Day 4: El Rocio and the Donana National Park
Time to depart Punto Umbria and make our way to Tarifa via the Donana National Park. An hour or so later, after taking breakfast on the way, we were parked up outside the SEO Vistors centre at El Rocio having already recorded Azure-winged Magpie, Corn Bunting, Woodchat Shrike and Stonechat. What a lovely and amazing little town this is and, for the first time in many years, lots and lots of water; indeed, more I think than I have ever seen.
Recording House Martins, Collared Doves, Spotless Starings as we drove through the town we were soon wondering where the little islands in the main pool might have gone, the water being so deep. No shortage of Black-winged Stilts and Red-crested Pochards and soon we also found Common Pochard, Shoveler and Mallard. A few Jackdaws were flying round and immediately next to the Centre a new heronry containing mainly Glossy Ibis along with Cattle Egret and a few Night Herons. Further over on the water we found flocks of both Flamingo and Spoonbill along with the occasional Grey Heron and a few Gadwall. Not as many as a winter visit but still a good number of Greylag Geese on the far water. The White Storks were on their nests and we had both Red and Black Kites in the sky along with Common Kestrel.
|Bee-eater Abejarucco Europea Merops apiaster
|Spanish Sparrow Gorrion Moruno Passer hispaniolensis
|Female ("Ring-tail) Montagu's Harrier Aguillucho Cenizo Circus pygargus
|Purple Heron Garza Imperial Ardea purpurea
|Even the local, resident Jackdaws Grajilla Corvus monedula were taking shelter in the Bald Ibis nest sites
|Even in very dark conditions there is no disguising the fact that these Bald Ibis Ibis Eremita Geronticus eremita are ugly-looking birds!
Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Little Grebe, Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Bald Ibis, Grey Heron, White Stork, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Purple Heron, Red Kite, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Yellow-legged Gull, Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Iberian Yellow Wagtail, Nightingale, Common Redstart, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Reed Warbler, Iberian Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Magpie, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.