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  Well migration is in full swing I was at the dump on the A92 this week and what a sight it was with over 250 white storks. There were also the lesser black back gulls that are always there over 100 and when the storks and the gulls all setoff for a look around the sky was full of birds.  After this we setoff to the lagunas around Campillos which was rewording with good numbers of Flamingos, white headed ducks and spotter red shanks.  After lunch at the luguna (made by Eileen) we set off for the vulture feeding site but this has not been too fruitful recently so we set off for a hunt for the crossbills.  When we first arrived at the site we could hear the crossbills but could not see them.  Whilst waiting for the crossbills to return we were rewarded with a wood lark which landed a couple of meters in front of us.  As to was now getting hot and most of the birds had found a sheltered spot for an afternoon siesta we set off home.  Yet an other good day here in Andalucia.

I have just returned from a wonderful day at Luguna Dulce near Campillos, where a lot of flamingos have taken up residence as the water levels at Fuente de Piedra are low this year.  But it is hot so we could not get out to the far side as I did last week.  There was a large flock of white storks coming over on migration.  In the luguna the white headed ducks were present in good numbers along with black necked and little grebes.  At the shore line, which is getting further away from the hide, there was a Curlew sandpiper, a Green sandpiper and a small flock of Black-tailed Godwits.  On the way there we had stopped off to watch the bee-eaters chasing bees and wasps over the fields.  We had lot of Swifts flying around the Luguna but I am not too sure but we must of had a pallid amongst them as some were very pail and looked a little fat around the base of the tail

Report on ABS field meeting peñón de zaframagón.

After meeting and a quick coffee at the Estion de Olvera we set off up the hill and throw Olvera.  On the road to zaframagón we stopped to look for an Iberian Shrike but he was not showing that day but there was a Woodchat Shrike chasing a Golden Oriole .  Off along the track stopping along the way to look at Stone Chats and Corn Buntings.

   Turning down the hill we had our first sight of the peñón and the vultures flying around it.  At the car park we loaded up the scopes and set off for the 2 Km walk along the old rail way track to the aqueduct from there we had good views of the colony on the cliffs of the peñón along with Choughs.  In the poplars in the gorge below the aqueduct there were more Golden Orioles, Nightingales and a Blue rock thrush.  After a quick coffee at the visitorís center we set off back to the car park, as we walked back alone the old track the beaters were flying over head.  On the road back to Olvera Mike spotted a Short toed Eagle on top of a pylon we stopped and watched for a while before it flew off over the road and off into the

    Whilst having lunch the Lesser Kestrels were flying all around along with Spotless Starlings and in the distance more Vultures.  During lunch some of our party decided not to come further up the road to Laguna Dulce so we said our goodbyes and set off towards the Laguna.  As it was getting hot we were glad that the hide was cool (in the shade) and empty we stayed there for an hour or so (list of birds at bottom marked with a LD) before making our way back to Olvera.

  We had a small group of people which was nice as I could give every one some my time and knowledge.

