Monday, 10 April 2017

Birding Huelva: Day 1

Tuesday 4 April

Day 1:  Osuna Triangle


Straight after breakfast off to Huelva province and our three-day stay in Puenta Umbria.  naturally, this involved a little birding stop on the way , so meeting up with Barbara and Derek Etherton at Junction 80 we set off to explore the "Osuna Triangle" starting with a range of common , local birds including  Spotless Starling, Barn Swallow, Buzzard and Red-legged Partridge.  Also, no shortage of Goldfinches, Corn Bunting and Crested Larks to be seen on bushes and fences.

Woodchat Shrike Alcaudon Comun Lanius senator
Ere long we started to find numerous Woodchat Strike and the first high bridge produced the resident Melodious Warbler though, sadly, not seen by me as it dived into cover.  Cetti's Warbler and Zitting Cisticola added to the list along with a Red-rumped Swallow.  Overhead, Common Kestrel, Red Kite and Marsh Harrier followed by the first Black Kite of the morning which seemed to compete with the pair of ravens as to which could be the darker.  An Iberian Grey Shrike in a nearby tree was a pleasant surprise.

Yellow Wagtail (Iberian race) Lavandera BoyeraIberiae Montacilla flava iberiae

We continued to pick up a variety of small birds including Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat and Greenfinch and then the very welcome and familiar call of the Bee-eaters as they suddenly arrived above our heads.  A Stone Curlew was seen from the abandoned railway track and a good flock of Iberian Yellow Wagtails were resting on the fence along with a small party of Spanish Sparrows.  Derek and Barbara were able to see a fly-past of 8 Back-bellied Sandgrouse as we watched the former and once parked up on the viaduct we had good views of numerous Collared Pratincoles below along with a single Glossy Ibis.  Also present were a number of Lapwing, a handful of Mallard, Cattle Egret and White Stork.  In the distance more Black Kites and a trio of Griffon Vultures.

The gathering of Lapwings Avefria Europea Vanellus vanellus with which the Collared Pratincoles were associating
Carrying on towards La Lantejuela we duly picked up resident Jackdaw and a small group of Lesser Kestrel before adding a Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch and Blackbird and a stop to watch a pair of Montagu's Harriers.  The final drive through to the A3 and onwards to Seville produced the wonderful sight of a group of another five Montagu's Harriers quartering the adjacent field including sightings of partner display and inter-change of food.  Our final bird before joining the motorway was a pair of Black-winged Stilts feeding in a large puddle at the side of the road.

Just the single Glossy Ibis Morito Comun Plegadis  falcinellus

Arriving in Puneta Umbria, an evening walk alongside the local harbour to the local restaurant added Little Egret, a number of Turnstone, Coot and Yellow-legged Gulls along with a Hoopoe whilst above us were the screaming Common Swifts accompanied by feeding House Martins.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Red-legged Partridge, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, White Stork, Red Kite, Back Kite, Griffon Vulture, Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Coot, Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Black-winged Stilt, Turnstone, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Iberian Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Iberian Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.


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

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