Rio Guadalquivir Estuary
Sunday, May 5th: We started the day with a seawatch by the hotel. We didn't get anything new offshore, but there was a Sardinian Warbler in some reeds along the path to the beach, and both Kentish Plover and Crested Lark on the beach.
As we headed out for our birding day, a Black-headed Gull flew along a small estuary at the edge of town. Some Eurasian Jackdaws flew around some cliffs near Vejar de la Frontera. Some Bald-Ibis have been reintroduced here. We'll look for them later.
We drove on past Jerez to the Treburjena area where we birded some saltmarsh and near the Rio Guadalquivir. At the saltmarsh, we soon encountered the first of many Greater Flamingos. A male Montagu's Harrier flew by. One of the blue-headed (Iberian) Western Yellow Wagtails perched up on a post. We saw more as we birded. Several hundred Black-bellied Plovers flew by, mostly with black bellies. Other birds seen included Gull-billed Tern, and flocks of Dunlin, Glossy Ibis, and Common Ringed Plover. A Red Kite showed off its red tail and numerous Black-winged Stilts worked the area. A Northern Wheatear sat on a nearby bank. A Greater Short-toed Lark put on a flight display. We were also able to see it on the ground. A distant Gray Heron was also seen.
We moved closer to the Rio Guadalquivir. We found Common Redshanks, a Lesser Short-toed Lark (which both sang and perched), Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, a Zitting Cisticola in the reeds right in front of us. A Collared Pratincole flew by. We noticed a Marbled Duck in the ditch just as we past it. The best views were out of the back of the vehicle. An odd-looking small heron flew by. It turned out to the a Squacco Heron. Some Pied Avocets were present, and we got distant views of Black-crowned Night-Heron and Common Raven. The views of Common Pochard and Red-crested Pochard were much better. I heard Common Moorhen call, and some of the group saw it.
|Griffon Vulture||Black Kite|
We then visited a pineland near the Rio Guadalquivir that is actually part of Doñana National Park. We ate our sandwiches there, then did some birding. We spotted a Great Tit while trying to track down a serin. After a bit of work, we also found a singing Melodious Warbler. A Common Nightingale was singing. At some point during the search for it a Willow Warbler popped into view.
|White Stork||White Storks on Nest|
We walked out of the pines along a canal, seeing a Eurasian Reed-Warbler in the reeds and hearing a couple of Great Reed-Warblers nearby. We then walked back though the pines to view Laguna de Tarila. It had Eurasian Spoonbill, the sought-after White-headed Duck, a Little Grebe, Gadwall, and finally, Common Waxbill right in front of the platform. On the way back through the pines to the cars I finally caught up with a European Serin.
We then drove a short distance to another wet area where we added Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, and Little Stint.
We then drove to Chipiona where there is a nesting colony of Little Swift. About 30 were present. Then we headed back to the hotel. We did stop at the cliffs by Vejar de la Frontera to check out the Northern Bald-Ibis that are part of the reintroduction program. Then we returned to the hotel.
|Northern Bald-Ibis on Nest||Eurasian Jackdaw|
Today I saw 72 species including 12 lifers. That brings the trip total to 90 species including 23 lifers.
Hotel Antonio, Zahara de los Atunes