|LS Woodpecker (female)|
The weather today was in complete contrast to yesterday with a cloudless sky and a gorgeous sunrise. The plan was to visit a reserve that Dee had researched called Marais D’Orx located some 30 miles south of Leon not far from the Spanish border.
This is a protected natural area mainly consisting of lakes, ponds, marshlands, wet meadows and surrounded by a network of canals. Over the years the site has been restored after extensive drainage for agricultural purposes in the past including being drained under Napoleon 3rds mandate. The lake provides a superb 3km walk that has a number of areas to stop and explore, a spotting scope is essential. There is a good selection of trees to both explore and take shelter; today’s weather was a gorgeous 24C with little cloud cover so each shaded area was a blessing!
|1 of 28 Spoonbills Today!|
We arrived around midday and began with a look at the nature centre, which I'm glad to say required little translation as a lot of the information boards were actually in English. As we approached 4 Spoonbill flew over, 2 Common Buzzard were circling, the now customary Wheatear was in the car park and a Black Redstart was on the centre roof.
Lots of Butterflies on the wing today and these included of note:
Large White (3), Swallowtail (1), Brown Argus (2), Common Blue (2), Purple-shot Copper (3), Map (11), Scarce Swallowtail (2), Small Heath (3), Clouded Yellow (4), Wall (2), Brimstone (2), Bath White (1), Southern Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown were numerous.
After the 3km walk around the lake which took Dee and I over 4 hours to complete an excellent selection of waders, passerines and waterfowl and a final species count of 70 which included of note:
Little Egret (17), Great Egret (3), Grey Heron (11), Black Tern (2), Greenshank (9), Ringed Plover (50+), Little Ringed Plover (2), Dunlin (75+), Curlew Sandpiper (16), Red Knot (22), Wood Sandpiper (1), Black-winged Stilt (3), Little Stint (3), Green Sandpiper (3), Common Sandpiper (2), Spotted Redshank (8), Kentish Plover (2), Snipe (3), Avocet (6), Sanderling (10), Black-tailed Godwit (55), Bar-tailed Godwit (3), Osprey (1), Marsh Harrier (1), Chiffchaff (3), Iberian Chiffchaff (1 in full song), Willow Warbler (17), Pied Flycatcher (7), Spotted Flycatcher (3), Reed Warbler (2), Cetti's Warbler (2), Blackcap (5), White Wagtail (3), Kingfisher (3)
Also recorded a single Coypu, and a decent passage of Barn Swallow, House and Sand Martin. Away from the reserve in other areas visited numerous Stonechat, plus Kestrel and Meadow Pipit were also seen. Thanks to Dee for the record keeping on another top days birding!