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Seville Trip Report

Posted Saturday 12th November 2011 at 00:06 by Alexjh1
Updated Saturday 12th November 2011 at 00:08 by Alexjh1
To begin I give my massive thanks to all the people who gave me advice on this forum for this trip - it really helped with what we finally did!

To make this more readable, birds are in bold, lifers in capitals.

Day 1: Seville
We caught the flight early, and by the time we arrived at our hotel, it was late morning, and so we decided to explore the city. I had seen a few birds distantly from the taxi over, but nothing really identifiable down to species level. We wandered through the town with the main species in evidence being house sparrow, feral pigeon and rose-ringed parakeet. As we eventually got to the Cathedral, I briefly spotted a Black Redstart near the entrance to it - a bird which while I understand is common in the Mediterranean, I still find a charming little species. Not much dramatic in the way of birds until we returned late that evening in time to catch a rather noisy LESSER KESTREL hawking above the roof. A distant swift was unfortunatly unidentifiable.

Day 2: El Rocio
This was the scheduled bird-watching day of the trip, so catching the bus early we headed out. An hour and a half bus journey didn't really yield anything particularly identifiable out of the window (fleeting sparrow shaped things aren't the easiest) - I've got a sneaking suspician I may have notched up a few unknown lifers in the process. At El Rocio, a fleeting view of a CATTLE EGRET, and the GREATER FLAMINGOS were th initial novelties for me. There was also a single black-tailed godwit, and numerous coot (no sign of a white collar and too distant to identify otherwise) and lapwing. A marsh harrier flushed a flock BLACK-WINGED STILT which I irritatingly failed to photograph. We headed down the road towards El Rocina, but irritatingly a stray dog decided to follow us and refused to go home, making birdwatching difficult. It followed us into El Rocina, where we finally lost it by hiding inside the visitor centre, before continuing on the path.

El Rocina unfortunatly turned to be very disappointing, apart from a small flock of COMMON WAXBILL, the haul was a rather limp mallard, chaffinch, common coot, grey heron, little egret, great tit and black redstart. There were large numbers of huge interesting dung beetles amidst the pines and a clouded yellow added a bit of colour. Other birds were present but I was only getting fleeting glimpses of them.

We headed back out the reserve and along the side of the Laguna to glimpse a red kite, a pair of white stork flying over our head and a kingfisher along with the birds from earlier. We also got a very brief view of a FAN-TAILED WARBLER Following the waters edge around infront of El Rocio to get a closer view of the Flamingos, we got much closer views of a cattle egret, and a very brief glimpse of a PENDULINE TIT as we came up to the reedbeds.

Day 3: Seville and Italica
Starting the day by walking along the river, our first encounter was a pair of CRESTED LARK feeding really closely to use. After exploring the market in Trianna, we got the bus out to the ruins of Italica. The place was filled with larks, although I didn't manage to see any close enough to identify them as anything other than cresteds. Also seen were further black redstarts, a SARDINIAN WARBLER and SPOTLESS STARLING . There were some very strange nosies coming from the lake area behind the coliseum but all I could locate was a pochard and a little grebe. After we returned back to Seville, we explored a bit more on foot, with a high hirundine/swift flock in poor light proving frustrating.

Day 4: Seville
The morning was spent exploring the Cathedral, including climbing up the huge belltower, which pprovided my only clear glimpse of a clearly marked male lesser kestrel. Moving on to the Real Alcazar, the gardens seemed fairly full, but unfortunatly nothing much identifiable beyond the blatant things like the parakeets.

Total List:
House Sparrow, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mallard, Pochard, Shoveller, Greater Flamingo, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, White Stork, Buzzard, Red Kite, Black Redstart, Robin, Collared Dove, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Feral Pigeon, Lapwing, Blac-tailed Godwit, Black Winged Stilt, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Greylag Goose, Fan-tailed Warbler, Crested Lark, Chiffchaff, Grey Heron, Great Tit, Common Coot, Little Grebe, Common Waxbill, Red Legged Partridge, Stonechat, Spotless Starling, Meadow Pipit, Marsh Harrier, Common Swift, Kingfisher, White Wagtail, Grey wagtail, Penduline Tit, Magpie, Cormorant, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Jackdaw.

At least ten lifers, eight of which photographed, plus one new species photographed for by Bird-dex.

Most interesting thing I noted - compared to the UK I saw very very few corvids, and only saw gulls once the entire trip.

I did do plenty of non-birding stuff in addition tothe stuff I described here, and there is certainly more I would have liked to be - a very fun any worthwhile destination that I could happily have spent another few weeks at if I had the money!
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Kev23's Avatar
Nice Report, I went to Jerez on a 4 day golf trip a month ago and visited Laguna De Medina one morning before the arternoon round.. You're right, only corvids were Jackdaws, no carrion crows in this area, any big black bird is going to be a raven! Lifers for me were a lesser kestrel, booted eagle, black shouldered kite (Mmm!) and white headed ducks. There were hundred of cattle egret all over the golf course!

I'm hoping to be able to pop over and visit El Rocio later in the winter, so thanks for the report, glad you enjoyed your trip :)
Posted Saturday 12th November 2011 at 11:34 by Kev23 Kev23 is offline
 
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