Monday 30 April 2018

El Rocio, Palacio del Acebrón, Matalascañas, Acebuches, La Rocina information Centre and Arroyo de la Palmosa, Sevilla and Huelva Province.

Our second days birding in the Doñana with a Spanish Lifer for the Guide.
Day Three: Doñana and Extremadura tour.

Mike, Bob, Ann, Magdalena, Pierre and Nick on the prom at El Rocio.
After breakfast we all boarded the van and headed out towards El Rocio, the roadside fences and pylons held several species including Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), a male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) which I saw but none of guests got on, Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
We made a stop on a roadside where the trees thinned out and scanned the pylons and wires finding our first Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) along with Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
Male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus).
We arrived at El Rocio and parked along side the prom along the side of the main marsh, we went along to the first view point and soon found good numbers of Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Spotless Starling, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and a male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) which flew into a reed bed just along the walk way so we moved down and checked the area and soon had three males all quite high up in the reeds giving us superb views which made us all quite happy but Bob was over the moon with these birds.
Male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus).
In the same area and by the closed visitor center we picked out a distant soaring Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), a roost full of Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Great Reed (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) and a Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).
Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus).
We walked back to the Van and then went just down the road to the board and woodland walk at the Palacio del Acebrón, all around us we could hear singing Nightingales through out much of the walk and one showed well in dead bush on the lake side.
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
As we walked around the woodland we could hear Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), a singing Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), House Martins, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and out on the banks of the lake an immature Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax).
House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
We walked out to a point some way past the Palace where after a while searching the woods I heard and then found a cracking female Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (Pico Menor / Dryobates minor) up in the top of a partly dead poplar tree. I managed to get the group on to the bird and then took a few shots as this was the first time I had seen this species in Spain. 
Female Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (Pico Menor / Dryobates minor).
We continued on to find the track was closed for repairs so we turned around and on the way back recorded Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), European Bee-eater, Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and just as we were walking back to the car a singing Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
Watching an immature Night Heron.
During the walk we also saw several species of wild flower including Annual Daisy (Bellis annua), Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata) and Yellow flag-iris (Iris pseudacorus).
The woodland walks.
By the time we got back to the van it was getting on towards lunch time so we headed to the coast at Matalascañas and found a bar before going down to have a scan at the sea but only found several Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), a couple of Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and a flight of Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).
Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).
We called in briefly at the Acebuches visitors centre where we walked around the pine woods where we picked up a couple of  Clouded Yellows (Colias corcea), a Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), White Stork, Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and several Iberian Magpies.
Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
We moved on up the road towards El Rocio calling in at La Rocina information Centre where we walked out to the boardwalk and then to the first hide, along the way we picked up a chiffchaffing Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), a male Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Glossy Ibis, Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus), Bath White (Pontia daplidice) and from the hide a reeling Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and lots more Black Kites.
Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice).
We had a quick look from the closed section of road on the western edge of the marsh at El Rocio but we did not add any thing new so we drove back towards the hotel stopping at the bridge over the Arroyo de la Palmosa where we scanned the trees and pylons seeing Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, heard a Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), European Bee-eater and a blue flash as a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) flashed through and it was gone before I managed to get anyone else on to it. 
Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) collecting mud.
The only down side to this spot was when you look in the river there were large numbers of dead fish which makes you ask a question of what had killed them all???
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
We headed back in to the hotel and had the first two courses of evening meal before going and having a walk just along the track behind the hotel where we heard and saw a couple of Red-necked Nightjars (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis), one of which flew passed us just a few meters away.
The dead fish????
During the night I and fortunately Pierre and Magdalena heard a calling Tawny Owl (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco).

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