Saturday 22 June 2019

Daimiel: A second bite of the cherry

Roller Coracius garrulus
Friday 21 June

Up very early and out of the hotel door by 6.30 in the hope that I might catch some early birds.  Nobody about as I arrived at the Navaseca car park and even the Flamingos were just below the hide along with Coot, Mallard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe and both Black-headed Gull and Whiskered Tern.  Then the Flamingos decided that it was time for their morning exercise!

The early morning flight of the Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus

Lots of low feeding Common Swifts and a few House Martins above and then a Great Reed Warbler appeared to give me its full repertoire.  A stop at the hide below confirmed the presence of both yesterday's Ringed Plover and Redshank plus good sightings of Shelduck, Shoveler, Gadwall and Common Pochard.

Juvenile Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus

Also recorded both here at the various observation points around the water were Spotless Starling, Wood Pigeon, lots of Barn Swallows, Goldfinch and Crested Lark.  The Black-winged Stilts were still screaming at my intrusion into their territory and, as usual, the Moorhen were quick to scuttle away.  A couple of Savi's Warblers along with both Reed and more Great Reed Warbler were also found a the end of the laguna.  This site and the Tablas area must be a heaven for Great Spotted Cuckoos given the number of Magpies to be seen.  The Greylag Geese were still about in good numbers and the Cetti's Warblers were calling well and loud.

Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus aundinaceus

So on to the Tablas de Daniel but I was to be disappointed as not one Bearded Tit recorded.  I did have more Savi's and Great Reed Warblers.  Approaching the area I had Little Owl, Hoopoe and Rock Doves and arriving at the first water a pair of Rollers just waiting to have their photograph taken.  The White Storks were more visible than yesterday and, again, a Red-legged Partridge came to to see what all the fuss was about.

The breeding pair of Roller Coracius garrulus
Walking towards the boardwalk I once again had a plentiful supply of Nightingales and could also see the distant Cormorants.  A lovely male Marsh Harrier was quartering the reeds but no sign of the Red-crested Pochard this morning albeit the Coot family were still about.  A number of Little Egrets flew in and even handful of Cattle Egret but no Heron was seen.  A couple of Little Bittern then to the far end of the reserve and walking y]up to the viewpoint I had a couple of Tree Sparrows plus Zitting Cisticola and even a Whitethroat.  Also lovely to see an adult Blue-headed Wagtail with two youngsters.  Again, Corn Buntings seemed to be out in force with many fledged youngsters still being fed by parents.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra

Continuing on around the bottom through the trees I managed to find a Stonechat plus a single Melodious Warbler and more Nightingales.  On to the final boardwalk loop where I picked up Reed Bunting, a Sand Martin and Linnets.  Finally, almost back to the car park, not just more Nightingales  but a couple of Chaffinch and then a pair of Greenfinch.
Male Stonechat Saxicola torquatus in the early morning light

Once the car packed and I had had some breakfast and changed I started on the journey to Ateca in readiness for tomorrow's visit to the Laguna Pitillas.  My journey produced numerous Magpies along with many Wood Pigeon but also Kestrel, Jackdaw and a Griffon Vulture.

Before leaving the tablas site I did pop in for a few minutes to the "Acclimatisation Laguna" where a Barn Swallow had a nest inside the hide and out on the water very few birds, mainly Red-crested Pochard but also a trio of Ferruginous Duck.

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, White Stork, Flamingo, Griffon Vulture, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Roller, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, Nightingale, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Whitethroat, Magpie, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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