|Osprey Aguila Pescadora Pandion haliaetus found at last!|
|A very alert Black Kite Milano Negra Milvus mifrans|
A short time was spent at the Bird Fair with lots of Jackdaws, Spotless Starlings and House Sparrows, not to mention the nesting White Storks, about and then I returned to the lake and joined up with John and Jenny Wainwright for a very enjoyable three hours or more in their pleasant and friendly company taking both cars into the main Donana National Park for the anti-clockwise drive down to the Juan Valverde Centre. But not before another look at the eastern end of the lake where much of the same was seen but also a good number of Purple Swamphen, Little Egret and good numbers of feeding Barn Swallows and Common Swifts above the water.
|Purple Swamphen Calamon Comun Porphyrio porphyrio|
|Female Whinchat Tarabilla Nortena Saxicola rubetra ever watchful for danger overhead|
|Our rarity, the Marbled Duck Cerceta Pardilla Marmaronetta angustirostrisd (Two breeding pairs in the immediate area)|
Leaving John and Jenny I continued on towards the Centre as I wanted to eventually take in both "Coridor Verdes" before returning to my hotel. The side ponds produced early Glossy Ibis with the main flock near the breeding area adjacent to the Visitors Centre along with a single Purple Heron. Then most of the score or more of Lesser Kestrels were recorded at the small ruin and then a stop to check out what I thought might be the first Spoonbill of the day as I reached the main lake. No, not a Spoonbill but a Great White Egret. The Spoonbills themselves were seen from the other end of the lake when I reached the end of the track and turned right to the small bridge. Also over the water a quintet of Whiskered Terns made a quick pass and I also noted a few Yellow-legged Gulls. Continuing on for a short drive to the stables i found a feeding group of Griffon Vultures in the sky accompanied by a single Booted Eagle. Returning, passing more Spoonbills and Little Egrets I arrived at the Visitors Centre for refreshments and look at the heronry; mainly Cattle Egrets but also a good number of Glosy Ibis and at least two pairs of Night Herons. And this was where I also met up again with John and Jenny before departing up the return journey, continuing in an anti-clockwise direction.
|Yet another Spoonbill Espatula Comin Platalea leucorodia|
Other then the first thirty minutes I would have been much better off if I had stayed with John and jenny and got that closer view of the Great White Egret and also picked up the Common Nightjar (see John's report). As it was, very little to be on the return journey and the first "Green Corridor" was an absolute waste of space and time. The single car-wide track was very rough and had, judging by the centre growth not be used for six months or more. Eventually, after about a kilometre I gave up, did a multi-point turn on the track and made my way westwards toward the "Green Corridor" suggested by John and Jenny. However, I did come across a Stock Dove sat on the track who simply refused to move. Obviously, this is a bird who does not expect visitors, mechanised or on legs, and only moved as he was bout to join his ancestors.
|Only the second Pied Flycatcher Papamoscas Cerrojilllo Ficedula hypoleuca of the year|
|What an angry looking Squacco Heron Garcilla Cangrejera Ardeola ralloides|
Mallard, Marbled Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Glossy Ibis, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, White Stork, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Griffon Vulture, Osprey, Red Kite, Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pintail Sandgrouse, Collared Pratincole, Black-winged Stilt, Rock Dove, Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Bee-eater, Common Swift, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Magpie, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.