|Bee-eater Abejaruco Europea Merops apiaster
The Big Trip. Leaving the house at 8.20 am to make the long drive back to the UK via the Dieppe - Newhaven ferry next Thursday, I immediately many scores of Pallid Swifts around and over the tops of the nearby apartment blocks along with Rock Dove, House Sparrows and Spotless Starlings before taking the motorway towards Nerja and then on via Granada and Jaen to Daimiel in Castilla La Mancha, shades of Don Quixote and his pal Pancho and all that! Once on the first stage of the journey there were regular sightings of Magpie, Collared Dove and, especially, Wood Pigeons. The, approaching Jaen, about a dozen Bee-eaters happily sitting on a wire followed a lone Buzzard atop an electricity pylon. However, pride of place, and surely "Bird of the Day," must have been the Golden Eagle circling just above the car as I approached the high mountains after my coffee stop at Santa Elena, just a few kilometres past La Carolina and still within the Andalucia border. Wow!
It may have been "only" 24 C when I left but reaching Daimiel to check in at the Hotel Daymiel at around 1 o'clock the temperature had reached the mid-thirties and continued to soar in that afternoon reaching 41C - and still 39 when I finished birding at 7pm! However, perhaps because I’m not English but still probably a mad dog, I did not go out birding in the midday sun. Rather, I stayed in the cool to watch the GP from Austria and then ventured out again at 6 with a first stop at the Navaseca lakes. An hour here followed by 45 minutes at The Tablas de Daimiel there followed.
|Female White-headed Duck Malvasia Cabeciblanca Oxyura leucocephala
|Greylag Goose Ansar Comun Anser anser
|Great Crested Grebe Somormujo Lavanco Podiceps cristatus with single chick
|Distant Collared Pratincole Canastera Comun Glareola pratincola
|Whiskered Tern Fumerel Cariblanco Childonias hybrida
|More of the Greylag Geese Anser anser
Whilst there was water, levels were very much down and some areas were damp at best. However, everywhere seemed to be hindered by restrictions with paths either roped off or declaring “No Entry.” The VC was closed so no idea where the one-way system started so I made a relatively quick anti-clockwise circuit of the main boardwalks. What also became apparent was that all hides were closed to the public with the barriers at the beginning of the relative boardwalk entry before the hide itself. But I was very much encouraged when a Hobby flew past at a low altitude, no doubt catching insects on the wing.
|Resting Barn Swallows Golondrina Comun Hirundo rustica
|Nightingale Ruisenor Comun Luscinia megarhynchos in moult
Birds seen:Greylag Goose, Mallard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, White Stork, Flamingo, Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Hobby, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Nightingale, Stonechat, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Magpie, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information