When was the last time you went birding and the first bird seen on the day was a Stone Curlew? Yes, a Stone Curlew not a House Sparrow, Blackbird, Collared Dove, White wagtail et al but a Stone Curlew. Well, it happened to me when I took my visiting Dutch birder neighbour Lisette from nearby Caleta over to Osuna for a loop round the "Osuna triangle" with ten other ABS friends.
|You can hide but we can still find the Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus
No sooner had we seen one thean we saw at least a further dozen along with White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Crested Lark and Blackcap not to mention hundreds, if not thousands, of Spanish Sparrows feeding in large flocks. The first of the many Raven were noted and, eventually, we caught up with the Red-legged Partridges. Our first sighting of a Red Kite was soon followed by more along with Buzzard and Kestrel although it was to be much later when we we finally found our first and only Black-shouldered Kite resting in a dead tree near the viaduct on the abandoned high speed railway track. After the recent heavy rain a large roadside puddle held a feeding Green Sandpiper and then a Blackbird flying along the abandoned railway track. A Hoopoe flew through the trees to our right.
|Just a few of the hundreds of Spanish Sparrows Passer hispaniolensis
The fences and nearby trees held a regular sightings of Iberian Grey Shrike.
|Iberian Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis
But we were here to find the local Great Bustards and peter and company having seen half a dozen fly over were doing their best to find the birds in the fields below as we gathered on one of the high bridges. Some doing after first finding both ground feeding Buzzard and Raven but, eventually, I managed to find a quartet including a very handsome male. meanwhile, the marsh harriers and Red Kites continued to fly around us as we made our way down the abandoned track to the viaduct over the now well-flooded meadow.
|Always lovelier when the Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus take to the sky
|A few of the White Stork Ciconia ciconia flock
|Our very patient Peregrine Falcon Falco pereginus
With the sun shining brightly we made our way home with time to call in for a short visit to Fuente de Piedra. Lots of water now and Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Mallard and Shoveler on the flooded field to our left and scores of Jackdaw above the building itself. Looking down to the field beyond the scrape we found both Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls along with a sleepy Stone Curlew. A lone Song Thrush flew across the road and Crag Martins were seen above as we headed round the back to the laguneta. Here we found lots of Shoveler along with both Pochard and Mallard along with Coot and Little Grebes. Between us and the water we also picked up Robin, Linnet, Crested Lark and Black Redstart. Final sightings included Blackcap, Lapwing and Hoopoe.
Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Night Heron, White Stork, Flamingo, Back-winged Kite, Red Kite, marsh harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Great Bustard, Black-winged Stilt, Lapwing, Snipe, Black-headed Gull,Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Sky Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Iberian Grey Shrike, Jackdaw, Raven, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet, Corn Bunting.
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