Straight after breakfast it was down to Los Lances beach, recording Woodpigeon, Cattle Egret and Spoonbill on the way, and what and unexpected and awful sight awaited us! Not so much having to get through the foot-deep "pond" to reach the boardwalk to the hide but then discover that the said boardwalk was no more. Evidently the storms two days prior had seen the sea reach well into land and rip up the woodwork. Well, we went as far as we could which was just before the final turn seawards to the hide itself. Then a question of using bins and scope to see what was on the beach with the sea still crashing ashore. Up first were the resting gulls, mainly Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legged with a few Black-headed thrown in for good measure. Nearer to us we found eight Audouin's Gull, many wearing rings, and on the poles in the water a few Sandwich Terns with another score or more resting on the beach to the other side of the hide.
|Audouin's Gulls gaviota de Audouin Larus audouinii at Los Lances beach
|Just a few of the Sandwich Terns Charran Patinegro Sterna sandvicensis on view
|Corn Bunting Triguero Emberiza calandra
|Distant Black-shouldered Kite Elanio Comun Elanus caeruleus
Herons, Little and Cattle Egret were expected as were regular sightings of the local Jackdaws but, perhaps, not the Audouin's Gull that put in an appearance. Not long before we found a score or more of Glossy Ibis followed by regular sightings of Goldfinch, Serin and Linnet, especially the last. A pair of Black Stork made their way west high above s but it was to be little while before we picked up the first of the feeding White Storks albeit we had seen a large kettle of them as we entered the track. What was amazing, at the time, was the number of Purple Swamphen recorded as we drove along. With the river it seemed in full flood and the fields on the opposite bank becoming more like lakes, it was interesting to see the feeding going on in the reeds still projecting from the water with many Moorhen, Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler. We managed to add a Reed Bunting and Ricky's car missed this bird but were compensated with finding a Penduline Tit! On the banks we added both Greenfinch and Zitting Cisticola and on the left-hand side a couple of Green Sandpipers along with the frequent Crested Larks.
|Male Marsh Harrier Aguilucho Lagunero occidental Circus aeruginosus
|Black Kite Milano Negro Milvus migrans
|A few of the remaining tree-resting Black Kites Milano Negro Milvus migrans (Can I see 15?)
|Lesser Spotted Eagle Aguila Pomerana Aquila pomarina (PHOTO: Pagui Mateos Ruiz)
And that was it - or so we thought. Returning the junction to take the road back towards the smelly farm Ricky stopped once more and, as we all looked right, a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoos were found in the very same thicket as seen last week. A great way to end of little birding adventure, say our farewells and head off for our respective homes passing once more through the "clouds" of Black Kites. Fantastic day with about 65 birds recorded; over 100 Black Kites, Black-shouldered Kite, Hen Harrier and numerous Marsh Harriers then that Lesser Spotted Eagle and over 50 Purple Swamphens. What's not to like about birding on a day promising nothing but steady rain?
Mallard, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Glossy Ibis, Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Spoonbill, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Griffn Vulture, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Green sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Pallid Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff, Penduline Tit, Great Tit, Iberian Grey Shrike, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting.
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