Tuesday 30 April 2019

La Cumbre, Río Tamuja near Santa Marta de Magasca, Llanos de Cáceres, Embalse de Guadiloba in Extremadura.

Leicester Ladies tour of Extremadura.
Full days Birding, Day Four.
A cracking day on the plains and around another Embalse.

Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda).
We set off south again toward Trujillo and then took the motorway out towards Caceres, on the way we had views of Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Iberian (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Our first stop was on a raised mound with views over a pool and some large fields where we added Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), several pairs of Spanish Sparrows (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) which were collecting nest material from around the animal feeders, Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), a calling Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus) and a flight of 6 calling Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Ganga Ibérica / Pterocles alchata).
Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia).
We drove a short distance down the road and took to a track, at the start we parked and soon located the first of a dozen or so Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda), there were 2 males here and later we had another 9 female birds further down the track. 
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
At the first parking spot we also had Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and a couple of Spanish Marbled Whites (Medioluto Inés / Melanargia ines).
Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice).
A few hundred meters along the track we stopped again just short of a couple more bus loads of birders and were soon watching a pair of adult Spanish Imperial Eagles (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti) which flew up out of a couple of distant Eucalyptus Trees and in the distance several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and a couple of European Black (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
On a small pool nearby we found a couple of Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and I heard a single call from a flying Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) but unfortunately it stayed as a guide only as none of the ladies heard it.
In and around the van we also have Small (Pieris rapae) and Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Field Marigold (Calendula arvensis), Hop Trefoil (Trifolium campestre), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Reichardia tingitana and from down by the pool we could hear lots of Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
We moved a little further along the track where we had a group of female Great Bustards and the Sue came up with a fine but hard to see Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) which managed to slip away unseen by some of the group.
Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura).
A little further along the track we had another male Great Bustard in a field with several White Storks, Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and a female Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra) and nearer to us several Green-Striped Whites (Euchloe belemia).
Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura).
After a coffee in Santa Marta de Magasca where we had several Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) over head we made a stop at the bridge over the Rio Tamula find the one and only Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) several Viperine Snakes (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Red-striped Oil Beetle (Berberomeloe majalis).
Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
Our next stop was out on the fields of Llanos de Cáceres where we started off with several Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) including one bird which was having a good scrap with a female Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and along the track out to the hide we had a good sized flock of Spanish Sparrows which flew up on to the roadside fences just before we arrived at the best set of gates I have ever seen.
Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
We did not see much from the hide except for a distant female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) which was difficult to see in the heat haze but behind the hide on the field we had both Northern and Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), a couple of Hoopoes and a small group of Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) looking very pale in the bright sun as well as a Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa).
Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
As we were leaving we again bumped into William Haworth again and he kindly showed us a good spot for Spanish Imperial Eagles but the birds were away.
Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
Our next site was at Embalse de Guadiloba where we spent the rest of the day traversing the tracks right around the Northern shore where we added a summer plumaged Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), lots of White Storks, Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus).
Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis).
At one of the lake side stops we also found Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) before heading back to the accommodation.

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Old bridge over the Eastern end of Embalse de Guadiloba.
Old bridge over the Eastern end of Embalse de Guadiloba.

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