The forecast for today was continuous rain and, for once, it was correct! Occasional heavy but mainly continuous light rain so a case of birding from the two cars. Nevertheless, driving out of Trujillo we were soon seeing Blackbird, House Sparrow, Collared Dove and Spotless Starling plus the first of many Magpies. Ere long we also added both Red and Black Kites. Naturally, there was always a White Stork or two (read "two" as many!).
Off the main road and onto a country lane towards Monroy we added both Stonechat and Hoopoe along with a large flock of Spanish Sparrows near the warm complete with a feeding Little (rather than Cattle) Egret. Both Goldfinch and Corn Buntings were on the fences on the other side of the road and, in addition to the many Chiffchafff, a single Willow Warbler.
|Corn Bunting Triguero Emberiza calandra
On we drove and were rewarded with our first Northern Wheatear followed by both Crested Lark and Great Tit. By now we were more than aware of the numerous Barn Swallows feeding low over the ground and then a stop to admire yet another Corn Bunting and Crested Larks on the rocks at the side of the road led us to check out the odd-one out which proved to be a Lesser Short-toed Lark, a most pleasing sighting.
|Lesser Short-toed Lark Terrera Marismena Calandrella rufescens
|Distant Great Bustard Avutarda Comun Otis tarda through the rain
Stopping close by we all had a very good view of the Iberian Hare sheltering under a small bush.
|Iberian Hare Lepus granatensis
The biggest excitement of the day probably arrived when we stopped an an isolated hide overlooking a popular vantage point for viewing Great Bustards. Fortunately, I nor the others were on our own. Having checked out the plains below, recorded the Griffon Vulture and both Common and Lesser Kestrels we prepared to return to the cars, neither Elena nor Barbara having followed us into the hide. Lovely solid, wooden hide with strong doors and perfect protection unless wet as it was in our case. The wood had expanded and whereas we could push to enter we now discovered that there was no handle on the inside so no possible way to get out! Nothing to get hold of as a lever so a case of having to stand near the door and shout, "Help" a few time!!!! And help did eventually arrive and the girls were able to give sufficient push to open the door. May have appeared funny at the time but a lone birder would have been in real difficulty and, almost certainly, his/her car left outside unlocked and, quite probably, the mobile in the car. But to whom would I report this?
|Lesser Kestrel Cernicalo Primilla Falco naumanni sheltering in the shade from the continuous rain
And after all this excitement and the rain at last having second thoughts about easing up for the day, we made our way back to Trujillo, recording a Woodchat Shrike before reaching the main road, and in time for a late menu del dia lunch.
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