LAGUNA MEDINA - SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA 'PONDS' - BONANAZA SALT PANS - LAGUNA TARELO - TREBUJENA MARSH
WEATHER: Superb weather all day, misty at first but dry warm and sunny with a light breeze. Top temp 27.5C
What a cracking day! We saw hordes of birds, waders galore and we had lovely weather. We saw 90 species, with some excellent birds on the list.
Looking back at Gaucin as we left the village this morning at sunrise
Barbara and I left Gaucin at sunrise to drive down to Casares to pick up John Hale at 8. We all then set off for the hour + drive to Laguna Medina just south of Jerez. We drove through mist and sometimes thick fog before the sky cleared as we approached Laguna Medina.
a view of Lahuna Medina from the boardwalk showing many Greater Flamingos
John and I walked to the hide whilst Barbara sat with the car, Red-rumped Swallows dashed over us in the car park with House and Sand Martin's and a few Common Swifts. The laguna was covered in birds, we estimated 500 Greater Flamingos, 200 Little Grebes, over 80 Eurasian Spoonbill and countless Coots, Shovelers, Mallards and Ringed Plovers and also a couploe of hundred White Storks,
Curlew Sandpipers taken from the hide at Laguna Medina
From the boardwalk and the hide we scoped the whole of the water and the dry margins, it was great birding in superb light. We added Eurasian Teal, Common Pochard, White-headed Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Black-necked Grebe and few waders species.
Black-necked Grebes with Little Grebes
Both Pallid & Common Swifts appeared above aswe walked back to the car park. We then drove to Sanlucar de Barrameda and after picking up picnic supplies we stopped at the 'Ponds'. Three of these small pools held a lot of of species all in or around very muggy looking brown water.
Star sightings at these ponds were White-headed Duck, Squacco Heron, Red-knobbed Coot, Night Heron, Common Waxbill and a Pied Flycatcher.
record shot of Squacco Heron at Sanlucar ponds
What can I say about the Salt Pans at Bonanza that I haven't already said. They were superb as expected, covered in all kinds of wetland birds and we saw several different Raptors too. After just 15 minutes we had seen 16 different waders, over 500 Slender-billed Gulls and over 1000 Greater Flamingos. Very often you could see 5 or 6 different waders species in the scope at the same time, it was incredible birding.
Typical wader gathering on the Pans, small groups of mixed species: here are L to R Curlew Sandpiper, Black-wing Stilt, Redshank and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits
An Osprey circled the area, we also noted both Montagu's & Marsh Harriers, Booted Eagle and Common Kestrel. Other birds of interest included: Caspian & Little Terns, the largest and the smallest terns of Europe respectively. Two Great Egrets, lots of Glossy Ibis and 300+ Black-tailed Godwits.
After leaving the 'pans' we stopped for a well-earned ice-cream before visiting our last venue the Laguna
Tarelo. There we added another 'goodie' in the shape of 7 Marbled Ducks, they were distance but easily recognisable.
another record shot. Three of the Marbled Duck can be seen with a host of Northern Shovelers
We drove through the pine woodland of Algaida and then the very dry marshland of Trebujena. There we saw a Red Kite and not much else. Our journey home was highlighted by the sighting of a juvenile SPANISH IMPERIAL EAGLE, found by Barbara , it was circling right over the auto via and not very high up.