Monday, 29 April 2019

Embalse de Arrocampo, Lunch at Hotel Puerta de Monfrague, Mirador de la portilla del Tietar, Mirador La Tajadilla, Fuente Del Francés, Salto Del Gitano in Extremadura.

Leicester Ladies tour of Extremadura.
Full Days Birding, Day Three.
Embalses again in the morning and then some hills and valleys in the afternoon.

Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
We headed out from Torrejon and headed for the large Reservoir called Embalse de Arrocampo, on the way we made a fast stop as we passed a roadside pool when we spotted a very smart Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), the bird flew as we stopped but we checked the pool anyway.
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
On the pool we only found a single Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), but we could hear a Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) singing from a wire nearby, a couple of hooping Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops), a noisy flock of Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and a passing Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) which was looking for road kill for breakfast.
Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser).
We continued on to the Embalse and parked on the roadside where we checked the reed beds. straight away we could hear a Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides) but it was on the far side of the bay so we looked 20mins later and had really nice views.
Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides).
Before we moved on along the road on foot we also had Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), a fly over Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), 2x Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) on Pylons, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), a squarking but hidden Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), a calling but unseen Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and several noisy Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
On the far side of the bay by Obs 4 we had the great views of the Savi's along with Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a couple of Great Egrets (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) way off in the distance, Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and  Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
We crossed the road and checked out the other side of the lake and reed beds where the ladies checked the area whilst I walked back and got the van, on the way I picked up a teneral Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) and several Iberian Bluetails (Ischnura graellsii).
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria).
I got back with the van and Sue had already found a nice female Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) and when I got there we added Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), a quick moving Purple / Western Swamp-hen, a small group of flying Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) and in the distance both Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and European Black Vultures (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus) could be seen soaring.
Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea).
We next stopped at the visitor centre where we used the facilities and got a key to the hides, near Obs 1 we had another Little Bittern but a smarter male this time, an singing Savi's, Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Great Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba).
We got back into the Van and went down to Obs 2 and stood on the ramp up to the hide as it was full  so we watched from there and chatted with local guide William Haworth.
Great Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba).
In this time we had 7 Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), lots of Purple Herons, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), a nice flight view of a Purple / Western Swamp-hen, another Great Egret, House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) which were visiting a nest in the hide roof and best of all a brief view of a flying Eurasian / Great Bittern (Avetoro Común / Botaurus stellaris) which flew low along the edge of the reeds off to our left.
Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) x3.
We went to Obs 3 but saw nothing new except for Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium), Small White (Pieris rapae), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) x3.
We dropped the keys back to the Centre and went to a nearby spot where we were told there was a pair of Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) but in the hour or so we were there we did not see it, we did however pickup Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Iberian Grey (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and the first Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) of the trip.
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
In the same area we had Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides), Hoary Mullein (Verbascum pulverulentum), Corn Cockle (Agrostemma githago) and Blue lupin (Lupinus angustifolius).
Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).
We left the Embalse behind and headed into the Monfragúe park but stopped for Lunch at Hotel Puerta de Monfrague and whilst we eating we had a calling Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Corn Cockle (Agrostemma githago).
Our next stop was along the road at Mirador de la portilla del Tietar, as we walked to the view point from where we parked we heard a calling Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), saw a female Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and our first Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus).
There were several hawking Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) down over the river and higher up good numbers of Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica). After a short while an adult Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti) came in and landed on a rock on to of the ridge giving us really nice views through the scope.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We drove just a short way along the river to the Mirador La Tajadilla where we had views of an Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) sat on its nest and heard a calling Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We made a short stop on the Fuente Del Francés where we checked the bridge for Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) mixed in with the hundreds of House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Time was moving on so we made a quick visit to the Salto Del Gitano, it was still busy but we found a parking slot and the watched the large numbers of Vultures around the rock, these were being hasselled by a pair of Peregrine Falcons (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus). The only other new species before we headed back to the accommodation was a female Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus).
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Once we were back at the accommodation a large storm cloud started to build up over the mountins to the North but it did not affect us.
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Thunder clouds


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