Sunday, 4 May 2014

Donana Day 4 with the Wainwrights

It may have been my last day in the Donana area but John and Jenny Wainwright still have till next Tuesday so I am expecting even more terrific sightings.  Whilst I was travelling John and Jenny were birding and John's report follows:

DoƱana Day Four 4th May

Another very warm day with little or no breeze.

We had a lay-in today as we were only going local. Our first stop was Acebuche - the star of the National Park, well it would be if there was any significant water about!!  Here our first sightings were of Azure-winged Magpies, Spotless Starlings, a single Crossbill flew over as well as Red-rumped and Barn Swallows, House Martins, Black Kites and White Storks.  After coffee we walked down to the hides behind the green bus garage where we saw Crested Larks, Nightingales, Golden Oriole, Hoopoes and Great Tits.  As we approached the first hide three Pied Flycatchers (two male 1 female) were spotted in the firs, also here we saw two Spotted Flycatchers - these were a bit further away and we didn´t get very good photos of them.  A few Stonechats about today as well as Woodchat Shrikes, Wood Pigeons, Goldfinches whilst the hirundines were represented by Red-rumped and Barn Swallow, Common Swift and House Martin.

Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Moving down a hide we found one large and two small pools of water, and what a change because their were a couple of waders here, ie. Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover.  A Spoonbill was present as were several Blue-headed Yellow Wagtails, Serins and House Martins, a Mallard and then the Savi´s Warbler climbed to the reed tops and sang.

Just after we entered the hide and we were photographing the Common Sandpiper a “visitor” arrived through the front viewing panels in the shape of an Azure-winged Magpie, we told him he couldn´t use our binoculars, so he left.

"Are you the Wainwrights?" asks this Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Lots of Bee-eaters still about - though not in the number we had at the Valverde Centre - as well as Spotless Starlings, and as we walked back from the last hide we saw a Dartford Warbler, Common Redstart, Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, a lone Melodious Warbler and two more Crested Tits. 

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

On now to La Rocina where the water levels are quite high.  Again this showed, with the numbers of hirundines, Red-rumped and Barn Swallow, Common Swift and House Martin, Spoonbills, Glossy Ibis, etc.

Walking through the first part of the woodland gave us more Pied and Spotted Flycatchers - though the latter was in short supply -also in the area were Nightingales, Green Woodpecker, Common Cuckoo, House Sparrows, Short-toed Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Chaffinches, Serins and Wood Pigeons.

From the hide, we saw, in and around the water, Red-crested and Common Pochard, Purple Swamphens, Night Heron, Grey Heron, Spoonbills, Common Coots, Moorhens, Glossy Ibis, Mallard, Little Grebe, Squacco Heron and in the reed beds, Cetti´s, Reed and Savis Warblers were heard.  A few Zitting Cisticola were about on the way round with Blackcaps and Crested Larks while, above, a male Marsh Harrier was spotted along with the White Storks and Black Kites.

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

A Booted Eagle was noted on our entry to El Rocio.

Its going to be an early start tomorrow for the Odiel - last day here - so an early dinner and early to bed.

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

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