Thursday, 5 November 2015

Fuente de Piedra with John and Jenny

Wednesday 4 November

The rain and storms have come and gone and now we are back to sun, glorious sunshine and lots of lovely warm weather.  All the more reason, therefore, for John and Jenny Wainwright to drive over to Fuente de Piedra to check on water levels and what might be about as can be seen from John's report.


A very warm day with lots of cloud.

We arrived at Fuente de Piedra at about 11am and immediately noticed how dry the place was even after the rain that we had been told that had descended in and around the area.  Still, as we were here we decided to look around.  Plenty of Stone Curlews were noted as we drove into the reserve as well as Crested Larks, Lapwings and a few Meadow PipitsJackdaws were in good numbers but the usual House Sparrow population was not too be seen.
Stone Curlews Burhinus oedicnemus at Fuente de Piedra (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

The boardwalk area had plentiful White Wagtails and also a smattering of Meadow Pipits, Crested Larks and in the reeds, Stonechats and Chiffchaffs.  A Common Kestrel was noted overhead here also.
The scrape held absolutely nothing bar two male Stonechats quarreling and a lone Moorhen.
Up to the mirador, and  looking out over the laguna in the far distance several hundred Greater Flamingos were seen as well as several rafts of gulls - mostly Yellow-legged with only three Black-headed Gulls noted.  In the bushes below the mirador male and female Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers, House Sparrows, Black Redstarts and Goldfinches were seen.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
So moving along to the Laguneta hide, where some water was to be seen, although the bird-life here was pretty mundane with just a few Shovelers, Mallard, two Teal, Lapwings, three Common Snipe and lots of MoorhensMeadow Pipits and White Wagtails were plentiful feeding along the shoreline - of which very little was in view - due to the reeds and the bushes along the foreshore - but a female Common Redstart paid a very quick visit here as did a Corn Bunting

The open hide had more of the latter varieties,but in very much smaller numbers. Just a note; not one Common Coot was seen here anywhere, where have they all gone?

Jackdaw Corvus monedula (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
We then moved on to the Mirador Cantarranas which is also completely devoid of water but we were looking for the Common Cranes which have been reported to have arrived a week ago.  No sign of them but we did locate a beautifully marked male Hen Harrier which flew across the whole of the area but never stopped and was last seen circling in the far distance.

We then drove round to the main Campillos road hoping that Laguna Dulce might have benefited from the rains, but no!!  Although we did get about thirty or forty Common Cranes feeding in the fields to the right of the hide.

On our way to Antiquera a Black Kite was spotted which closed the day on quite a good note.


Interesting, especially about the (still) lack of water following the recent torrential rain.  But at least the Cranes are back even, as yet, if in very small numbers.  Let's hope it drastically improves before the visit of the Axarquia Bird Group in December.


Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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