Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Osuna and Laguna Dulce

Tuesday 9 June

A courtesy car with unlimited mileage whilst my car in for attention so decided I would have  "A Bird Tour to Pastures New" for want of a better description.  Off by 8.30 to Osuna to drive the "triangle" in search of Collared Pratincole and Roller to be followed by a cross-country trip to Campillos to call in at the Laguna Dulce and the rock face of Penarubia on the way home via Malaga.  Approaching Fuente de Piedra I took a late decision to visit the vineyards at Mollinos in the hope that the Rufous Bush Chat might have returned this year.  No sign of the bird but did record Kestrel, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and the usual town birds.

Returning to the nearby A92 motorway I was approaching the Sevilla provincial border when a handsome male Montagu's Harrier crossed the road in front of me.  By 10.30 I was off the motorway at Osuna and making a start on the well-known triangle.  Immediately I had Barn Swallow, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow and Collared Dove and once adjacent to the olive groves a couple of Stone Curlew. A couple of Crested Larks on the road and then , to my left, a resting Iberian Grey Shrike.

Distant record shot of Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus

A stop at the first over-bridge to the abandoned high speed rail track produced first a Sardinian Warbler then a pair of Melodious Warblers feeding their demanding youngsters in the nearby bushes.  Taking the farm track at the second bridge alongside the abandoned track I soon added both Corn Bunting and the Stonechat but had to stop to study the Buzzard resting on the fence!

Common Buzzard Busardo Ratonero Buteo buteo
No sooner had  I seen a pair of Red-legged Partridges with just a single young chick tan I cam across a pair of Red-rumped Swallows.  Turned out they were nesting in the pump house alongside the small water reservoir where I then found a single Cattle Egret and heard the calls above me  Looking up at least a dozen Collared Pratincoles above their usual breeding field which looked, as far as I could tell, like cotton but surrounded by many corn fields which had either been or were in the process of being harvested.

Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola

So back on the road and over the bridge towards La Lantejuela.  A couple of Zitting Cisticolas and then, at last, a Roller resting on a pylon.  A Hoopoe to my right and over the fields to my left I stopped to watch a Raven mobbing a male Common Kestrel.  I took the back track down to the Brick nesting building (created from an abandoned electricity sub-station) where I passed another pair of Red-legged Partridges, this time with eight chicks and tat the building itself a pair of Rollers had taken over the top right entrance as I approached.

Roller Carraca Europea Coracias garrulus
Time to make my way back across the hills to Campillos and the final ten kilometres on a small country lane produced a further four Montagu's Harriers.  Starting with the track behind Laguna Dulce I immediately added another Red-legged Partridge alongside a Collared Dove and a few Barn Swallows.  On the water itself many Coots plus a good number of Mallards, most with growing ducklings.  Near some trees in the water I found a skulking Grey Heron and a handful of Glossy Ibis.  Just the off Little Grebe and a few Gull-billed Terns.

Montagu's Harrier Circus pygarus

Back at the hid overlooking the water I quickly found another dozen Glossy Ibis plus a score of Flamingos to the back.  No shortage of either Little or Black-necked Grebes and both Common and Red-crested Pochards were observed.  On the mud flats below me a small number of Blue-headed Wagtails and a pair of Black-winged Stilts.  A solitary Lapwing was seen on the water's edge to my left and on the water a handful of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  Finally, in the trees behind me, both Goldfinches and Serins.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus

So time to head home taking the Campillos to Malaga road via Ardales which gave me time to make a short stop at the Penarubia where I found a good number of Chough along with Crag Martins, Common Swifts and a single Griffon Vulture, not to mention the calling Chaffinches.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra

Birds seen:
Mallard, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Griffon Vulture, Montagu's Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Collared Dove, Turtle Dove, Common Swift, Roller, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue-headed Wagtail, Stonechat, Zitting Cisticola, Melodious Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Iberian Grey Shrike, Chough, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.

Field used by the breeding Collared Pratincoles

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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