn Buntings, and Crested Larks.  Four Black Kites were noted over the olive groves and as we gained the track that runs parallel with the new railway line, we saw Bee-eaters, Barn Swallows, Woodchat Shrikes and a good number of Northern Wheatears.  A couple of Goldfinches and Stonechats were seen although Ravens were about they were not in their normal numbers. a largish flock of some 30 - 40 Collared Pratincoles were noted in the sunflower fields and more Black Kites turned up.  As we passed the water catchment area three Mallard flew off.

Raven  Corvus corax (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

We looked from the bridge for the Great Bustards but could find no trace of them, so we moved on to the Vereda del Alamillo track. Several Spanish Sparrows and House Sparrows were seen here, as well as Linnets, Bee-eaters and Rock Doves.  A couple of Black Kites being harassed by a pair of Ravens brought is to the ruin where we spotted a single Roller, eight Common Kestrels and Zitting Cisticola. On the way back we saw a massive Montpelier snake - it must have been two metres in length, and as we started to regain the main road a Nightingale called from the small copse here as well as a Blackcap.  Seven Griffon Vultures came out of the olive grove here also.

Roller Coracias garrulus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Back over the bridge and heading for Marchena when a beautiful Short-toed Eagle came our way, then Jenny spotted a Black-winged Kite, then a Buzzard and a male Montagu´s Harrier was spotted. A Southern Grey Shrike posed for us on the power lines, until our attention was diverted by a flock of Calandra Larks, also seen hereabouts was a female Marsh Harrier and a Sardinian Warbler.  At the flooded area by the new bridge we saw Greater Flamingos, Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, Cattle Egrets, Lapwings, Collared Pratincoles, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls and a male Marsh Harrier.  While on the pylons two White Storks were on their nests.

Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus (PHOTO: John Wainwright
Then through to Lantejuala where we picked up Yellow Wagtails (Iberiae), more Black Kites, Hoopoes, Serins and another Buzzard, three Lesser Kestrels and Greenfinches then back to Vereda del Alamillo (I had forgotten what the name of the track was), it was here we met an English couple (Mel & Lorraine from Marbella) who said they had seen the Great Bustards from the bridge area, we returned to the bridge but the heat haze was terrible, so we joined Mel & Lorraine across country to the spot where he had seen them.

Great Bustard  Otis tarda (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

We did manage to pick up three (one male and two female), although Mel had seen at least ten of the birds.  When we parted we crossed over the bridge again and regained the dirt track, it was here we found a lone female Great Bustard.  Our last but not least sighting was of a pair of Montagu´s Harriers the male was in and out of a huge thistle bed whilst we only had the one short sighting of the female.

Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

Northern Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

Great report John; you and Jenny certainly had a fabulous day.

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

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