List of birds seen on the Day:-

Black-necked Grebe LD

Little Grebe LD

Great Crested Grebe LD

Greater Flamingo LD

Mallard LD

Pochard LD

Red-crested Pochard LD

White-headed Duck LD

Griffon Vulture

Short-toed Eagle

Marsh Harrier LD

Kestrel

Lesser Kestrel

Moorhen LD

Coot LD

Avocet LD

Black-winged stilt LD

Ringed Plover LD

Kentish Plover LD

Lapwing LD

Black-headed Gull LD

Lesser Black-backed Gull LD

Gull-billed Gull Tern LD

Black Tern LD

Collared Dove

Swift

Bee-Eaters

Crested Lark

Crag Martin

Swallow

House Martin

Grey Wagtail LD

Nightingale

Stonechat

Blue Rock Thrush

Blackbird

Sardinian Warbler

Great Tit

Woodchat Shrike

Chough

Spotless Starling

Golden Oriole

House Sparrow

Goldfinch

Greenfinch

Serin

After picking Eileen up from the airport last night and back home for 12.00 PM I was up for 6.00AM so I could get to Montejaque as this month the ABS field meeting was in the sierra de Grazalema to do some ringing with Peter Jones.  After a drive up track I found the cars parked at the side of the road and herd the members chatting under a tree off to the left.   As I was late the first set of birds were already being ringed.  The main bird in this first set was the blue tit (aggressive little beggars) along with some Sub-alpine Warblers.  Whilst Peter was removing the next set of birds, I went and investigated a small stream (a drain actually) which runs at the side of the road.  This was rewording ,the birds were flying into a small bush and then down for a drink.   After a short while the next set of birds were removed from the nets amongst them was a Firecrest the smallest bird in Europe.  The day carried on like this whilst the birds were being removed from the nets (only two people at a time to keep the birds clam in the nets) I kept an eye on the stream.  That was day one and I was all set for day two so an early night was called for.  Up at 5.00, so I could get to the site for 7.00, to help Peter set up the nets.  After driving back up the track I was the first there and it was still dark the sky was full of stars the brightest of witch was not a star but the planet Jupiter and with the aid of my bins I could make out 4 of its moons.  Peter soon arrived but the whether was against us the wind was too strong so we could not set the net up as the birds could be stressed or even killed in the high wind if they were caught in the nets.  We stood in front of the stream for a hour or so until the girls arrived at this point I had to get in the car and drive up the track as I was freezing.  At the top of the track there was a flock of Chough about 100 or more, at the pond at the end of the track 5 or 6 Lesser Kestrels flicked from post to post.  As I returned back down the track (now nice and warm now) a Short-toed Eagle flew up from the ground just behind the fence and over the car.  Along the track there were Black-eared Wheatears and Black redstarts, back at the ringing site the girls had set them selfís up just by stream were we had had the nets the day before.  Sitting quietly here the birds come down for a drink and a bath and some good photos were taken by all.  I have added some to my flicker site in the set marked Blog 5.

Hi everybody well I have spent all day at what is becoming my favourite site.  What a day we have had, not as bright as last week but still worm. The birds were very close to the hide as there were hunters on the far side of the Laguna which was good luck for us as there was a Red-knobbed Coot only 10 meters from the hide.  But it was hiding behind the measuring pole for most of the morning only popping out to feed on the weed every now and again.  As the day went on it came out and we all had good views of it.  In the reeds to the right of the hide were the 2 Ferruginous Ducks both showing well but asleep for most of the day only feeding for ½ an hour at a time then back into the reeds and back to sleep (well head down and not moving).

   Over the reeds at the back of the Laguna (after the hunters had gone home for siesta) there were 4 or 5 Marsh Harriers and every now and then one would come close to the hide.  Whilst watching the Harriers we noticed some large black birds in a tree in the distance, when we looked again they were gone, but the sky above the hide was full of Black Kites we estimated 150 to 200 in 3 large stacks climbing as high as they could before peeling of in a southerly direction, this is migration in action( it happens all over Andalucía not just at the Sothern end.  There is a town dump about 10 to 15 Km to the north of this site and at this time of the year the sky above it is black with Black Kites and White Storks.

    I had to go off and collect lunch but whilst I was away the Purple Swamphen made an appearance.  As the afternoon progressed we settled down to take some photos of the Red Knobbed Coot and the Ferruginous Ducks which I have added to my flicker site. http://www.flicker.com/photos/66676573@N02/

  As we were starting to pack up the prize of the day appeared 3 Marbled Duck (teal) about 20 meters from the hide, well we all quickly set back up and some photos of these rare ducks were taken.  They paddled from right to left until they were hidden behind a small island.  Well all scopes were trained on the other side of the island but they did not reaper from behind the island, we waited for ½  an hour to no avail.  We could have left the hide and had a look from the fields at the side of the Laguna but we decided not to do this as it could have disturbed the other birds. We had had good views and as we knew there had been there for a few weeks we knew had a good chance of seeing them next time.  I am getting so complacent, whilst doing the list of birds seen on the day I remembered the White Headed Duck which is one of Spainís endangered species, at this site we counted over 100 birds and that was the ones we could see for sure there were some in the reeds to our left so there must have been more in the reeds at the back of the Laguna which we could not see, so more than 100. They have a very low profile in the water so at the farthest reaches of the Laguna we may not have seen all of the birds in the water as well.

