Friday 9 October 2020

The road to Huelva and the Odiel Marsh,

A day with Bob showing me around several new sites.

Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) male.
We were up and out on the road along the coast heading towards Huelva, on the way we had Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
Black-tailed Godwits (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
Our first stop was at Lagunas de Palos y Las Madres where we found several new species out on the water including
Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), on some posts there were several Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and a Western Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) which was feeding, Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and we heard a Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta).
We followed a path around to another view point hearing Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and seeing Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and as we walked back towards the car a male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) flew past, a Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) which was feeding on lily pads on the water, Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).

Once we were back at the car we drove just down the road to a second pool with a hide where we boosted the list with Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and several Pied Flycatchers (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca).
Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca).
We then headed through the edge of Huelva across the new bridge and then down to the Odiel first calling a Laguna Grande where there were plenty of birds including Black-tailed Godwits (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) x1, Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and both Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).
Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia).

Around the margins we also saw Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).
Just down the road we stopped again at the Visitors centre where we checked the mud as the tide started to drop and we soon found Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluvialis squatarola), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and after a coffee we checked the woods ehind the centre finding Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).
Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata).

We crossed the road out side the centre gates and found 2 Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) sat on one of the saltpan ridges and on a walk out to a hide amongst the pans we had lots of the waders we had already seen as well as Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Avocets (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), more Greater Falmingo's and on one of the banks 50 or so more Grey Plovers and a nice looking almost summer plumaged Red Knot (Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus) mixed in with them.
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus).

Once we were back at the car we drove down the lenght of the peninsular to the car park at the arrier which prevents you going any further, on the way down we had good numbers of birds including
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Eurasian Curlew, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Common Redshank, Greenshank, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and out along one of the board walks to the sea an immature Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluvialis squatarola).
As we turned around in the car park we had a female
Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and I photographed some Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum) and an Evening Primrose species which I still need to name.
Avocets (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta) and Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).
We drove ack along the road to the motorway seeing another Western Osprey on the way before heading to a lake on the outskirts of El Portil called Laguna del Portil where we found lots of Grey Herons, Greater Flamingo's, Great Cormorants, singles of Caspian and a winter plumaged Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger) and Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) on or over the water.
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).

Whilst in the surrounding bushes and trees we had a single Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), several Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus) and as we were leaving we picked up the only Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) of the trip through a gap in the bushes.
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
We continued on through the town and drove down to the sailing club just to the west of the town and started our search for the long staying Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima), from the beach we scanned both ways but found only species we had already seen.
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
So we walked west a way and then back up on to the road and back along to the car picking up a heard only Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and a flying Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) on the way.
Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum).
We continued on west to El Rompido where we had a drink and then checked the beaches again on both sides of the channel, there was no sign of the duck but we did add Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
Evening Primrose species.
At this point I put a request for help on to a birding network on Whatsapp and a very nice lady from down in Cadiz Province sent me a voice message with information that she had seen the bird near the Ferry point, so away we went again but at this point we did not realize that there was more than one ferry.
Western Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).
We drove back east and found the first ferry and we again scanned the channel but we did not find the bird but did add Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) to the day list.
Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger).
We again drove on and thought that we were out of luck but just as we passed El Portil again we saw another ferry sign so I said to Bob we may as well have a quick look so we walked along the board walk down to the beach again but this time dropped lucky.
Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima) a very distant view.
I set the scope up and scanned the far sore of the channel and almost straight away dropped on to the bird which was asleep on the sand oposite us but quite distant, we had a good look at it and then watched a boat go right up to it and disturb it from its rest and the bird went on to the sea. At this point Bob walked back to get his camera but just after he left a speed whizzed passed and flushed the bird which flew out and around the headland.
Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima) heavy crop.
I walked back and meet Bob on the way, told him what had happened so we walked back to the car and headed ack towards the accommodation adding Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) on the way.
Once we were ack we went for some food and then back after a long successful day.

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