Saturday 5 October 2013

RAM sea bird survey and Charca del Suarez.

A long awaited days birding with Juan Perez.

Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) immature.
Juan and I met at the car park near the old Aki store on the outskirts of Granada and made our way down to Cabo Sacratif to carry out the monthly sea bird count, the weather was just right and there was a good bit of passage. The commonest species was by far Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), during the hour we did the count for we recorded 488 individuals, along with a few Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) and 6x Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) passing West along the coast. 
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
Later we went to Charca but it was fairly quiet but we did see some nice species including Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), a male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus), singing Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) and five adults and one young Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata) from the re-introdution program.
Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).
Other species seen included Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Monarch (Danaus plexippus) and both  Iberian Water (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) and Stripe-less Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis).

Thursday 3 October 2013

Nerja and back, Malaga and Granada Provinces.

Back down to the coast to pick up Jayne and Barb.

I set off quite early to go down to Nerja to collect Jayne after her few night in the Monic Hotel with her sisters. Barb her one sister was also coming back to our for an extended holiday. On the way down I called at the disused railway line site just out side Venta de Zafarraya on the Malaga Granada Border. On a short walk along the track and throught the tunnel I recorded Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and a dozen or so Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) which were coming out of the large cave with good numbers of Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). Before I collected the girls I called in at Steve and Elena Powells to drop a few bits of kit off that Steve had kindly lent me to get me through the last few days birding.
I collected Jayne and Barb and we made our way back up towards home, on the way I saw several Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and a late Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla). On the fields just to the North East of Zafarraya we bumped into Bob Wright, we stopped and I had a chat with him and caught up a bit as we had not seen each other for a while. From here we headed off home.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Barbate, La Janda, Tarifa Pine Woods and Cazalla Watch Point, Cadiz Province.

Woke to the Eagle Owls still calling but what was a better day on the weather front, Day three of recce trip.

Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
I was up and out before dawn and made my way out to the beach and pools where I had been the night before and went into the bar there for some breakfast and a coffee. Once the dawn started to arrive I walked out on to the beach via the boardwalk and scanned the sea front which was totally bird less so I scanned the skies and picked up Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) all coming in off the sea and they were joined by a group of 8 Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) which dropped down on to the disused saltpans. Back nearer the car I found several groups of the uncommon Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum) some in flower and some with well swollen seed pods. Also seen on the walk back along the boardwalk were a nice male Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
I decided to skip looking around the pools here and headed straight towards La Janda before the sun got above the horizon, once on the main track I started to pick up birds including several hundred White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) waiting on the fields for the sun to warm up and sort some thermals out for their crossing over to Morocco. On one of the small drainage channels there was a cracking Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) and on the wires along the roadside I picked up Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) male.
From here I moved up onto the ridge between the main Canal and the rice paddies and scanned the fields and the reed fringed channels, I soon added Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa). After quite a while I turned right on to the track across the canal and on up to the farm on the far side of the fields and then out into the wild olive woods, on the way across the fields I had cracking views of a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) which I watched for quite a while, after a few minutes it was joined by a second pale phase and a dark phase birds, all of which drifted off south along the main canal.
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Further along the track a very nice female Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) was sat on one of the track side pylons, a flock of Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), both Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows, Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra). Around the farm I located a singing  Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), plenty of Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and  Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
I parked on the roadside once I was out in the Olive woodlands but it was quite quiet and I only managed to pick up Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
I dropped down the far side of the ridge and turned onto one of the trackes out into the wilds and carried on along it for around 6 KM before turning around, in general it was quiet but I did get views of Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). On the rice paddies back near the junction where I had joined the track I had a large flock of Glossy Ibis and about a 100 or so White Storks fly over me, the Storks were low enough that I managed to get some good shots. From here I took the road toward the reservoir but after a few KM it is gated, I parked near the gates and had a search through the woods and heard but did not see a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla). I retraced me way back through to the main channel and then on back to the road down towards Tarifa, on the way picking up Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a fine female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Once I was back on the road I headed towards the Pine woods along side of the well known Los Lances beach where I found just a single spike of the rare Autumn Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) along with quite a few which needed a few days before they would bloom. In the woodland I only picked up Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
From here I continued on just a short distance to the hide over looking the beach pool on the beach proper and quickly added a couple of new species to the long trip list Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) and these were in the company of a single immature Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
 Again I moved just a short distance to the Cazalla watch point on the far side of Tarifa just off the main road down to Algeciras, I parked at the top of the track and went to the watch shelters and started to see birds straight away with good numbers of Raptors coming through even this late in the afternoon. There was a very very knowledgeable Spanish chap there how was carrying out count for Migrans and he very kindly point out some of the more distant birds for the group that were there. Species seen during the three hours I spent at the spot included Short-toed (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Booted and Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Ruppell's Vultures (Buitre Moteado / Gyps rueppellii), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus), Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) Peregrine Falcon and both Common (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra).
None Raptor species included both White and Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Late in the afternoon I started the drive home calling in at a couple of shopping places on the way back to collect a few bits whilst passing.

