Wednesday 20 December 2023

La Janda and Benalup, Cadiz Province, Spain.

A day Bunting hunting.

Just before the sun peeped over the hills.
I set off early to get over to La Janda for first light but even with a stop for breakfast it was still dark when I arrived and -1° but it was nice to watch the sun rise at the spot for the Little (Escribano pigmeo / Emberiza pusilla) and Rustic Buntings (Escribano rústico / Emberiza rustica) which were found by birders a few days earlier.
The first view of at least 10 Little Buntings (Escribano pigmeo / Emberiza pusilla) seen during the day.
Once the light had reached a decent level I went for a walk around the site and as time went on several other birders arrived and we all searched, one guy did get to see the Rustic Bunting (Escribano rústico / Emberiza rustica) but I didn't manage to connect with this rare species but after a while I caught up with my first Little Bunting (Escribano pigmeo / Emberiza pusilla) in Spain and by the end of the day I had managed to see around 10 birds of this usually rare visitor.
Little Bunting (Escribano pigmeo / Emberiza pusilla).
Little Bunting (Escribano pigmeo / Emberiza pusilla).
Late in the afternoon I had a group of 8 Little Buntings in a small willow type tree and then 2 more individuals at a different spot nearby.
Little Bunting (Escribano pigmeo / Emberiza pusilla).
Little Bunting (Escribano pigmeo / Emberiza pusilla).
Other species seen or heard during the day included 1x
Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Black (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Common Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), House (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Paperwhite Narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus).
Little Bunting (Escribano pigmeo / Emberiza pusilla).
I eventually admitted defeat and headed for my hotel in Benalup which was good and I slept well ready for another day of birding tomorrow. 

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