Monday, 18 May 2009

Central Spain - Day 2

Penduline Tit
Melodious Warbler
Rock Bunting
Great Reed Warbler
Spotless Starling
Little Owl
Black Vulture
Squacco Heron
Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole
Black shouldered Kite habitat
Black shouldered Kite
Black shouldered Kite
Black shouldered Kite

Wednesday 13th May 2009

Our accommodation, Tom's spacious house, was very comfortable with excellent food and drink. The house was very isolated, surrounded by rolling farmland. No surprise that the garden had its own Scop's Owl which could be heard calling from time to time.
Day 2 began before dawn with a virtual breakfast followed by a long drive west. Our first site was a rocky gorge which held Blue rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, Rock Bunting, Red rumped Swallow and Crag Martin. We moved on to a reed fringed Laguna notable for an impressive colony of Whiskered terns but there were also Black and Gull billed Terns, as there were at most wetland sites. We did get brief flight views of Little Bittern but the other heron species: Grey and Purple Heron, Little and Cattle Egret were far more obliging. It was good to get decent views of Savi's warblers, and other warblers on view included Great Reed and Fan tailed. We heard Purple Swamphen but failed to entice one out of the reeds. Other species seen at this and other Lagunas during the day included White headed Duck, Red crested Pochard and Black necked Grebe (a count of over 80 at one site).

Other highlights incuded great views of Penduline tit and Melodious warbler at a river bridge and Chough, Raven, Black and Griffon Vulture, 10 Little Owls, Lesser Kestrel and Spectacled warbler around the ruins of an old (obviously) fortified town. You're maybe wondering at this point why I haven't mentioned food yet. Well thats because we haven't had any yet. A cup of T and a bowl of rabbit food an eternity ago. I know it wont do me any harm but I'm wasting away here. Pauline, alert to the situation kindly offers her selected nuts and raison mix. What a life saver but theres strict rationing and brazil's are at a premium.
At last the time honoured picnic site is reached. It also happens to be a reliable site for Black shouldered Kite. Its not long before the Kite is spotted in the top of a Cork Oak, one of hundreds spread out over a vast plain which wouldn't look out of place in Kenya. Steve Cawthray and myself chose to eat from the relative comfort of a hide from which we could see the Black shouldered Kite in flight, as well as Black and Griffon Vulture and Black Kite.
After a satisfying lunch we went in search of Orphean warbler nearby but only saw Sardinian warbler and Woodchat Shrike despite Tom's best efforts. Tom was also keen for us to see Ferruginous Duck and a vagrant Lesser Flamingo. Despite searching several flocks of Greater Flamingos our luck was out. We did however add Collared Pratincole and Squacco Heron to the day's tally before heading home.


  1. Can you label your photos Bob?

  2. Bob the trouble going to places like that is you have to come back to Warwickshire and Brandon Marsh will not be very exciting!!!!!

  3. If you ever want to come back, please don't hesitate to look us up, Oretani Wildlife, we give guided birding, wildlife and butterfly tours in La Mancha, central Spain.