Saturday, 30 April 2016

Zapata and Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Province and Osuna and Donana, Seville Province.

Pick ups and travelling to Villamanrique in the Donana.
Donana and Extremadura tour Day one.

Jayne and I travelled down to the Car hire company near Malaga Airport where Jayne dropped me off to start a week long tour and continued on to do some shopping. I collected a minibus and then met Mike Langley at a nearby hotel before having a look at a reed filled channel right on the Northern end of the Runway just out side the Airport fence. We parked and walked along the Southern bank and started the trip list off with Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Reed  (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Collared (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus). Just before the bridge over the channel we turned around and headed back to the van adding Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and a few drifting Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
We got to the van and headed up the motorway calling in at the area that used to be Laguna de Herrera but now drained by the farmers, we did how ever find Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis). After checking the fields we drove a track which followed one of the larger drainage channels and added Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) as well as Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Large White (Pieris brassicae).
Our next location was past Antequera and out to a nearby site where we checked an area of grape vines and eventually caught up with a very smart Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes) which was singing from a post in a chainlink fence. In the same area we also saw Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Again we continued on along the A92 but only as far as Fuente de Piedra, we stopped at the side of the entrance road pool and immediatly picked up a stunning adult summer plumaged White-winged (Black) Tern (Fumarel Aliblanco / Chlidonias leucopterus) which was feeding along with a winter plumaged Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus). On the same pool we had Curlew Sandpipers (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) x14, Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) x3, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta) x4, Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) x5, Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) x2, Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) x5, Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa) x1, Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica) x3, Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) x2, Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera).
We parked and walked out on to the board walk and added a nice male Ruff starting to come in to Summer plumage, Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus).
We walked around to the view point and scanned the Greater Flamingo's out on the main lake and eventually picked out 2 Lesser Flamingo's (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor), along with Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) and Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna).
We then checked the two hides at the back of the reserve and boosted the list with Common (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus). Whilst we were there we also recorded Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), Small (Artogeia rapae) and Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Futher on along the A92 we came off the motorway at Osuna and checked the bridges along the route seeing Spectacled (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) and Melodious Warblers (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Great Bustard (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda), Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) and Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
We left the Osuan area and hurried over to Sevilla Airport where we met the rest of the group, John and Pam Fielder, Judy Clift, Linda Vincent and Mike Harvey before heading around Sevilla and out to our hotel near to Villamanrique. After checking in we went for a walk in to the nearby woodlands seeing Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blue  (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla). 
Later we had our meal and went to bed after a good start to the tour. During the night Tawny Owl (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco) was heard calling from the woods.

Photographs from the top: Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), 4x White-winged (Black) Tern (Fumarel Aliblanco / Chlidonias leucopterus), Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) male, Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) and White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).

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