This tour started at Malaga Airport in lovely sunshine, our group of 7 Wing-spanners enjoyed a couple of hours birding near the airport before driving off to Coto Donana. We stopped at the fabulous Laguna Fuente de Piedra where we saw a good number of species.....
MALAGA AIRPORT – GUADAMAR - FUENTE DE PIEDRA – EL ROCIO (COTO DONANA)
All went smoothly at the arrivals hall in Malaga Airport over the course of 3 hours, members of the group arrived from different destinations between 10:30am – 1:45pm I dropped off most of the group at the beach near Guadamar whilst I drove back and forth to the airport picking up new arrivals.
The piece of waste-ground behind the beach near Guadamar was very productive, our very first bird of the trip was a Woodchat Shrike this was quickly followed by Eurasian Hoopoe and then by a group of Bee-eaters! Barn Swallows dashed about low to the ground and Jackdaws joined a number of Monk Parakeets up in the Eucalyptus trees.
CRESTED LARK - taking it easy
We parked near to the beach and watched from a raised bank for 30 minutes or so. A pair of Little Ringed Plovers were dashing about calling, they landed in the car park where we also saw Crested Lark and Goldfinch.
A golf course could be seen as we looked across a small stream in the mature eucalyptus growing there a huge colony of Monk Parakeets had been established. We watched these ‘escapees’ for a while noting Cattle Egret, Common Kestrel, Common Swift, Greenfinch and more Bee-eaters.
I left the group to walk along the stream whilst I collected the final participant from the airport, by the time I returned they had added Turtle Dove, Zitting Cisticola and Serin to the list.
At 3pm we all set off for the trip to Coto Donana as we left the Malaga region we drove into some lovely scenery and nice weather. We stopped at Laguna Fuente de Piedra after about an hour to make a short birding excursion to the pools around the visitor’s centre. It was a smashing hour that we spent there, the pools were alive with migrant species and several breeding birds.
On the first pool we found Whiskered and Gull-billed Terns, Ruff, Wood & Common Sandpipers, Little-ringed Plover, Yellow Wagtail (ibericus) and lots of Black-winged Stilts.
Other pools near the main laguna held more terns plus Garganey ( 2 males), Curlew Sandpipers, Redshank, Shoveler and Gadwall.
‘Lagunete’ is a large pool at the back of the visitor’s centre in recent weeks I had seen Ferruginous and White-headed Duck there, but today they were gone. A large number of Shoveler joined Common & Red-crested Pochard, Little Egret, Little Grebe and a few Greater Flamingos.
The main Laguna held thousands and thousands of Greater Flamingos, they stretched out on groups as far as the eye could see, it was an amazing sight. Al8ngside the Flamingos were over 100 Gull-billed Terns, good numbers of Redshank, 2 White Storks and 4 Common Shelduck.
We continued our journey at 5pm, as we got nearer to Sevilla it started to rain heavily, we drove through a thunderstorm and the rain continued until we headed out the other side of the city.
El Rocio was our destination which we reached by 7pm, the sandy streets were partially flooded and muddy but we got through to our hotel. We enjoyed a nice glass of vino de casa with a lovely meal, it was too cold to sit outside on the terrace.