We were very fortunate to select of of the coolest days of the month to visit several sites around Albacete. The day started with a somewhat bizarre sighting of a Little Owl sitting in the middle of a field in broad daylight! Despite August not been the best month for watching waders, we managed to find good numbers of Black Winged Stilt plus Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plovers and a Greenshank. Our patience and searching rewarded us eventually with good views of Great Bustard out on the plains. Kestrels were out hunting in good numbers, and [read more]
It was with a little trepidation that Dave and I decided to check out an area about 1 hours drive from La Drova that is home to a Griffon Vulture re-introduction project. Luckily the heat was bearable with a light breeze. Before we entered the valley we stopped for a coffee at one of the local bars and were witness to the antics of at least 6 Red Squirrels. As we entered the valley the site that we witnessed made us rename the valley (hence ‘Death Valley’) with at least 30 Griffon Vultures soaring above us. It wasn’t long [read more]
Another day exploring the East coast birding sites. This time, we spent a very hot day on the south side of the Ebro Delta. Despite the heat, there was plenty of bird activity, and within a couple of hours we managed a tick list of some 29 species. The Greater Flamingoes were as ever spectacular in full breeding plumage. Other highlights of the day included Night Heron, Great Egret, Purple Gallinule, Little Bittern and Squacco Herons in huge numbers.
This was largely an experimental trip as late June / July is never the best time for birding, but our efforts were rewarded by some good birds, for some of which we enjoyed excellent views. The weather was of course hot and humid, but before we retreated to a bar for a cold beer, we´d totted up a list of 26 species. Highlights included Bee Eater, Audouin´s Gull, Ringed Plover, Collared Pratincole and superb views of a male Montagu´s Harrier.
Sunday 8th May dawned bright with clear blue skies…something of a rarity in itself following the recent succession of wet weekends! We spent the day exploring various wetland sites along the coastline of Northern Valencia. Most if not all summer visitors were well established. The tick list for the day totalled 47 species, a very satisfying achievement. Not only were we pleased with the variety of birds seen, but we were paticularly fortunate to enjoy superb views of almost every one. Highlights included Avocet, Collared Pratincole, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Purple Gallinule, Spoonbill and White Headed [read more]
April saw the arrival of many summer visitors to La Drova including large numbers of Wryneck, some seen if you have the patience. Nightingales can be heard right through the valley. A male and female Pied Flycatcher have been spotted again this year but cannot determine if they breed here (no sign of Spotted Flycatcher yet). A single Redstart was seen on 1st April and the first Woodchat Shrike on 10th April ). Red-Rumped Swallows have been seen collecting nest material which means they must be breeding in La Drova (good news). Bee-eaters past overhead at high altitude on 15th [read more]
Ian & Dave spent a half day around the Beniarres and Valle de Gallinera area. Beniarres provided the first Swifts of the year plus good views of Cirl Bunting, Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat and at least 4 Blue Rock Thrush. Valle de Gallinera rewarded our efforts with Nightingale, and the highlight of the day – Golden Eagle. The list for the trip totalled 25, comprising… Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, Magpie, Blackbird, Stonechat, Little Egret, Cirl Bunting, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Sardinian Warbler, Greenfinch, Blue Rock Thrush, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Moorhen, Serin, Great Tit, Nightingale, Golden [read more]
We spent a few hours touring around various sites within the Albufera natural park. Although maybe a little early for some of the usual summer visitors, we managed to see a total of 19 species, including a few of particular interest. Superb and sustained views of a male Bluethroat was perhaps the most pleasant. List included : Black Winged Stilt, Bluethroat, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Garganey, Black Headed Gull, Yellow Legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Grey Heron, Hoopoe, House Sparrow, House Martin, Marsh Harrier, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Spotless Starling, Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Wood Sandpiper
On March 7th Dave and I headed for Castilla La Mancha in search of, lifers for the both of us,The Great Bustard but hoping also to add a number of birds to our year lists. On our way to the Steppes and lagoons of Albacete we saw many Magpie and Carrion crow plus Red-legged partridge and at the first lagoon Shelduck Black headed Gull, Mistle Thrush, Lapwing and Hoopoe. At the second lagoon we found Greater Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Coot, Little Grebe, Black-winged Stilt, Avacet, Spotted Starling, Redshank, Common Sandpiper and Little ringed Plover. Our next stop was the cereal [read more]