Thursday, 30 March 2017

Chipiona and Brazo del Este, Cadiz Province.

Rapid movers on the coast and later we were on the marshes again.
Kate and Jim McCusker, Day Five.

Little Swift (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis).
Kate, Jim and I headed down to the well known site at Chipiona where from the grassed area out side the port we watched the very special Little Swifts (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis), with in seconds we were watching a dozen or more of the little rockets whizzing over our heads along with several Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and at least two Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) as well as Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a flyby Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Roosting Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
After seeing the Swifts well we drove the hour or so to the super area of wetlands called Brazo del Este, just before we headed out on to area we had a coffee in Los Chapatales. Out on the fields we soon found a field full of around 80 Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) along with 8 immature Black Storks (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), a few White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and in the ditch along side the road we had a fly past Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus).
Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) and other Turn on Right.
Further along we ran along side some pools which held good numbers of birds including a group roosting Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia), after checking the photo I took of this distant group it looks possible that I might have missed a species of large Orange-billed Tern (most right hand Bird) or is it just a trick of the light ?? In the sme area we had a calling Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a flock of roosting Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), several Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), 3 or 4 Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and an Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) which was at first sat on a fence post and then in  field.
Possible Orange-billed Tern or just a trick of the light ????
Further along we stopped again at the next area of water and boosted the bird list with Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), a flyby Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Sedge (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a gang of female Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus).
Roosting Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
Whilst we were at this spot we meet a group of Spanish birders and to my surprise two of the lads were from Salamanca and I had met them back in February at a twitch up in Santona where we watched the Hudsonian Whimbrel (Zarapito de Hudson / Numenius hudsonicus) together.
Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).
We again moved along the road a bit further and checked the next area of water seeing my first Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) of the year as well as Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and in one of the crop fields a calling Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix).
Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
At the far end of the track we checked the ditches around the sluices finding Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and passing Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) in flight.
At this point we decided that we would redo the same route back along this track instead of driving over to Osuna so we turned around and headed back along the wetlands and pools to see what appeared. During the time back tracking we found a craacking Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana) which show well but distantly, we also had Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago).
Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
Once we returned to the main road we had lunch in a bar before heading back towards Granada Province and to the Cortijo de Tajar Hotel where Kate and Jim to stay for the next seven nights and I went home.
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).

Black (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra) and White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).

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