Last week, I spent a great day with a client from the Netherlands. He was attending a medical conference and had arranged a day of bird watching from the city of Valencia with us. The close proximity to the city of some of the regions best birding sites makes such a trip very easy.
Having collected him from his hotel in Valencia, we made the short journey to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.
Our day began with a pair of Turtle Doves, even before we´d closed the van doors! A short walk to the first small lake gave us good views of Night Heron, Reed Warbler and Fan Tailed Warbler. We continued along the beach to the next coastal lagoon where we enjoyed views of Audouin´s Gull, Whiskered Tern, Little Tern and Glossy Ibis.
The coastal scrub held Yellow Wagtail and Stonechat whilst all the while we saw Barn Swallow, Red Rumped Swallow, House Martin and Swift passing overhead.
The next lagoon gave superb views of Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Avocet and Purple Swamphen. We also watched a breeding colony of Little Tern and Whiskered Tern.
Our walk continued through reedbeds and out into open country where we were treated to views of a very special raptor, a male Montagu´s Harrier. The trees and low bushes held Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warbler and Hoopoe. As we approached the day´s next lagoon, we saw Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover.
We´d made an early start that morning so we were back at the van by mid afternoon. Therefore, we made a short drive to another site as my client was keen to get better views of Audouin´s Gull, a lifer for him. Not only did we see a further eight, but we also had great views of a Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Wheatear and Crested Lark.
Content with the day´s species list and more importantly, the quality of the views, we returned to the city of Valencia. It had been a great day, and a pleasure for me to spend the day with such an experienced and enthusiastic birder.
The species list included…
Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Reed Warbler, Fan Tailed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Goldfinch, Serin, Spotless Sterling, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat, Magpie, Blackbird, Wheatear, Crested Lark, Hoopoe, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red Rumped Swallow, Swift, Bee Eater, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Yellow Legged Gull, Black Headed Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Cormorant, Little Bittern, Black Winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Montagu´s Harrier, Kestrel
Written by David Warrington.
Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding