Friday, 2 June 2017

Travelling North to Fuentetodos, Zaragoza including birding at La Laguna de la Veguilla on the way.

Granada Wildlifes tour of Belchite and the Pyrenees.
A travelling day before the tour starts on the 3rd June.

This tour was a little different in that all the guests were going to be travelling up with me from Malaga the day before the tour started which worked out well, almost!!!!
Jayne and I picked up Andy Mountford from a friends place in Malaga City where he had spent the night after flying in on the Thursday and we headed to the Car hire companies building where I sorted out and collected the van for the tour. We then went to a meeting point nearby where we soon found Andy Patterson waiting for us, Jayne then headed off and went for a walk at Torremolinos and spent the day around the shops. Andy M, Andy P and I chatted for a while but I became concerned that Juliet and David Hird had not joined us so I made a call and David answer and when I said we were ready to go and were at the meeting point I was not expecting the next line which was "We thought we were going tomorrow". Next was "we will be there as soon as possible" and they were, less than one hour later a taxi pulled up and a stressed Juliet and David were with us after packing and getting here in record time. 

Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Whilst Andy M, Andy P and I were at the meeting point we started the trip list off with (I will not count the Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) I heard at home) White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Anyway we loaded up and were on our way heading East and then North towards Madrid, we stopped for some breakfast after about 3 hours and then stopped off at Laguna de Masegar. On the way from Malaga to the Laguna we saw Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
At the Wetlands we checked out three different hides over looking different parts of the pools, from the first we picked up Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and a Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) on a distant pool.
The second hide added Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Small White (Pieris rapae) butterfly and Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) dragonflies.
The last hide at this site was over looking the larger part of the lake and out on the water we saw Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and in the marginal reeds and Tamarisks Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and calling Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus).
We returned to the Van and drove North but made another stop on the way on some motorway side fields but only added Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) to the day list.
The time was now moving on so except for a stop for some lunch we pressed on through to the nghts Hotel in Fuentetodos seeing Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) on the way.

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