Day 4: 25 May
Back on the road again and, pleased to say, John and Jenny picked up my early morning email before setting out so were able to find, and photograph, the Bald Ibis nest at La Barca. That's another new species then, John. There latest report is as follows:
Day 4 :: Barbate marshes, La Barca & La Janda
A fine day, not so hot due to cloudy skies and a fresh wind.
As we pulled out of the hotel - close to Tarifa - a female Sparrowhawk was seen battling against the headwind coming off the land, as she was struggling it gave us great views. We were really pleased with this but not the three cars waiting to get out of the car park behind us. Along the way we saw White Storks, Cattle Egrets and a Little Egret.
|Female Bald Ibis Ibis Eremita Geronticus eremita on nest (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
At the marshes the tide was full in - leaving very little exposed mud for waders. The sky was full of Collared Praticoles and above them huge numbers of Herring and Yellow-legged Gulls. To our right a small flock of mixed waders including Dunlin, Ringed Plovers and one Redshank. Lots of Corn Buntings, House Sparrows and Black-winged Stilts about too. It was only a fleeting visit as we were on our way to see the Bald Ibis. We took the A393 to Vejer, on the way seeing Little Owl and Hoopoe. At the the village of La Barca we found - as Bob had predicted - three Bald Ibis on nests. There was even a town hall employee showing people the site as well. Also in the area of the car park were Nightingales, Cattle Egrets, Jackdaws and Linnets.
We then drove round the long way back to Barbate on the A5206 calling in at the pine woods above the village of Los Canos de Meca ( they are actually a Parque Natural). Here we found Short-toed Treecreeper, Woodlark, Goldfinch, Spotted Flycatcher, Blackbird, Crossbill, Blackcap, House Sparrow, Sardinian Warbler, Long-tailed Tit and Great Tit.
|Purple Swamphen Calamon Comun Poprphyrio porphyrio (PHOTO: John Wainwright)|
It was rather humid in these pinewoods so we decided to have another look at La Janda. We entered the area at km47 and immediately the sounds of Collared Pratincoles could be heard. Also about were Cattle Egrets, Glossy Ibis (Jenny took it upon herself to give a general count; she came up with over three hundred that she could see in the immediate area), Reed Warblers were in full song - along the left hand reed bed, Black-winged Stilts, Mallard and a few Ringed Plovers. Later on a Cetti´s Warbler, a Common Kestrel, Turtle Doves and our one and only Red-legged Partridge of the day was seen. Two Purple Swamphens - we used to see at least twenty birds along this stretch, but the water is so high at the moment - was a nice addition to the day's count. Our first Grey Heron of the trip took off from a ditch and in a bare tree a Corn Bunting was in full song, but not to be outdone a Spectacled Warbler sat on a branch next to it, also in good voice. We picked up two more singing further down the track. Charms of Goldfinches were ever present as were Zitting Cisticola and House Sparrows. Just as we turned onto the outgoing track, we startled two Moorhens, who quickly disappeared into the reeds.
We had to wait until we were back at the hotel to see a Griffon Vulture, which sat on a telegraph pole opposite the place, but no Kites, Buzzards or Eagles of any description were to be seen today. Still, that´s birding !!!!
Tomorrow the 26th is our homeward bound journey, probably across country from here.