MORNING VISIT TO LA JANDA - TRANSFER TO MALAGA AIRPORT
WEATHER: clear sky, sunny and warm. Top temp 32C
We had a fabulous last morning at La Janda it is such a wonderful place. It was a little chilly as we got out of the bus around 8:15am but that was soon forgotten as we watched hundreds of birds. Our first stop was on the main central causeway, we parked on the other side a concrete causeway which spans the main canal.
Birds were everywhere, we scanned the reeds on both banks of the canal looking for Little Bittern without seeing one but we did find a Reed Warbler which was new for the list. A couple of Cetti’s Warblers were singing constantly and only showed when they darted from one bus to another. Plenty of Corn Buntings, Stonechats and Zitting Cisticolas kept us occupied.
the central drain (canal) that runs through La Janda
The distant fields held dozens of White Storks, Cattle Egrets flew over constantly, and several large flocks of Glossy ibis flew across the valley. Cindy spotted a single Eurasian Spoonbill high above us and flocks of Sparrows were too numerous to count, probably Spanish Sparrows but it was hard to tell at a distant. A little closer to us we saw a few Mallards in the channel with a single Shoveler, at one point they were all spooked and we realised that there was at least 100 ducks in the flock.
another view of the canal
We scanned the near fields for larks and came up with a couple of Meadow Pipits our first for the trip. Our best bird was the Black-winged Kite, what a stunner! It came and landed on the nearest pylon to us and posed for a while, Paul our only photographer crept closer to get a picture and it flew off, we had great views as it flew around us.
a beautiful bird is the Black-winged Kite
Other raptor sightings included about 15 Lesser Kestrel, pair of Common Kestrel distant Marsh Harrier and a Booted Eagle up on the thermals. We drove along the raised central track and stopped many times along the 3km length of it. A Night Heron sat out nicely for us we also saw.Kingfisher, Green & Common Sandpipers, Grey Heron, lots of Spotless Starlings, Jackdaws, Linnets, Goldfinches and more Corn Buntings than you can shake a stick at.
some dodgy looking hybrid Geese
A Montagu’s Harrier was quartering the far side of a field of rice we saw it catch something and dive down to eat it, as we got into the bus to move on the Harrier came up very close to us, it would have made a wonderful picture but Paul was on the wrong side of the bus!
Geranium Bronze Butterfly
The sky was alive with swallows and Martins, also Common Swfts and Cattle Egrets, the hirundines hawked over the fields of millet and the finches and sparrows flocked into the ripened sunflowers. We found a dozen Turtle Doves, a few of them sat nicely on the wires for our cameras. Our three hour excursion was up in ther blink of an eye, we had to go back to the hotel and check out by 12noon, which is what we did. I drove the group to Malaga Airport, we stopped for a quick lunch at Palmones, it was now getting very hot. We said at our goodbyes at 3pm and after returning the bus and collecting my car and I drove home to join Dawn for our last four days in Spain, we still have a lot of painting to do before we leave!!