Saturday 12 October 2019

Birding Seville & Huelva Province: Day Two

Day Two:  8 October - Odiel Marshes

Visitors Centre with waiting Sandwich Terns Charran Patinegro Sterna sandvicensis
Off after breakfast to meet up with Gerry and Barabra Laycock at the Visitors Centre at the top of the Odiel Marshes, the Marismas del Odiel.  Leaving our resort we were immediately surrounded by Azure-winged Magpies along with a Chaffinch and a number of Spotless Starlings and House Sparrows.  kestrels seen both on the journey and upon arrival where we immediately noted the many Flamingos on the salinas.  Just a brief look at the river next to the Centre as the idea was to start at the far end, John Carlos car park, and then work our way back as the birds were driven in by the rising tide.  However, the river banks did produce both Common and Sandwich Terns, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls plus Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper.  Both Magpie and a feeding Pied Flycatcher found in the car park and then it was off down through the marismas towards the above car park.

Great White Egret Garceta Grande Egretta alba

A stop on the way produced almost a dozen Great White Egret along with Little Egret, Heron and a handful of White Stork.  An Iberian Grey Shrike was a welcome sight and then, again, more Stonechats. Once parked at the car park we could see both Whimbrel and Curlew on the mud flats along with many Redshank.

Curlew Zarapito Real Numenius arquata

Walking across the board walk to check out the large pool area between here and the sea we found our first Oystercatchers with at least five noted.

Oystercatcher Ostrero Euroasiatico Haematopus ostralegus

Amongst the resting gulls were at least four feeding Caspian Terns and closer inspection also found Little Tern as a Marsh Harrier worked the area.

Caspian Tern Pagaza Piquirrojo Sterna caspia

Then it was back to the cars and the mud flats where, in the distance, we found a Slender-billed Gull, Knot and Kentish Plover nearby.

Knot Correlimos Gordo Calidris canutus with Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Grande Charadrius hiaticula (above) and Kentish Plover Chorlitejo Patinegro Charadrius alexandrinus (right)

The scope produced distant Bar-tailed Godwits and leaving behind the Crested Larks and Willow Warbler we continued on our way south.  Both Hoopoe and Northern Wheatear.  Returning to the Visitors Centre we then walked down to the mirador where, along with the many Flamingo, we also found a large flock of both Grey and Golden Plover and a single Shelduck.  Close by were a few Sanderling to add to the Marsh Sandpiper, and Turnstones recorded just as we were heading back from the far end of the marismas.

Flamingo Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus with some of the Grey Plovers Chorlito Gris Pluvialis squatarola
There was sufficient shallow water in the small pool next to the Visitors Centre to attract a number of Black-winged Stilt along with Ringed Plover, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint.   LittleBlack-necked and Great Crested Grebes were identified.  Also present Moorhen and Black-headed Gulls.

Common Redshank Archibebe Comun Tringa totanus

We even had a couple of Wood Pigeon as we all set off for relatively nearby El Portil to check out the fresh water lake.  Once at El Portil we quickly added both Mallard and Gadwall, many Shoveler and then Derek found a trio of Wigeon on the far bank and then we had another female Red-crested Pochard along with a number of Common Pochard.   Not the Coot nor the nearby Robin in the bushes behind us or even the calling Cetti's Warbler but the fly-past of a single Collared Pratincole that gave us so much pleasure.  Even the Barn Swallows were almost an after thought.

Still a little water on the small pond for the Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus , Dunlin Correlimos Comun Calidris apina and Curlew Sandpipers Corelimos zarapitin Calidris ferriginea.  Even a Little Stint Correlimos menudo Calidris minuta present.

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

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