Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Laguna Dulce with John and Jenny

It may be very hot, reached 38C in the shade here today following last night's minimum of 28, but, despite the on-going painting job, John and jenny wainwright managed to get out of the house and across to the Lagauna Dulce earlier today.  I seem to have become somewhat lazy and relying upon the Bee-eaters, Barn and Red-rumped Swallows and migrating Common Swifts visiting me on the mountain top.  But, if I wake up early tomorrow morning I might just drive down to the Rio Velez - unless jenny demands the car again in which case it might have to be Friday morning!


Laguna Dulce: Wednesday 27 August

A very hot and windless day.

We arrived at the laguna at about 11.30am after getting a bite to eat at Antequera. The journey down had been pretty uneventful seeing mostly Collared Doves, a few Barn Swallows, Wood Pigeon, a Common Kestrel and some House Sparrows.

White Storks Ciconia ciconia in the sky (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
The water level is doing very well considering the temperatures we are having and long may it last (the water level I mean).  Just as we entered the hide a White Stork landed on the tall bushes across the far side of the laguna and while I was watching that bird, two others flew over the hide towards Campillos.  A few Common Coots on the foreshore to our direct front and on the shoreline to the left of the hide several waders were spotted, these being two Kentish Plovers, a Green Sandpiper, two Little Stints, two Curlew Sandpipers and three Black-winged Stilts.  A juvenile Marsh Harrier was spotted in the distance quartering the reed beds but it dropped into the
reeds and we never saw the bird again, although we did see a female Marsh Harrier about half an hour later.

On the laguna itself several Common Pochards, Mallards, Common Coots were noted as well as  Black-necked, Little and Great Crested GrebesWhite-headed Ducks were in good numbers today - I counted at least sixty and amongst them juvenile Greater Flamingos and adults were feeding.

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Across the laguna and spread out in the skeletal trees - were a good flock of some twenty plus Cattle Egrets.  As the female Marsh Harrier came out of the reed bed - all the small waders over the far side of the laguna - moved over to our left foreshore, this flock contained another two Kentish Plovers, a Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper along with several Black-winged Stilts.
The reed bed to our front was full of song - but very little came into view.  I heard Reed, Sardinian and Cetti´s Warblers and saw Goldfinches, Corn Buntings and more House Sparrows.  Not that many hirundines close in today but the sky was full of them over the far reed beds including Common Swifts, Barn Swallows and House Martins.

Looking back over the laguna, a flock of Shovelers emerged from the reeds along with  some Gadwalls and more White-headed Ducks and a bit closer to us a female Tufted Duck emerged from it´s dive.

On the return journey, just past the workings on the right, a Woodchat Shrike was seen and another about a kilometre down the road, and on a pylon - just after the new high-speed rail bridge - sat a Common Buzzard.

Female adult Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
 Good to see at least one dragonfly recorded by John and Jenny.


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