Saturday, 24 March 2018

Fuente de Piedra

Saturday 24 March

Invited to join a birding gathering, mainly Spanish bar the three of us, to help celebrate Andy Paterson's special birthday.  Sun was shining even if the wind was blowing a cold gale so I took the opportunity to call in at Fuente de Piedra before heading off to the venue for said party.  Lots and lots of water everywhere.  So deep on the main pool that you needed a scope to see the nearest Flamingo and then all very distant and blurred.  But there were a few Flamingo on both the flooded field to the left as we entered and also on the laguneta round the back.

Stopping to check out the field where nearly all activity seemed to be located, you were immediately aware of the number of Barn Swallows and House Martins feeding over the water.  I did find a pair of Teal and mallard but all other ducks appeared to be Shoveler.  A number of Coots at the back along with Black-winged Stilts and a couple of Lapwing whilst the damp area on the other side of the road produced a White Wagtail.  The big attraction to the watching birders was the lone Whiskered Tern feeding off the water.

Record shot of Whiskered Tern Fumarel cariblanco Chlidonias hybrida in blustery conditions
Visiting the Visitors Centre to initially check-out the main lagoon from inside confirmed that there was just about nothing to see; what Flamingos that were present were all at the far end.  However, also present were Mick Richardson along with David and Juliette Hird so we all walked back to take a look over the near side of the laguneta and quickly found the pair of Garganey Mick had picked out a few minutes before.  Also resent were a number of Black-headed but mainly Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the other side.

Black-tailed Godwit Aguja Colinegra Limosa limosa
Noting the resident Jackdaws we made our way to the restaurant for a warming cup of coffee before the main event taking the back track behind the railway station to access the Camping Bar, stopping to notice the White Stork hunkered down on its nest, and then an assortment of Spotless Starlings and Collared Doves whilst a Blackbird tried to dry itself after a recent bathe in the nearby pool.  Crested Larks on the path and a Hoppoe rose from the grass whilst, overhead, our attention was drawn to the passing Short-toed Eagle.  A Greenfinch exited a nearby bush and as we crossed the railway track we noticed a trio of waders on a flooded field to our right.  Plenty of time to spare so we drove along the road to the water and found three Black-tailed Godwits, all in almost summer plumage.  Amazing to think that in such a short time we had accumulated 26 species.

The three Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa

Birds seen:
Mallard, Shoveler, Garganey, Teal, White Stork, Flamingo, Short-toed Eagle, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Greenfinch


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