Saturday 16 November
|Common Cranes Grulla Comun Grus grus over Laguna Dulce
Checking out the water, try as I might I could not find a single Great Crested Grebe; scores of both Little and Black-necked Grebes but not a single sight of their larger cousin. On the other hand, in addition to the hundreds of Coot, I had a marvellous selection of ducks. Very many Mallard and Shoveler and diligent searching produced about a score of Common Pochard, handful of Red-crested Pochard and a single Shelduck. No Teal but a good number of Gadwall. However, despite losing count at in excess of 250 White-headed Ducks my pride of place probably went to the score or more of Wigeon, not a bird I find that often in southern Spain, but then welcome sighting of a quartet of Garganey, my bird of the day.
|Mainly Gadwall Anade Friso Anas strepera in this group of ducks
|Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus at Laguna Dulce in the company of Coot Fulca atra and, if you carefully, Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
|About 30+ of the White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala with a few Shoveler Anas clypeata
|Raven Corvus corax (above) and Jackdaws Corvus monedula (below)
At about the same time I found the grazing flock of at least an hundred Cranes near the back of the water. As I watched a good section moved away to the front of me and I discovered two further large flock so bringing the Crane total up to well over 300.
|Common Cranes Grulla Comun Grus grus
|Female Linnet Carduelis cannabina (above) and Stonechat Saxicola torquatus (below)
|Flamingos Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus at the laguneta
So round to the back and the laguneta where, even here, the water level was conspicuous by its dramatic fall in level. Never mind islands, all we now had was a couple of small humps on the barren bed. On the remaining water mainly a few Mallard, Shoveler and Coot along with little more than a handful of Flamingos. A Lapwing walked the nearby shire and in the bushes the occasional Linnet and House Sparrow.
|Northern Lapwing Avefria Europea Vanellus vanellus
Walking back towards the car both Goldfinch and a couple of Greenfinch were recorded then a male Sardinian Warbler and a number of feeding Blackcaps in the olive trees. A female Black Redstart put in an appearance and a male Blackbird made a hasty retreat as a Kestrel drifted overhead, so bringing up the day's total to 45 species.
|Female Black Redstart Colirrojo Tizon Phoenicurus ochruros
Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Flamingo, Black-shouldered Kite, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Collared Dove, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet.
|More Common Cranes Grulla Comun Grus grus
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