This week, I was fotunate enough to meet David and Susan from UK. They were taking a city break in Valencia and had previously arranged a day of guided bird watching with me.
Both scientists and keen nature lovers, they were interested to see the diverse bird life of Albufera de Valencia and the surrounding wetlands.
We began our day at Tancat de la Pipa, a fantastic reserve within the Albufera Natural Park. Run by an extremely dedicated team, this reserve provides critical habitat to a huge array of bird species, as well as supporting a fantastically diverse eco-system. As we walked through the reserve, we enjoyed close views of Greater Flamingo, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet and huge numbers of Little Ringed Plovers.
Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins were feeding above the reedbeds. Fan Tailed Warblers were also flitting around the reeds and we heard the beautiful song of Cetti´s Warbler.
As we walked further into the reserve, we had a stunning view of a Glossy Ibis in flight, the sunlight picking out the green, purple and bronze colouration of its plumage. We also had great views of Black Tailed Godwit, Purple Swamphen and Ruff.
Once inside the visitor centre, we enjoyed a presentation on the history and ecology of the reserve followed by a discussion on the future of conservation in Spain. The reserve staff at Tancat de la Pipa work tirelessly to attract children and young people to the reserve and to raise awareness of the need to protect the natural environment. This was of particular interest to Susan as she is instrumental in attracting children in the UK to the fascinating world of geology.
We then had a picnic lunch by one of the original fishing ports of Albufera before making our way to another of Valencia´s wetlands. We enjoyed a leisurely walk along the coastal dunes and lagoons where we enjoyed views of Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat, yet more Purple Swamphens and Red Crested Pochard. The day was brought to a close with views of a male White Headed Duck.
The species list for the day included :
Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, Cormorant, Yellow Legged Gull, Black Headed Gull, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Pochard, Shoveler, Red Crested Pocahard, White Headed Duck, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Swamphen, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, Black Winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo
Written by David Warrington.
Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding