Saturday, April 07, 2012

Laguna de Fuente de Piadra Pt1

Wood Sandpiper
A beautiful start to the day and Breakfast on the terrace had the usual entertainment overhead, many Swift which included at least three Pallid, Swallow, with at least two Red-rumped, and several House Martins. In the surrounding Broom, Sardinian Warbler and the usual Serin were a constant. My first Cuckoo of the year, and in fact Dave's first since moving here, could be heard in the distance and yet another visit overhead from one of the local Booted Eagles.

Today's outing was to The Laguna de Fuentes de Piedra, a vast saline lake almost 7 Kms in length and 2.5 Kms in width and is about an hour or so's drive from Dave's villa. The lake, together with the areas of scrub, marsh and reed beds that immediately surround it , has been given the status Reserva Natural and has been fenced off to prevent human interference.

One Of Several Crested Lark
Although the lagoon is fed with water from several Small streams, it's dependant on adequate rainfall in the winter months if it's not to dry out before spring. When we arrived just after lunch I would say that the lake itself was around 3/4 full. There is a modern visitors centre and a chat with the receptionist, who spoke a little English, had us up to date with anything of interest.

Behind the information centre is the first lookout point and here we spent a half hour looking out onto the vast lagoon. On the Lagoon itself Greater Flamingo, accompanied by at least six Lesser Flamingo, plus a healthy number of Avocet and a selection of Gulls which included Herring, Slender-billed, Black-headed, Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed. Although a little early in the season plenty of Gull-billed Tern were already on site and one or two early Black Tern were amongst them.

Excellent Numbers Of Cattle Egret
Moving down from the lookout point to a large marsh area and several pools and it wasn't long before we'd recorded Cattle Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Redshank and Common Sandpiper, Fan-tailed Warbler were numerous, constantly zitting overhead. A walk along the Lagoon edge added Corn Bunting, Crested Lark, Sardinian Warbler, Goldfinch and a lone Willow Warbler, a small flock of Dunlin were constantly in flight.

The ploughed fields which run adjacent to the lagoon held Spotless Starling and good numbers of White Wagtail along with a number of Yellow Wagtail, which included at least two Blue Headed. At the end of the track a pair of Black-eared Wheatear in a partly ploughed field, plus a singing Reed Warbler in the reed bed, and overhead Lesser Kestrel, plus three White Stork high above probably on passage.

A wooden footbridge runs through the centre of several smaller lagoons and this offers excellent views of some of the Wader species. Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Ruff, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Kentish, Ringed and Little-ringed plover were all recorded during our stay.

More to follow.......