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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Open forum  |  Calendar Events  |  Topic: Field Meeting for January 2013 « previous next »
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Author Topic: Field Meeting for January 2013  (Read 13782 times)
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2013, 01:39:06 pm »

I would imagine minimum numbers for lunch = 12 with a possibility for more! The venta in the square (Spanish family owned) can't remember the name, would be the best option for us. Thank you for your offer of help, very kind of you.


I presume you're the Peter that I met on the square. Nice to meet you and I hope you got a good lunch. I did notice that when I was in there before you all arrived, there was nobody in the kitchen, with only Dani's girlfriend working, while he was sat in the corner listening to music on his iPad or whatever. For anybody reading this in real time, as I type, there is a gale force wind blowing outside and my pool's almost overflowing.

Hasta luego...
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2013, 08:35:03 pm »

Hello Paul,

We had a super lunch thank you, lovely food, good service and very reasonable.


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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 10:02:29 am »


Mick Smith, Ellie Wallbank, Juliet and I travelled to Laguna Fuente de Piedra Nature Reserve on Saturday to meet up with fellow members of the Andalucia Bird Society for a Field Trip and to attend our annual Financial General Meeting.  The plan was to meet at 09:00, do some birding and then assemble at the visitor’s centre at 11:00 for the Financial General Meeting.

As the weather forecast was bad a number of members had decided to miss the birding and only attend the Financial General Meeting.  As I was leading the day I decided to be at Laguna Fuente de Piedra in case there any members turned up at 09:00 and wanted some birding.

The weather forecast was correct as the weather, initially, was dreadful with torrential rain and gale-force winds and a temperature of around 6C.  It was coming from the west and the clouds were solid, grey and low, which meant that the light was very poor.  Around 11:00 we noticed brighter periods were beginning to appear in the solid grey clouds and around 12:00 the cloud had broken and patches of blue sky appeared.  It remained like this for the rest of the day with large dark grey clouds being blown across the sky bringing very heavy showers.  Between the showers we had blue sky but the wind did not weaken and it remained cold throughout the day.

Mick and Ellie immediately went to the hide overlooking Laguna Del Lagueneto.  They choose that hide because it was totally enclosed and provided protection from the weather.  Juliet and I waited in the car park until 09:30 but no-one did turn up so we decided to join Mick and Ellie at the hide.

There were about 50 Northern Shoveler on the laguna sheltering against reeds on its western shore and the number slowly grew to about 100 birds as more flew in to join those already there.  Other ducks included a pair of Mallards and 9 Common Pochard.  There were also three Little Grebes and about 20 Eurasian Coot swimming and feeding on the laguna.  Also feeding in the laguna were three adult and two juvenile Greater Flamingo.  The water was deep enough to completely cover their legs and the lower part of their bodies.

Flying over the laguna there were 5 adult Black-headed Gulls still in their winter plumage, a single Common Snipe, about 20 Spotless Starling and about 80 Jackdaw who seemed to be having a lot of fun flying in the gale-force wind.

Ellie and Mick had also disturbed a Little Owl when they initially approached the hide and while we were watching birds from the hide we were entertained by several rabbits running around in the rain.

At 10:30 we left the hide for the Visitor's Centre to prepare for the Finance General Meeting.  The wind was still howling and the rain was almost horizontal but we did have a quick look at the main Laguna.  It looked more like the North Sea.  It was overflowing with water and the wind was blowing the surface into waves and most of them had white horses riding on the their crests.  The water was coloured a cold grey and some areas were a muddy brown.  There were three large groups of Greater Flamingo, each  containing at least 200 birds, positioned in shallow water where the birds were getting some shelter from the weather.

The Financial General Meeting was attended by 14 members and the minutes will be distributed to members soon.

After the meeting most of the members went for lunch and a few of us (the more hardy types  :) ) continued birding.  The time was now around 13:00 and the weather had changed.  The wind was still as strong as ever but the rain had turned into heavy showers.  We visited the laguna called Cerro del Palo - it is the one with the boardwalk across it.  We walked across the boardwalk and along the path on the other side.  On the laguna there were about 10 Black-winged Stilt, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Common Snipe.  From the path, on the other side of the laguna, we saw over 20 White Wagtail, a Robin, Stonechat, Chaffinch and a flock of 14 Lesser Short-toed Lark.  We also saw a pipit but could not identify it because we could not keep the scope still in the wind.

Flying above us were at least 20 Eurasian Crag Martin feeding.  They were enjoying flying in the strong wind and I was surprised that their flying prey was also able to fly in such a strong wind.  Among them were definitely 2, probably 3 House Martin.  I think this is the earliest in the year that I have seen this species in Andalucia.  Also gliding overhead was a solitary adult Common Crane.

Among the shallow pools between the path and the main laguna we saw Little and Cattle Egret, a solitary adult, Yellow-legged Gull standing, Mallard, Northern Shoveller and Eurasian Teal.  Returning to the car we saw Common Chiffchaff feeding in the tall reeds on the Visitor's Centre side of Cerro del Palo.

We then headed to Laguna Dulce and followed the road on the western side of Laguna Fuente de Piedra.  Along this road we saw a Black Kite, a female Western Marsh Harrier, several Crested Larks and a Northern Lapwing.  Also, we saw several hundred Common Crane feeding in an area of open farmland and close to them was a huge flock of Starling flying and feeding in a grass area.  We were not close enough to determine whether there were Common Starling among them.  There were also about 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls standing in a sheltered valley and as we got closer to Laguna Dulce we saw several hundred more Common Cranes feeding in farmland.

Laguna Dulce was similar affected by the weather as Fuente de Piedra so most of the birds were around its edge.  However, swimming in its middle were 2 male and 2 female Red Crested Pochard and close by were 3 male and 3 female Common Pochard.  Around the edge were about 30 Northern Shoveller, about 60 Eurasian Coot, and a few Mallard.  We also a Moorhen, a male Black Redstart, and a White Wagtail

To the right of the hide along the edge of a shallow pool in a farm field we watched 2 Otters playing.

The bird species we saw were - Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, Little Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Black Kite, Western Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Lapwing, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Jackdaw, Little Owl, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Crag Martin, House Martin, Common Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, White Wagtail, Chaffinch.  A total of 33 species.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 10:15:23 am by David » Logged

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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Open forum  |  Calendar Events  |  Topic: Field Meeting for January 2013 « previous next »

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