Trip Reports

Coto Donana & Tarifa April 2010

The group arrived on time and brought the Gloucestershire weather with them – it was windy, cold, overcast and rainy! After quickly loading into the bus we drove the short distance to the Nature Reserve in the salt marsh of the river Formosa. The tide was low so there was plenty of exposed mud for the foraging waders to explore. Our first few birds of the trip consisted of a number of common waders together with a single Little Stint. As we made our back to the highway an Azure-winged Magpie flew across our path and was seen by only the front seat passengers of the bus.  
The wind had picked up an hour later as we made our way onto the Reserve of Castro Marim, this coastal reserve sits on the west bank of the Rio Guadiana which forms the border between Portugal and Spain. It consisted of salt marsh, but has the added habitats of orchards and lots of disused, as well as working, salt pans. Good numbers of waders were seen in the distant pans which consisted mainly of Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Grey & Ringed Plover. We did note several Northern Wheatears, Zitting Cisticola, Pied Avocet, Red- legged Partridge and a wonderful Montagu’s Harrier which drifted across the salt pans and caused chaos in the wader flocks. 

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