Monday 8 January 2024

107 Autovía del Sur, Madridejos, Laguna de la Veguilla near Alcázar de San Juan and Camino Guerra in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.

Travelling back home.
Ebird List for KM 107 South of Madrid, 10 Species.
Ebird List for Laguna de la Veguilla, 22 Species.
Ebird List for Camino Guerra, 13 Species.

Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda).
After breakfast I said goodbye to Santi, much happier seeing he was feeling much better and headed off south, as I passed La Yecla the resident Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) were already up and about.
Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda).
The drive down to and through Madrid was uneventful, on the way I picked up 
Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and Roe Deer (Corzo / Capreolus capreolus).
Laguna de la Veguilla.
Just over a 100km south of Madrid I pulled off and had a coffee, tostada con tomate y aceite and then went for a drive across the nearby fields and after a couple of KMs I came across the species I had hoped for when I saw 32 Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda).
Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
In the same area I also saw Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
I continued on South and then off to the East to Laguna de la Veguilla where I checked out three of the hides, I spent most of the time at the first and picked up a good list of species including Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Ganga Ibérica / Pterocles alchata).
I walked to the next hide but there wasn't a single bird in the view so I returned to the car and drove around to the hide near to the visitor's Center where as soon as I walked in to it I could hear Bearded Tits (Reedling) (Bigotudo / Panurus biarmicus)  calling off to the left in the reeds but it took another 20 minutes to get a view of them as 4 birds crossed the bay.
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Ganga Ibérica / Pterocles alchata).
I returned to the car and drove out to a spot in the middle of nowhere to the south of the town and after driving around the fields for a while I found 9 Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Ganga Ibérica / Pterocles alchata), a Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaia), 14x Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) all of which were new for the day and at least 300 Common Cranes but there were probably around double that number really.
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Ganga Ibérica / Pterocles alchata).
I continued on South and got home just before 19:00 and after getting everything switched and the fire going I sat down and had a nice bowl of lentejas before hitting the pit.

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