Thursday, 15 September 2016

Bonanza Salt pans and Pools, Sanlucar Beach and Chipiona sea front, Cadiz Province.

A morning on the salt pans, afternoon on the beach and and evening in the bar !!

The day started with a good breakfast at the Hotel Barrameda and then getting Jayne and Barb set up for a day on the beach, once they were there I headed off to the salt pans just to the North of Bonanza. The main track up through the centre was very quiet right up until the last pool on the left where I scanned the edges and found a couple of Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), 3x Little (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) and 1x Temminck Stint (Correlimos de Temminck / Calidris temminckii), 4x Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a dozen or so Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) on one of the more distant pools.
I turned right and drove down towards the pump house at the far end seeing Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) in the ditch on the left and good numbers of  Avocets (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Caspian (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) and Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons) on the pans to my right. I got to the pump house and met two more birders there, both from Germany but one was on holiday and the other from Marbella. We spent some time scanning the pools and pans here and soon boosted the list with several new species including Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), 3x Red Knot ( Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), 3x Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Willow  (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and two Lesser Short-toed Larks (Terrera Marismena / Calandrella rufescens) which flew right over us, Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and out on the large lake several Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), 3x Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) and loads more Greater Flamingo's
The German lady (Briget I think, sorry useless with names) followed me in her car to the small pools in the fields nearby, a site she had never visited before but on the way out of the site I added Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) to the list. 
We arrived and parked and stright away added a calling Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) to the day list as well as several Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), a very smart Marbled Duck (Cerceta Pardilla / Marmaronetta angustirostris) wnich was the second year tick of the day after the three Red Knot seen earlier, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), another Kingfisher, Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), several Common Sandpipers and a single Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus).
I then made my way back to Sanlucar and spent the rest of the day on the beach with Jayne and Barb where I did not add much except for a single pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) which drifted over the Stone Pines on the far shore, a Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) which was flying south east down the coast towards Tarifa, 3 Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) which flew in land towards the saltpans and several Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies going inland along the beach.
Later we drove down to Chipiona and had a very breezy walk along the sea front where I saw singles of both Eurasian Curlew (Zaoaito Real / Numenius arquata) and Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus) as well as an immature Lesser Black-backed Gull with a ring on. After the walk we returned to Sanlucar and to the square near the hotel for some Tapas and then a birthday Whiskey back at the Hotel, thanks Barbara.

Photographs from the top: Red Knot ( Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia), Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus), Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), the salt forming, White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Marbled Duck (Cerceta Pardilla / Marmaronetta angustirostris) and a Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) with a ring.

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