Thursday, 18 April 2013

Great Bustard - no Trouble !! Part two

Around 4pm we arrived at the Laguna de Petrola, a short drive from the small town of Higueruela.  As I said in part one, the water level was high making it impossible to drive around the lagoon. The frogs were in fine voice and could be heard above the birdsong.

Around the lagoon, on the flooded plain were several pools of rain water holding Mallard Duck, Coot, Black-winged Stilt and Avocet. We watched a Marsh Harrier fly across the field and get everything up in its wake.  Other birds recorded on the lagoon and on the surrounding farm land:  Corn Bunting, Collared Dove, Yellow Wagtail, Gadwall (pr), Black-headed Gull, Kentish Plover, Ruff,  Lapwings, Black-winged Stilt, Red Shank, Little Egret, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Moorhen, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, Black-necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Red-rumped Swallow,  Barn Swallow, House Martin, Flamingo, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Avocet, Northern Wheatear, Rock Sparrow, Kestrel, Woodchat Shrike, Great Reed Warbler and Reed Warbler.

Marsh Harrier 

 Gull-billed Tern

Black Tern 

Coral Rubio was our next point of call.  On previous trips this area has provided us with good views of both Black-bellied and Sandgrouse as well as both Great and Little Bustard.  So full of high expectations of adding to our already excellent days birding we stopped at the flood plains first.  Wildfowl was abundant as were the fantastic Bustards that we parked up and watched on both sides of the road for about an hour.  We have selected some of the better shots to show you.

Until now the Sandgrouse has eluded us but just as we were about to leave Mark spotted a pair of Pintails on the hill, following 3 male Great Bustard in flight. Although no further different species were recorded at this sight, the sheer amount of Bustard and the fact that we were able to get so close to them without disturbing them made the stop a pleasure.

What a day of birding - more to come from our stay in Spain. Also news from Ashley on the Aquila Bird Tours Scottish Highlands trip which started today - watch this space !

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