On Wednesday 20th November, we arranged a trip to Albufera de Valencia for a group of local birders. The day began with morning coffee at a bar beside one of Albufera´s traditional fishing ports. We then visited one of the park´s prime nature reserves where we spent the morning enjoying the superb bird life that this reserve supports.
Despite a windy morning, we had good views of Black Winged Stilt, Snipe, Marsh Harrier, Great Egret and dozens of wintering Chiff Chaffs. The highlight of the walk through the reserve was a stunning view of a Booted Eagle that passed overhead then came to land on the ground right in front of us.
We then enjoyed a fascinating presentation on the history, ecology and various conservation projects of the reserve together with a visual display on how the reserve benefits the local environment and its wildlife. We were especially fortunate to observe some bird ringing that was being done by the Sociedad Española de Ornitología. A special treat was being able to see a Kingfisher at such close range, and for one of the group to be able to release a Chiff Chaff after its ringing and biometric survey.
As we walked out of the reserve we had great views of a flock of Glossy Ibis, followed by an Iberian Grey Shrike then somewhat surprisingly a Pied Flycatcher. After lunch and another coffee break we spent the afternoon at another smaller reserve where we enjoyed views of Purple Swamphen, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, Cattle Egret and Stonechat.
The day was brought to a close with a beautiful sunset over the flooded rice fields. It had been a fascinating visit and one that will hopefully bring happy memories of this very special place.
The species list for the day included :
Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black Winged Stilt, Snipe, Cormorant, Mallard, Chaffinch, Little Grebe, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, White Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Great Egret, Coot, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Magpie, Grey Wagtail, Glossy Ibis, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Iberian Grey Shrike, Black Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Stonechat, Collared Dove, Black Headed Gull, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, European Starling, Robin, Hoopoe, Cattle Egret, Crag Martin
Written by David Warrington.
Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.