A day on the Marshes between El Rocio and Matalascañas in the Donana.
Donana and Extremadura tour Day two.
|Ermita del Rocio.|
After a very nice breakfast we all met up out at the van and whilst we were waiting there some of the group started the day list off with House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) around the buildings.
|White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).|
|Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus).|
We made our way across to the well known town of El Rocio on the edge of the Charco de la Boca, a large expance of water to the south of the town and parked there.
|The group at the Visitors centre.|
We walked along the promanard type walkway which follows the edge of the water a soon started to find some interesting species including Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), lots of Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) which were flying in continually going to the large colony at the far end of the lake.
|Whiskered Terns (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).|
|Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).|
We also recorded Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Great White Egrets (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) all of which were seen in flight over the water, Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a flock of Black-tailed Godwits (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa) which eventually dropped in to the grassy islands in the centre of the marsh.
|Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).|
We made our way down as far as the SEO visitor centre which was unfortunutally closed but picked up Black (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger) and Whiskered Terns (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), distant singles of both Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) and Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
|House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).|
Even though the centre was closed had viewed the heronrey from the side viewing area and added a single Squacco (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) to the list as well as 3 distant Black Storks (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
|Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).|
During the walk back to the van we heard and eventually had brief views of a couple of Penduline Tits (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), heard but did not see Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) as well as adding Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) to the day list.
|Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).|
|White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).|
There were also masses of wildflowers seen from the boardwalks including Yellow Sunrose (Halimum halimifolium), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum var discolor), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Small Pink Cistus (Cistus crispus), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Campanula specularioides and many more which still need names.
|Bath White (Pontia daplidice).|
By now it was getting on so we dropped down to the coast and had some lunch in a bar on the eastern side of Matalascañas before having a look at a rather packed beach where Pam, John and Judy went for a paddle while the rest of us scanned the sea picking up 3+ Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and 5 less expected Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) and lots of Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) which screemed continually over head.
|Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).|
We retraced our steps back up towards El Rocio and the checked the board walks out at Acebrón Centre but there were quite a few people about so we went down to the area of open water nearby and scanned the reedbeds from the track.
|John in the Pines.|
|Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides).|
In the same area we had Yellow Lupin (Lupinus luteus), Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis), Lesser-snapdragon (Misopates orontium) a Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea).
|Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).|
Once we returned to the car we drove just down the road and did the loop woodland walk around the Palicio de Acebron where we saw or heard Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), 3 Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and then just as we were about to reach Mike Harvey came up and said that he had just had the main target bird for this site a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (Dryobates minor) but by the time we returned to where he had seen it it had gone.
|Me try to get a shot of the Iberian Bluetail.|
|Yellow Lupin (Lupinus luteus).|
|Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis).|