Tuesday, 3 May 2016

North of Hinosos, Sevilla Province, Embalse de Corvales, Merida and Belen Plains near Trujillo, Extremadura.

The change of location day, heading north from the Donana into Extremadura.
Donana and Extremadura tour Day four.

We started the day on a road heading north from Hinosos, our first stop was on the roadside where we checked the nearby woodlands. Most of the group walked north whist Pam spent some time painting the wildflowers around the van. We soon started to see and hear species in the Olives and Poplars including Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and a couple of new species Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin).
Wild flowers seen here included Eruca (Eruca sativa), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Dove's Foot Cranesbill (Geranium molle), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Star Clover (Trifolium stellatum), Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum var discolor), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), White Mignonette (Reseda Alba) and Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia).
We moved up the road and checked a couple of areas of Grape vinesadd picked up Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra) as well as Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri) and Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus).
We moved a little further up the road and in to some Cork Oak (Quercus suber) woodland where we had a walk to see what we could find, species found included Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Nightingale, Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Blackcap, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Orphean (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) and Garden Warbler, European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and a very nice Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) which showed very well for the whole group.
In the same area we had Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus).
Time clicked on so we hit the road and started the drive north stopping for lunch before having a few hours around the beautiful woodlands surrounding the Embalse de Cornalvo to the east of Mérida. We parked on a roadside and had a walk down through some sunning Cistis and wild flower meadows amongst the Cork Oak woods until we reached the lake, on the way down we saw Gum Cistus (Cistus ladanifer), French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas), Spotted Rockrose (Tuberaria guttata) and out on the grass areas around the lake Tounge (Serapias lingua) and Small-tongue Orchids (Serapias parviflora). Birds seen included Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spotted Flycatcher, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
On our way back to the motorway to complete the last 80 or so KM of the trip we found several spikes of Lax-flowered Orchid (Orchis Laxiflora) and on the journey north we picked up Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) and European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
After the trip we decided to book in at the very smart NH hotel in the Centre of Trujillo and then go out into the main square and have something to eat and drink, whilst we were eating we did see Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and hndreds of Common Swifts.

Photographs from the top: Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), 2x European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Gum Cistus (Cistus ladanifer), the group in the woodlands,
French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas), a stunning wild flower meadow, Tounge Orchid (Serapias lingua), the Cork Oak woods, John Fielder in the woods and Lax-flowered Orchid (Orchis Laxiflora).

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