|View over Salburna from the hide|
As I happily crossed the border back into Spain at 15.55 on Thursday afternoon having driven from Stamford via the Channel Tunnel and France (overnight stop in Tours), I was looking forward to warmer weather and the opportunity to see some new birds. Just a little cloud but the promise of great things to come the following morning. Glancing to my right at the motorway toll booth I noticed a few more cars waiting to make their payment and as I drove away I realised that the "exiting " queue stretched back a bit filling all lanes. Indeed, it continued on up the hill and the motorway was till blocked when I reached Irun. And so the queue continued and passing San Sebastian it was now a question of three solid lanes of traffic. Not till I swing away, a good ten miles after crossing the border did I finally see the end of the queue and could not but help thinking that most of these cars had at least a four hour wait ahead of them. Why? No idea, perhaps the French were checking every single car for illegal immigrants or Brits wanting to get out of Europe!
But my entertainment soon turned sour as having found my booked overnight accommodation in an out-of-the-way mountain top chalet suggesting the Swiss Alps I discovered that the message had not reached here and there was, literally, no room at the inn. had to hang around for thirty minutes whilst the owner arranged alternative accommodation back down the mountain in the lovely old town of Onate. And all for free including a fabulous breakfast. So, morning saw me on my way to Fuenmajor near Logrono taking in the reservoirs at both Ullibari-Gamboa and Salburua, both relatively close to the area capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz
The morning started well with many Barn Swallows, House Martins and Buzzards on the journey along with Collared and Rock Doves and, unlike here in Malaga province, very many Carrion Crows; they were a regular sighting. It was very evident that even in the north water levels were down but on arrival at the large Ullibar-Gamboa embalsa I soon saw many Coots as I made my way the birding area. All relatively quiet but the, now dry, marsh area soon produced both Spotted Flycatcher and Blackcap. A Garden Warbler had already welcomed me as I parked the car next to its favourite bush but, apart from the Common Kestrels feeding in the neighbouring recently harvested corn fields very little else to note.
|White Storks Ciguena Blanca Ciconia ciconia|
|White Storks Ciguena Blanca Ciconia ciconia to the left and Spoonbills Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia to the right|
|Presumably a Red Deer Cervus elaphus coming down to graze and drink|
|Just a chance to look at a Moorhen Gallineta Comun Gallinula chloropus|
|Now from where had these Spoonbills Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia arrived?|
Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, White Stork, Spoonbill, Red Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Marsh Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, sand martin, Barn Swallow, House martin, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Isabelline Warbler, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Magpie, Carrion Crow, raven, Spotless starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.