It was my pleasure to work with my friend and colleague Yanina of Visit Natura to provide this very special trip through the diverse habitats of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.
A group of 7 local birders joined the trip and together we enjoyed not only some great bird species, but some fascinating insights into this dynamic environment and its eco-systems.
The day began with a boat trip across the Albufera, Spain´s largest fresh water lake. Whilst on the boat we had views of Marsh Harrier, Great Crested Grebe, Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen, Audouin´s Gull and huge numbers of Grey Heron.
We stopped by at one of the Park´s best reserves and immediatelty enjoyed extremely close views of Little Bittern. Ducks included Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall and Shoveler. The shoreline and shallow water held Black Winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover and Greater Flamingo. Scanning the reed beds revealed Reed Bunting, Fan-Tailed Warbler, and Cetti´s Warbler. Whiskered Terns and Sandwich Terns were feeding on the lake.
After our return boat journey we enjoyed lunch in the Devesa Forest, a unique habitat of native pine forest and coastal dunes. Much valuable conservation work has taken place here in the past few years, much of which has been instrumental in protecting the entire Natural Park. Whilst in this area we were treated to views of Greenshank and the elegant courtship display of the Great Crested Grebe.
It was a pleasure to spend the day with such a great group and to enjoy Yanina´s knowledge of the eco-systems of the Park. We´ll be arranging more joint trips very soon.
The species list included :
Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Mallard, Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Coot, Moorhen, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Serin, Reed Bunting, House Sparrow, Swallow, House Martin, Fan Tailed Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler, Redstart, Robin, Spotless Starling, Hoopoe, Magpie, Collared Dove, Whiskered Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Yellow Legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Black Winged Stilt, Little Bittern, Purple Swamphen, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Ringed Plover, Greenshank
Written by David Warrington.
Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding