Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Italica near Sevilla, Sevilla Province and Chipiona, Cadiz Province.

A morning around the Roman ruins and then an afternoons birding at Chipiona.

Jayne, Barbara and I left the house quite early and headed west along the A92 to the Roman remains at Italica just to the north of the city. On the way over I had from the car view of Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) x2, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Black (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba).
We arrived at Italica, parked and went in free of charge which at the time I thought was amazing for such an atraction. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the place but came away a little disappointed, the Mosaics were very nice and the amphitheater was well worth a look but the rest of the site was very disorganised and looked more like weedy allotments. In the far corner there was a lake and a hide where I had a quick look and found Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and around the rest of the grounds Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) as well as Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Long-tailed (Lampides boeticus) and Lang's Short-tailed Blues (Leptotes pirithous), Small White (Pieris rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Mediterranean skipper (Gegenes nostrodamus).
We finished at the remains earlier than expected so after a coffee we decided to drive to Bonanza for lunch in a sea food resturant we have used before, on the way I saw again from the car White  (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) and Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Short-toed  (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli). We had a very nice lunch and then made our way to the Hotel Barrameda in the centre of the town of Sanlucar de Barrameda which we like very much. 
Once we were sorted there I left Jayne and barb to have a couple of hours before we hit the town later and went birding to Chipiona port, I arrived but did not find any of the Little Swifts (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis) this spot is best known for so I had a walk along the beach where I had Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Pied Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Common (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo), Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Caspian (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) and immature Black Terns (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger). On my way back to the car I called in at the port again and this time found a group of birders watching 12 Little Swifts which spent some of the time hanging in the strom breeze which gave us some good chances to take a few shots.
I returned to Sanlucar and we all went for a walk along the sea front and stopped in a bar for a drink before returning to the main square and the tapas bars for some food which included the locally famous Tortillitas de Camarones which were as usual superb, I also enjoyed a very nice Pork in gravey tapa as well before we hit the pit.

Photographs from the top: Jayne and Barb in the amphitheater, the amphitheater, the central part of the amphitheater, Mosaics from the house of the birds x2, Mosaics from the room of the Gods, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia), Little Swifts (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis) x3 and sunset on the beach at Sanlucar.

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