Monday, 22 February 2016

Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Province and Chipiona, Cadiz Province.

Jayne and my first day away in the West of Andalucia.
Day One.

After a visit to the Doc's we headed off West calling in at a wetter than expected Fuente de Piedra, on the way I started the list with Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
We arrived at Fuente and I was very pleased to find that the recent rains had topped up the  roadside pool, I parked and scanned the water and margins and soon added Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
We then parked and had a walk around to the view point which looks out over the main lagoon where I searched and eventually located a single Lesser Flamingo (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor) in amongst the large number of Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) as well as 100s of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and a pair of fly over Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera).
We then walked back around to the car on the lower track and had good views of some more Jackdaws, Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
Jayne popped in to the Centre before we went further around to the western side of the lagoon but before that I checked the back pools from the view point and was pleased to find a Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a couple of Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago).
We drove around to the Western side of the lagoon where we had nice views of a group of Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and a hunting Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus). In the area we also saw Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), Iberian Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus / capensis), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Small White (Artogeia rapae).
We then continued our journey over to Sanlucar de Barameda where we were staying, on the way we saw Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) female, Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
We went to the hotel and checked in, Jayne's cold was getting a little worse so she decided to stay in the room whilst I dropped down to Chipiona to have a look for the Little Swift (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis) but struggled to find them but eventually I got 2 birds for just a few seconds mixed in with flocks of Barn Swallows and House Martins. The tide was high but I scanned the beach and found a single Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), several Sanderlings (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and a winter plumaged Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola). 
I returned to the hotel and later Jayne and I had a walk down to the port area and had a drink before heading back to the town centre for a tapas evening meal.

Photographs from the top: Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), 3x Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus) and adult and 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).

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