I recently enjoyed a fabulous day with two wonderful clients from California, USA. They were visiting the city where they were performing in a music festival and had previously organised a day of guided bird watching in Valencia with me. Both very keen and experienced bird watchers and photographers, they were very eager to see some of the amazing species that our wetlands hold, especially during the breeding season.
Having driven the short journey through the beautiful city of Valencia, we arrived at the reserve and began our walk. Almost immediately, we had views of a pair of Turtle Doves. As we began our walk along the dunes, we enjoyed views of Great Reed Warbler, Fan-Tailed Warbler and Little Grebe. Then one of the day´s target species appeared – the magnificent Bee Eater.
Having enjoyed the amazing colours of this stunning creature, we continued our walk along the coast to a lagoon where we paused and watched nesting colonies of Common Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern and the exceptionally pretty Collared Pratincole. We also added to our list Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Avocet, Purple Heron and Audouin´s Gull.
After a further walk we arrived at another lake where we stopped for lunch during which we were treated to great views of Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Purple Swamphen, Marsh Harrier and then one of the highlights of the day, a male Montagu´s Harrier.
After lunch we headed out through an area of pastureland where we watched Stonechat and Cattle Egret. House Martins, Sand Martins, Swallows and Swifts were all passing through overhead and Cetti´s Warbler were singing from the low bushes.
The final lagoon of the day gave us a magnificent end to the trip with super views of Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo and Little Bittern. We were almost back at the van when another pair of Bee Eaters appeared, a fitting end to a very special day. It had been a real pleasure to spend the day in such good company and with such enthusiastic and dedicated birders.
The species list for the day included :
Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Black Headed Gull, Yellow Legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Glossy Ibis, Little Bittern, Spoonbill, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Collared Pratincole, Greater Flamingo, Purple Swamphen, Moorhen, Coot, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Shoveler, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Hoopoe, Bee Eater, Great Reed Warbler, Fan-Tailed Warbler, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Stonechat, Yellow Wagtail, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Swift, Montagu´s Harrier, Marsh Harrier.
Written by David Warrington.
Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding