Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Bonanza Pools and Saltpans, Medina Sidonia, Vejer de la Frontera, La Janda and along the coast back to Sanlucar.

A big loop around Cadiz Province.

After breakfast at the hotel Jayne and I headed just up the road to the three pools in the agricultural fields near Bonanza, the first and smallest pool which on my last visit was looking stagnant had a lot more water in it and held a dozen or so White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
I then went across the road to the larger of the pools and found more White-headed Ducks, Common Pochards, Purple Swamp-hens, Mallards as well as Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and two very smart fly over Squacco Herons (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides). I pushed on around to the far pool and had a quick look but the only new species was a disappearing Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis).
We moved on around to the saltpans where we did the usual drive up the central track and then to the right to the pump house. Along the central track I picked up plenty of Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Slender-billed (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), at least 3 Spotted Redshanks (Archibebe Oscuro / Tringa erythropus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and a couple of Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
After I turned right we picked up Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and just as we reached the far end a passing Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus). We parked next to the Pump House and I went for a walk along the track following the fence, straight away I had a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which flew from cover and perched in the chainling fence, a couple of singing Lesser Short-toed Larks (Terrera Marismena / Calandrella rufescens) and out on the water amongst the large flocks of Greater Flamingo's there were quite a few Black-tailed Godwits (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), 7+ Northern Pintails (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta) which flew up and away and Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba). As I walked back I had the first of several Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) fly over, Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), another Kingfisher, Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica). We made our way back to the entrance seeing Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Once we reached the exit we parked and looked at the map before deciding to have a drive out to Medina Sidonia, we parked on the outskirts of the town and spent a couple of hours having a good look around this very smart place. During the walk around we had some lunch at Bar in the main square, I had a very nice plate of Wild Boar stew which I could not fault but Jayne ordered Sole and when it arrived it did not look right. First we were quite sure it was not Sole but Jayne put that down to the translated menu being wrong and thought that if it tastes ok then she would eat it anyway but when she cut in to it it was raw so it went back. It returned and was so dried out and rubbery she left it, when we asked for the bill we complained and to give the young lady her due she listened, agreed that it was not right and did not charge us for it. Anyway we made our way back to the car adding Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) to the day list.
Once back at the car we headed to Vejer de la Frontera where we checked the cliffs below the town to see if any of the Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita) had returned to the breeding site there but they were all empty so we dropped along the road to the Golf Course. On the Golf Course we soon found a single bird right by the practise area, after getting views from the car we went back to the main road and then out on to the fields of La Janda.
Along the first part of the main track we had superb views of at least 3 Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) including a copulating pair, Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), lots of White Storks, a couple of Great White Egrets and 5x Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus). Once we reached the sluices gates we took the track to the farm and picked up a couple of Pheasants (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus) under the Poplar trees. 
At the first bridge we turned around and returned to the main track and continued on towards the Zahara junction, on the way we saw Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), more Common Cranes, Purple Swamp-hens and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Once out on the roads again we drove along the coast heading back towards the hotel going through Zahara, Barbate, Conil and then to Chiclana where we had a walk along one of the beaches and had a coffee. During the walk I saw several Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) out to sea along with Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls.
We got back to Sanlucar and went down to the port and had something to eat.

Photographs from the top: Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia), Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita), Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus), 3x Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), 2x Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and a Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba).

1 comment:

Bas van Es said...

wat mooi weer en zoveel.