List of birds seen on the day:- Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, MARBLED DUCK, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, White-Headed Duck,  Red-Legged Partridge, Black-Necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Gray Heron, Greater Flamingo, Griffon Vulture, Booted Eagle, Black Kite, Marsh Harrier, Moor Hen, Coot, Red-Knobbed Coot, Purple Swamphen, Black Winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Lapwing, Wood Samdpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Common Swift,  Hoopoe, Bee-Eater,  Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Sallow, Red ĖRumped Swallow, House Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Zitting Cisticola, Reed Warbler, Great tit, Woodchat Shrike, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow andGoldfinch. 52 species not bad sitting in one spot for the day.  

Looks like the photos have failed so I will post them in my gallery.

Hi all I am not much of a blogger looks like I can only manage 1 a month so I am going for it and am trying to do 2 this month so here is the first.

We were at one of the sites I visit a lot at the moment and it is becoming a good place to spot rarities.  Whilst there yesterday we saw thousands of Coots but despite looking at nearly all of them there were no Red-knobbed coots but we did see a Feruginous Duck just in front of us close enough to get a decent photo of it throw the scope but I did not bring the tripod so the shots were a bit shaky as I took them throw the scope in the hand, but here they are anyway.


Along with this rare duck there was a wood sandpiper just in front of the hide.

As this site there were good numbers of Spainís White headed duck over 100 birds.  Three specs of grebe were present Little, Black-necked and Grate Crested.

Well that is all for now I hope to post an other blog enter before the end of the month.

Report  on trip to Laguna Dulce, Laguna de la Fuente de Piedra,Osuna,Cortijo del Alamillo and the Dump at  LaPuebla de Cazalla.

 The day started in Olvera at 8 oíclock and set off towards the luguna Dulce at Campillos.  On the road there was a male Montaguís Harrier which flew over the road in front of the car.  On arrival at a quite ( of people ) Luguna Dulce the water was full of birds with the Coots taking top spot for numbers.   Along with the Coots there were good numbers of grebes (Black-necked, Little and Great crested) ducks (Mallard, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard and White-headed).  With about 100 Greater Flamingos at the back of the luguna, a single Lapwing was on the small beach to the left of the hide along with Black Ėwinged Stilts and over head the Gull-billed Gulls swooped and dived.  On leaving the luguna we stopped at a Bee-eater colony where we stopped to watch these stunning birds.  After a quick stop in the visitors centre we spent some time at the mail hide by the small luguna. From there we saw more Greater Flamingos, Coots, Black-winged Stilts and a Pair of Gadwalls.  In the small pools at the front of the visitors centre the Avocets were showing in good numbers.  After a short stop at the hide we set off to hunt for Great Bustards to the north of Osuna.  As we drove alone side the rail tracks the Montaguís Harriers were in abundance with almost one over each field.  The Crested larks were doing there usual running away in front of the car then a short fly in to the fields at the side of the road.  After a scan from the railway bridge we set off for the ruin where I knew there were Rollers.  As we approached the ruin the Roller was perched on a beam sticking out from the ridge of the building but we only caught sight of it as it flew off.  But we persevered (whilst watching Little Owls and a Black-shouldered Kite) and it returned as we were leaving.  On our way back to the mail road there were good numbers of Spanish Sparrows, Red-legged Partridges and the Rollers were waiting for us on the pylons so good view were had.  On our way back we stopped off at the dump at the outskirts of La Puebla de Cazalla 50 to 80 Black Kites and 6 White Storks soured over the motorway and dump.    We made it back to Olvera at 7.30 and a good day was had by all.

List of birds seen on the Day.

Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, White Stork, Grater Flamingo, Gadwall, Mallard, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Montaguís Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Red-legged Partridge, Coot, Black-winged Stilt. Avocet, Lapwing, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Gull-billed Gull, Stock Dove, Collard Dove, Turtle Dove, Little Owl, Swift, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Skylark, Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Stonechat, Black Bird, Fan-tailed Warbler(Zitting Cisticola), Sardinian Warbler, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting and Iberian Shrike

Hi everybody this is the start of my blog I have not done one in the past so we will see how it goes. We were at the feeding site last week and I have added some photos for you to see.

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