Thursday 24 January 2019

Fuente de Piedra & Laguna Dulce with John & Jenny

Wednesday 23 January

Again, whilst down in the Barbate/La Janda area John and Jenny have been out and about and turned up t the  two lagunas the day after me.  However, we saw neither Ferruginous Duck nor Red-crested Pochard but did have Lapwing, Buzzard and Hoopoe.  Great report John.  Now I just have to get my Cadiz province reports completed.

Wednesday 23 January: Piedra & Dulce Lagunas

A very overcast and cold day.

As we had an early appointment in Mollina we arrived at Piedra at 08.45.  As we drove down the access road a female Bluethroat was noted in one of the many boggy areas also here were  Chiffchaff and Chaffinch.  On the flood (or better still ) the flooded meadow to the right of the road we saw Black-winged Stilt, White Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and a Common Sandpiper.

A very cold blustery wind greeted us as we left the car for the boardwalk, above us a large flock of some sixty Jackdaws  swirled  around before landing in the "Stone Curlew" field and Mallard and Shovelers took flight as a female Marsh Harrier came into sight from the laguna direction.  At the boardwalk the water was still very high and the only sightings here were three Chiffchaffs hopping about in the almost submerged bushes.  As we headed towards the laguneto hide another Marsh Harrier came overhead while on the main laguna hundreds of Greater Flamingos were up to their breasts here and also about were Shovelers, Mallard, Teal, Black-winged Stilts and a couple of Shelduck.

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
In the hide and out of the very cold wind we spotted at the back of the laguneto two Ferruginous Ducks, several Little Grebes, Gadwall, Common and Red-crested Pochard, White-headed Ducks, Common Coots and Moorhens along with three or four dozen Greater Flamingos.  Again the ducks took flight as another female Marsh Harrier flew parallel to the railway track.  In the bushes to our front Stonechats, Sardinian and Cetti´s Warblers were logged as well as Robin and Black Redstart.

Distant Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
As we left the reserve a Common Kestrel was seen on the power lines and in the trees by the main road, we spotted Spanish and House Sparrows, Linnets and yet more Chiffchaffs, while on the fields to our left a large number of Stone Curlews were hunkered down in the plough.

Spanish Sparrows Passer hispaniolensis (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
On the way round to the Cantaranas mirador good numbers of Common Cranes were logged as were Crested Larks and more Jackdaws.  At the mirador the wind was really blowing here but we did get some good views of Redwings, Linnets and in the distance Red-crested Pochard and Common Coots were seen.  Not many small birds here as there was men collecting the olives.  We then took the road across to Campillos and Laguna Dulce, en route we spotted a pair of Ravens feeding near the farmhouse, at the laguna the wind was ripping through the hide and all we could see on the water - which is almost up to the hide itself - were a few White-headed Ducks and Common Coots, with Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls overhead.  Then a huge flock of some four or five hundred Common Cranes took off from the fields across the main road from us, and as we drove along to have a look where they were, the birds joined others and landed in flooded field across from the laguna.  

Common Crane Grus grus PHOTO: John Wainwright)
We then took the track round the back of the laguna, here we found two Great White Egrets, Cattle Egrets, more Common Cranes, Lapwings, Mallard and Shovelers.  Across the track Red-legged Partridges were noted and in the olives Blackcaps, Corn Buntings and Iberian Grey Shrike were seen.

Great White Egret Egretta alba PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Another quite productive visit to the lagunas, a pity about the very cold wind, as it kept a lot of the small passerines hidden.

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