Finished the three days off with a bird list totalling 158 species, 155 seen and 3 heard only.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

East Bank Donana, Cadiz Province.

Back into the rain!!

Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
I got up before light and went to a local bar and had a coffee and tostardo before heading out on to the fields and checked out the ditches and pools. A little way out of town I turned right out on to the very muddy tracks between the rice paddies and cotton fields and when I say muddy I mean muddy, poor car did me proud but it took some jet washing later in the day. I stopped just over the first bridge and scanned the largish road side canal and was quite surprised to see several Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) on the wing as it was only just getting light, I also had a Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) but I did flush this one from beside the water. On the bank I saw an immature Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
I then ventured out into the fields, whilst slipping and slidding I checked out some of the smaller channels running away from the track picking up Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus). I reached a T-junction and sent a good while checking out the birds on the surrounding fields and the first thing I noticed was the number of Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), as I stood on the bank I could see several large flocks flying over the area numbering several hundred in total. Also along the large canal here I had nice views of a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) as it whizzed passed and out of sight, several Black-headed Weavers (Ploceus melanocephalus) feeding on the track, then next came a flight of 11 Black Storks (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), a hundred or so White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) and these were out numbered by Western Cattle Egrets
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) immature.
On the fields over the bank there were a few areas of lying water which were covered with Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), a few Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra). After longer than I had planned I jumped back into the car and continued on along the lefthand fork of the track along the canal seeing loads more Glossy Ibis, Gulls and Grey Heron but I did not stop as the track was so wet and muddy and the rain was lashing down I was quite worried about getting bogged in.
Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
I eventually came to the main track (Muro de los Portuguses) off to the left which crosses a water way several times, these areas of water are quite large and reed filled. I stopped several times along here as the rain had eased a bit and the track was in much better condition and I was less likely to bog down. At the first stop I saw loads more Black-headed Weavers and a male Yellow Crowned Bishop (Eucleptes afer), a small flock of Common Waxbills (Estrilda astrild) came into the same area calling noisily as the landed and out on the water there were more Northern Shovelers, Eurasian Teal, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and just as I was about to get into the car I heard a calling Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) which I eventually located in a nearby reedbed, it flew up and towards me and was joined by 8 more birds which landed on the far side of the road and gave me some nice views.
Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
Further along the track I picked up an immature Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). Eventually I reached the end of the track and came out on to some Tarmac again at last, I headed back towards Los Palacios Y Villafranca and out on to the main road heading south, I exited to wards Lebrija and then on to Trebujena where I found the road out to the river, near the end of the road there are a group of small pools which held several new species for my trip list including a couple of Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) plus Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris).
Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina).
From here I headed along the river Guadalquivr but due to the white lines along the roadsides I could not stop easily but eventually I reached Codo de la Esparraguera an area of disused saltpans and managed to park on the roadside. Here I had nice views of Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Avocet, Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), more Glossy Ibis which seemed to be everywhere and dozens and dozens of Black-winged Stilts.
From here I headed along the track to Riacheros a small fishing port and out on to another track towards Monte Algaida Saltpans, on the way I passed several small pools and on one of these pools I found what was for me was the bird of the trip, a winter plumaged Marsh Sandpiper (Archibebe Fino / Tringa stagnatilis) in amongst a large flock of Black-tailed Godwits, Common Redshanks (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), 3 Spotted Redshanks (Archibebe Oscuro / Tringa erythropus) and a few Greenshanks.
Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta).
Whilst I was watching these birds a cracking Western Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) did a fly over, there were a couple of Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra) on the nearby fences along with lots of Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and in the reedbeds nearby there were a couple of calling Water Rails (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus). After again spending far to long along here I reached the first of the saltpans and I again picked up more Greater Flamingo's and the first Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) of the trip. On the way back I added a couple of female Northern Pintails (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and a second Western Osprey. Once I got back to the fishing village I went back towards Monte Algaida Pinewoods, as I had taken more time out on the marshes I did not stop in the pines as I still wanted to go to Bananza Saltpans and spend some time there taking photographs as at last the sun had come out!!!!
Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus).
Anyway Bonanza was fairly quiet but on the main drive I saw Dunlin, Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Avocet, Common Redshank, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover. At the end of the road I turned right and followed along the ditch all the way to the pump houses at the end of the track, along the way I saw the first Great White Egrets (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) x3, 5x Whiskered Terns (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Slender-billed Gull (G aviota Picofina / Larus genei), Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Red Knot ( Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus), Glossy Ibis, Black Stork and Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe). 
Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).
Other species seen at this site included Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), White Stork, Little and Western Cattle Egrets, Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legged Gulls, Greater Flamingo and Purple Heron.
From here I headed along the coast to the seafront at Chipiona where I scanned the beach and sea for birds and added another couple of species, Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and Arctic Skua (Págalo Parásito / Stercorarius parasiticus) along with more Lesser Black-backs, Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls, Kentish Plover and Sanderling.
From here I drove quite a way south to Vejer de la Frontera and found a nice little hotel nearby before going out to Barbate to check out the pools and coast line, on the pools I added Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) and Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) to the list along with more Ringed Plovers, Greater Flamingo's, Little Stint, Redshank and Northern Wheatear.
Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia).
Back at the hotel I had a walk around the garden finding a couple of male Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), loads of Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), a couple of Ravens and as dusk fell Several large flocks of Western Cattle Egrets flew into Roost came over and both Tawny Owl (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco) and Eagle Owls (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) which called for the next few hours.

