Monday 17th June:
Despite the late finish last evening I had intended an early start this morning to be at a site for another target early but my sparrow alarm failed to wake me so I had a more leisurely start than planned and headed to Laguna de la Mejorada, seeing both Buzzard and Black-winged Kite perched on top of roadside telephone poles during the journey.
Once on site I first checked out the suggested olive groves but no sign so set off on a circumnavigation of the reservoir. Plenty of the more common and expected scrub species present, including a number of Nightingale and more Western Olivaceous Warblers, plus what appeared to be a small colony of Common Waxbill in one corner and plenty of Turtle Doves in the taller trees. Once alongside the canal a couple of Little Tern were fishing and two Collared Pratincole hawked overhead with the swifts and Hirundines (I forgot to mention that I saw a flock of Pratincoles hawking over a roadside canal / ditch at dusk yesterday). Apart from a tame Hoopoe feeding on a track not much else of note was seen on the rest of the way round. Back near the car a view opened up over the water to show the usual egrets / herons / ibis and Little Grebe plus Black-winged Stilt and Kentish Plover and a number of active Whiskered Terns. On returning to my starting point the farmer had begun working the olive groves so no sign of the target.
I decided to use the car for a while so drove the minor roads around the Moron - Marchena - La Puebla de Cazalla area seeing the more common species plus Red-legged Partridge, Black Kite, Booted Eagle, a feeding flock of Bee-eater, a close-by perched Woodchat Shrilke and a flyover Raven.
Next stop was the Laguna de Medina - it was still hot so the scrub around the reservoir was pretty quiet but there was plenty of life on the water; alongside what seemed to be about half the world's population of Coot were a few Moorhen, some Little Grebe, larger numbers of Black-necked Grebe, a couple of Great Crested Grebe, Spoonbill, Avocet, Flamingo, White-headed Duck, Mallard and a few scattered Pochard. To the rear a lot of birds suddenly went up, including a Lapwing, and then a pair of Foxes appeared patrolling the edge of the reeds. The sandy path from the boardwalk to the hide was swarming with enormous numbers of a large parasitic-type burrowing wasp.
It was now time to return to Pinar de Algaida where I stopped in the car park for a bite to eat and to let dusk approach. Just as I was leaving I heard and then saw an Iberian Green Woodpecker fly over the road and perch up on a pine trunk, even giving me time to get it in the scope; good views of target number two down - it had been a frustrating heard only species before.
I then continued up the track to a promising looking area of more open 'heathy' land in the pines and waited and listened. Once fully dark, but very moonlight courtesy of a full moon, I heard a European Nightjar churring. Then a distant Red-necked Nightjar began its unusual call. There were loads of bats around and an unidentified owl flew very close by but no nightjars were seen and both soon went quiet. Once it became too dark I set off for base. Target three partially got but I still wanted to see one.
Can't see the birds for the trees!
Last edited by foresttwitcher : Monday 24th June 2019 at 19:57.