A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to organise a guided bird watching trip for two clients from England. They were keen to discover the bird life of the Valencian wetlands.
After I collected them from the historical quarter of Valencia city we drove to the Albufera Natural Park. I´d organised a visit to a restricted reserve area which always holds a wide variety of species. To get there we drove through the rice paddies, an ecosystem that in itself is a hot spot for herons, egrets, Glossy Ibis and Marsh Harriers.
Once inside the reserve, we carefully and quietly explored each lagoon. The water levels are carefully controlled to provide habitats for various bird species.
A huge variety of herons, gulls, terns, ducks and waders were all showing very well, together with Greater Flamingo and Glossy Ibis. It´s always very exciting to see new species and to enjoy a colony of hundreds of Collared Pratincoles was one of the highlights of the trip.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch in a hide that looks onto a lagoon so we could enjoy fantastic views of Whiskered Terns, Little Bittern and Squacco Herons.
Having left the reserve, the next stop was in a forested area with a lake, beside the sea – a hot spot for Slender-billed Gull, Audoin’s Gull, Kentish Plover and Turtle Dove.
Despite the hot weather, we´d had a great day. Fabulous habitats, a great list of species and wonderful company!
The species list for the day included…
Marsh Harrier, Mallard, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Great-crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Purple Swamphen, Moorhen, Coot, Avocet, Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Collared Pratincole, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Turtle Dove, Swift, Kingfisher, Bee-eater, Magpie, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Zitting Cisticola, Blackbird, Spotless Starling, White Wagtail, Goldfinch, House Sparrow.
Written by Yanina Maggiotto
Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.