Monday 30 September 2013

To Nerja, Laguna Dulce, Laguna del Gospue, West of Osuna and the night at Los Palacios Y Villafranca.

A long day and a lot of Km (in the new car) day one of recce trip for spring tour.

The day started by driving down to Nerja via Zafarraya and Velez Malaga to take Jayne for her short break with two of her sister's and brother-in-law. On the way down I started the three day list off with several  Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) on the roadside wires, Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
After seeing Barb, Sue and Peter and collecting my new to me camera I said bye to Jayne and made my way up to Steve and Elena's on the way up to Frigaliana for some lunch, a chat and to collect a 400mm Canon lens that Steve was letting me have early. From Steve's garden whilst having lunch we recorded Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). After a very nice luch a bit of birding and quite a few tips about how to use the camera and lens I said thanks and Goodbye to Steve and Elena and headed off along the motorway to Antequera and then onwards to Laguna Dulce. On the way the weather took a turn for the worst and did not really improve much for the rest of the day, on the way I saw Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
By the time I got to Dulce it was minging it down so I sat in the car for a short while  before dashing to the hide where I scanned the near shore as this was all I could see!!! Along the near margins I could see several Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata). As the weather improved I started to pick up more species including 3 male and 2 female Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and 1 collared and 1 non-collared Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata). On the margins and over the reedbeds I also saw Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
From here I headed out of Campillo's to have a look at Los Corralis and then on to check out Laguna del Gosque, again as I arrived here the heavens opened so I again sat for a while and picked up several Common Starlings (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris) mixed in with a large flock of Spotless. Once the rain had slowed to torrential I venchered out to the hide along a short track, from here I saw more Greater Flamingo's, Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and on the muddy shoreline Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta).
The rain then started again so I scanned the fields behind the hide where there were birds sheltering in some fig trees, these included several Pied and Spotted Flycatchers (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Whinchat, Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and on my way back to the car in a very brief break in the clouds I added Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).
My last birding spot of the day was on the fields near Osuna, on the way over I added Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
I followed the usual route along the road heading west out of the town and stopped at the first two bridges on the way but did not find any of the Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda) but I did pick up Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Yet again the weather went from bad to even worse so I had one last try for the Bustards along a track that I had not followed before and just as I was about to turn around I picked up three blobs in the mist which turned out to be male Bustards feeding in a newly sown field.
At this point I gave into the weather and headed to the motorway and then on to Arahal, Utrera and then to a hotel in Los Palacios Y Villafranca.
Even though I had my new camera kit the weather had stopped me getting any shots at all.