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November at Moro Marsh (1 Viewer)

Where's that? I hear you say, well, it's local name is "Marjal dels Moro" in Valenciano and it lies on the Mediterranean coast between Sagunt and Pucol, a few miles north of Valencia. How big, well, we walked round about two thirds of it and that was just over 7 miles. There are numerous lagoons there but the dry summer had dried out most last time we went about 3 weeks ago although one large one was host to 8 juvenile Flamingoes, Mallard, Teal, Black-winged Stilts, Lapwings, Coots, Moorhens, Gallinules, Shovelers, Pochards, Little Grebes, Grey Herons, various Egrets (Great, Little and Cattle) and a Water Rail. The skies were patrolled by Marsh Harriers and Kestrels. As we were about to leave a Kingfisher came and sat on a post right in front of the hide.

Yesterday (27th) after several very wet days we went again. The approach road was flooded so a good sign. It soon became apparent that there had been enough rain to fill all the lagoons but there had not been many new arrivals and we did not see any Stilts or Flamingoes and the large lagoon was only hosting a handful of Coots and a large flock of Lapwings, all the ducks having dispersed to the newly flooded lagoons to try to escape from the Marsh Harriers. A lot of the reeds had been cut and cleared and one of these areas was full of Chiffchaffs, with the odd White Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Stonechat, and our "spotting of the day", a young male Bluethroat (see gallery). The shepherd came through with his flock of sheep and attendant Cattle Egrets and other birds seen included Robins, Sardinian Warblers, a fly-over Avocet (heading north), a number of distant gulls, Cormorants; 3 Marsh Harriers were harrassing some Mallard, Teal and Shovelers; Oh, and the permanent residents which often get overlooked, House Sparrows, Serins, Goldfinches, Zitting Cisticolas, Magpies and probably others I've forgotten.

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