Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Donana with John and Jenny Wainwright: Day 1

Friday 16 October

Time to split he reports with Derek and Barbara accompanying Jenny, Chris and I as we made our separate explorations of the Donana National Park.  For John and Jenny it was the for of a few days' birding whereas the rest of us were restricted to a morning's observations before heading of home after a fabulous five days.

Donana Day 1:  Friday 16 October

Another warm and dry day.

After a night in the "Blackhole of Calcutta" aka the Fonda del Rocio, we 
drove across to our new digs at El Aldea.  Then from there we drove back to El 
Rocio and along to the SEO centre - which is now permanently closed - we found 
Common and Azure-winged Magpies, and a few Greylags right at the back of the 
reserve.  Several Lapwings were also seen here- Moving on round to the rear of the
village we found Red-rumped and Barn Swallows and House Martins, Spotless Starlings, Goldfinches
and House Sparrows. At the ford we spotted a Kingfisher, further round, the 
very muddy track we located Little and Cattle Egret, Meadow Pipit,Stonechats, two
very bright Grey Wagtails, White Wagtails, Serins,Crested Larks and a Moorhen. 
Several Corn Buntings were seen perched and singing on the fence posts and on the
concrete road bridge a male Black Redstart was noted preening. Crossing the road
and further along - into new territory for us - we saw Cetti's Warbler, Common 
Waxbills, Chaffinches, a Raven and a Robin.
Then on to La Rocina where just past the visitors centre we saw a bat(no idea 
what sort it was), lots of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers about here, then a 
largish group of Common Waxbills were heard then seen.  Along by one of the hides
we located a Greater Spotted Woodpecker,another Raven was seen, also Stonechats,
Azure-winged Magpies, Wood Pigeons, Blackbirds and a Blackcap.  Retracing our steps
we picked up Blue, Great and Crested Tits  and a couple more Blackcaps. 

Our night visit to the marismas was eventful seeing a large herd of  Red Deer,
more Lapwings and a huge flock of some two hundred, plus or  minus, coming into
roost. A Spoonbill, two Great White Egrets, Grey Herons, Cattle Egrets and across
the other side of the reserve a family of seven wild Boars was spotted. 
It certainly sounds as if you had a great day and compares very favourably with our
morning's observations. 

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