Getting lost in a nice place.
I parked at the far end of the reserve away from the visitors centre thinking that if they do get any kids visits I would be unlikely to bump into them and started to make my way down to ward the hide on the board walk. Around the first bridge there were large numbers of hirundines feeding up before moving on south, they included large numbers of Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) a few House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and several of the resident Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) had come in to feed on a large hatch of some small insects. On the adjacent thistle field’s good numbers of Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinches (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) were joined by a large flock of House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus). In the reedbeds along the path there were continuous scolding calls from Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus) and the loud blasting song from the resident Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) population.
I was surprised to find that the hide was open and that the water level in the ditch along the track was low enough to be showing a nice muddy margin. Here there were plenty of Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and at least 5 squealing Water Rails (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) which eventually gave me some nice if not brief views. From the hide I could see that some ringing was in progress but was behind the locked gates, so I thought that if I made my way to the far end of the ditch track I might see who was there. I started off around the nice newish boardwalk trail, on the way I picked up a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and a new bird for the year a Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) which was drinking at one of the small pools on the track side. As I approached the lake I picked up a couple of Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), several Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina) and around 50 Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). This was where it all started to go wrong, first I ended up in a private garden by mistake but I did add Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) to the growing list. Later I took the wrong track through the fields and ended up with a shoe full of something very nasty whilst trying to cross a ditch to get to the right track. Once back on course I managed to find the far end of the middle tack but could not find any ringers so I continued on around the reserve, On the more agricultural western side I picked up Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a nice male Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus). I then made it back to the car and was much earlier than I had thought so returned to the hide were the only new species added were singles of both Wood (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa Glareola) and Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus). I then made my way back home via the City and some lunch.
Later In the day I went for a couple of drinks with friend Bernard in El Turro but stopped off for a few minutes at the Balsa de Regidor just as the Cattle Egrets were starting to arrive, I only saw 23 but more flew over while I drove towards Bernard’s. Also seen were 8x Grey Herons, Common Pochard, 1x Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
Photographs from the top: Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) Adult, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) not quite an adult, Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra).