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Costa de la Luz

 

   

2 - 12 April 2008

Observers: F. Simpson

 

INTRODUCTION


 

Another undergraduate field trip to Zahara de los Atunes on the Costa de la Luz in southern Spain. The first fours days had perfect weather before heavy rain and strong winds dominated the next four, with not many opportunities for birding. Good weather returned for the remaining two days.

 

Previous Zahara de los Atunes Trip Reports:  2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2003

 

 

 HIGHLIGHTS


 

Marsh Sandpiper · Little Swift · North Bald Ibis (reintroduced) · Roller · Purple Swamphen · Audouin's Gull · Lesser Short-toed Lark · Slender-billed Gull · Short-toed Eagle · Griffon Vulture · Spectacled Warbler · Caspian Tern

 

 

LITERATURE, REFERENCES & SITE GUIDES USED


1.      Simpson, F. 2007. Trip Report: Costa de la Luz, 10-20 Apr 2007.
2.      
Simpson, F. 2006. Trip Report: Costa de la Luz, 25 Mar-4 Apr 2006.
3.      
Simpson, F. 2005. Trip Report: Costa de la Luz & Tanger, Morocco, 30 Mar-10 Apr 2005.
4.      
Simpson, F. 2003. Trip Report: Costa de la Luz, 2-12 April 2003.
5.      
Svensson, L. et al. 1999. Bird Guide. HarperCollins.
6.      
Tolman, T. & Lewington, R. 1997. Butterflies of Britain & Europe. Collins.
7.      Arnold, N. & Ovenden, D. 2004. A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain & Europe. Collins.

 

ITINERARY


 

Day 01       02/04/08     London Gatwick > Malaga > Algeciras > Tarifa > Zahara de los Atunes
Day 02       03/04/08     Zahara de los Atunes > Playa de Atlanterra > La Zarzuela
Day 03       04/04/08     Zahara > Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales > Valle de Ojén > Arroyo del Tiradero
Day 04       05/04/08     Zahara de los Atunes > Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales > Valle de Ojén
Day 05       06/04/08     Zahara de los Atunes > Playa de Atlanterra > Breña de Barbate
Day 06       07/04/08     Zahara de los Atunes > El Almarchal
Day 07       08/04/08     Zahara de los Atunes > La Janda
Day 08       09/04/08     Zahara de los Atunes > Marismas de Barbate
Day 09       10/04/08     Zahara de los Atunes > La Janda > La Zarzuela
Day 10       11/04/08     Zahara > Bolonia > S. de la Plata > Benalup > La Janda > Marismas de Barbate > Cabo Trafalgar

Day 11       12/04/08     Zahara de los Atunes > Malaga > London

 

 

 

THE DIARY


Day 1
Wednesday 2 April 2008
London > Malaga > Algeciras > Tarifa > Zahara de los Atunes
Blue sky, max 21°C, mod SE wind


Locust nymph © 2008 Fraser Simpson

MALAGA AIRPORT
Flew over Laguna de Fuente de Piedra about 10 minutes before landing... too high to see the flamingos though. Egret flock noted around edge of the airport as we came in to land. Spotless Starling, House Sparrow and House Martin noted around the terminal building.

MALAGA > ALGECIRAS > TARIFA > ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Species noted on the drive: Spotless Starling, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Feral Pigeon, Swift sp., Barn Swallow, House Martin, Crested Lark, Goldfinch, Stonechat, Red-rumped Swallow, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture and Kestrel sp.

MIRADOR DE EL ESTECHO
Griffon Vulture (6) and Lesser Kestrel (2) were the only species present. Great visibility across the Straits to Morocco.

HOTEL GRAN SOL, ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Arrived on the Avenida de la Playa to the usual chorus of chirping House Sparrows and whistling Spotless Starlings. Polistes wasp nest in window box plants of the Hotel Gran Sol.

PLAYA DE ATLANTERRA (Tentyria study site)
Between Cabo de Plata and Cabo de Gracia. Several Blackcaps, Blackbirds, Greenfinches and Nightingales singing from gardens in the Urbanizacúion Atlanterra. Severals Sardinian Warblers singing and calling from the lower slopes and scrub behind the dunes toward Cabo de Gracia. Also noted: Goldfinch, Spotless Starling, Barn Swallow, House Sparrow, Stonechat, Collared Dove and Crested Lark.

 

 

Day 2
Thursday 3 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > Playa de Atlanterra > La Zarzuela
Blue sky, max 21°C, mod SE wind


Bedriaga's Skink © 2008 Fraser Simpson

ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Crested Lark running around the road outside the Hotel Gran Sol. A pair of Kentish Plovers on the beach near the boardwalk at the end of the Avenida de la Playa. Several Yellow-legged Gulls and a single Audouin's Gull passing. Spotless Starling, House Sparrow and Barn Swallow common around the ruins of the Castillo de las Almadrabas. Griffon Vulture (2) overhead.

PLAYA DE ATLANTERRA
Bedriaga's Skink caught in one of the pitfall traps along with loads of Tentyria, Pimelia, and Erodious beetles as well as a few Scarites and a single Carabeus beetle. Audouin's Gull (12) and Sandwich Tern (2) flew SE. Several groups of Gannets heading NW out of the Straits: 1 ad + 4 1st-S; 1 ad + 1 2nd-S; 2 ads + 2 1st-s + 1 2nd-S; 4 ads. Two Black Kites flew inland over the lighthouse.

ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES - N340 road at Km-5 on the A-2227 (Finca la Negra/Cerro del Hinojal) (Theba study site)
Probably the widest remaining roadside verge along the A-2227 which is largely bordered with Opuntia hedges. Long, rough grazing to the north, and arable crops/wind turbines to the south. Two Calandra Larks displaying. Cattle Egret (c60) feeding in long grassland with beef cattle. Corn Bunting, Crested Lark and Zitting Cisticola singing. Griffon Vulture (2) over the Sierra de Retín. Bee-eater (10) flew N.

 

 

 

Day 3
Friday 4 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales > Puerto de Ojén > Arroyo de Tiradero
Blue sky, max 22°C, mod SE wind


Valle de Ojén © 2008 Fraser Simpson

PLAYA DE ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Clouded Yellow flew in off the sea. Two pairs of Kentish Plover around the mouth of the Arroyo de la Zarzuela. Minimum of 36 Sanderling feeding on the tideline, later moving to the estuary. A few Audouin's and Yellow-legged Gulls passing. Little Egret flew up the coast. Sandwich Terns fishing close to the tideline. Corn Bunting and Zitting Cisticola singing from vegetation further up the estuary. Common Sandpiper (1). Meadow Pipit flew inland. House Sparrows displaying on the boardwalk fence.

 

PUERTO DE OJÉN, PARQUE NATURAL DE LOS ALCORNOCALES
Asphodelus study site. Woodchat Shrike, Thekla Lark, Tawny Pipit, Stonechat, Subalpine Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Goldfinch, Black-eared Wheatear, Hobby, Sardinian Warbler, Song Thrush, Yellow Wagtail o/h, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Blackbird, and Cuckoo. Griffon Vulture (4), Short-toed Eagle (2), Kestrel (1) over the Sierra de Saladavieja. Ocellated Lizard and dozens of Moroccan Orange Tips. Wasp Beetle (Clytus areitus) photographed.

 

ARROYO DEL TIRADERO, VALLE DE OJÉN, PARQUE NATURAL DE LOS ALCORNOCALES
Aquarius study site c11 kilometres from the Facinas entrance. Much birdsong at the site from the following species: Iberian Chiffchaff, Bonelli's Warbler, Blackcap, Subalpine Warbler, Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper, Robin, Nightingale, Cuckoo, Wren and Chaffinch Other species observed: Hawfinch, Jay, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Pigeon, Great Tit, Bee-eater, House Martin and Booted Eagle.

Excellent day for butterflies here with good numers on the Asphodel covered slope and along the banks of the riverine Alder and Oak woodland: Queen of Spain Fritillary (1), Moroccan Orange Tip (30+), Orange Tip (1m), Spanish Festoon (40+), Speckled Wood (30+), Large Tortoiseshell (2), Provence Hairstreak (10+), Cleopatra (15+), Brimstone (5+), Clouded Yellow (5+), Painted Lady (20+), and Scare Swallowtail (1). Also a female Emperor dragonfly photographed.

 

Sendero Arroyo de San Carlos del Tiradero at Km-12.4
Went to check out this as an alternative site as water strider number were low at the usual section of the stream. Nuthatch and Golden Oriole heard. Many Cleopatras and Speckled Woods here.

 

 

 

Day 4
Saturday 5 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales > Valle de Ojén > Arroyo de Tiradero
Blue sky, partly cloudy later, max 20°C, strong SE wind


Sanderling © 2008 Fraser Simpson

EMBALSE DE ALMODÓVAR, PARQUE NATURAL DE LOS ALCORNOCALES
Raven down at the water edge of the reservoir. A few Mallards.

ARROYO DEL TIRADERO, VALLE DE OJÉN, PARQUE NATURAL DE LOS ALCORNOCALES
Griffon Vulture (10), Short-toed Eagle (1), Buzzard (3), Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper, Robin, Nightingale, Blackcap, Subalpine Warbler, Blue Tit, Iberian Chiffchaff, Melodious Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Kingfisher, Mallard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Crested Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Woodlark, Greenfinch, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, and Cuckoo.

 

On the drive back through Los Alcornocales, a Blue Tit flew in front of the car, giving the distinct impression of having a very dark or black cap!

 

 

 

Day 5
Sunday 6 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > Playa de Atlanterra > Breña de Barbate
Blue sky, then cloudy, max 20°C, mod SW wind


Audouin's Gull © 2008 Fraser Simpson

ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES - BARBATE A-2232 road
Noted on the drive: Short-toed Eagle over swathes of yellow crucifers in the coastal grasslands near Km-6, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Zitting Cisticola, several small flocks of Cattle Egrets. Swift sp., overhead, Yellow-legged Gull. Collared Dove, House Martin and Spotless Starling noted in Barbate.

MARISMAS DE BARBATE
Group of c30 Black-winged Stilts noted on the drive past. A few egrets and Cormorants.

ZONA RECREATIVA PINAR DE JARILLO, BREÑA DE BARBATE
On our afternoon off we had a barbeque in the picnic/recreation site in the Umbrella Pine forest. Not birding but did hear a Green Woodpecker calling repeatedly, several Serins singing and displaying, Short-toed Treecreeper, Sardinian Warbler and Great Tit singing, numerous House Sparrows, single Black Kite and Montagu's Harrier overhead and light passage of Bee-eaters.

 

 

Day 6
Monday 7 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > El Almarchal
Overcast, heavy rain afternoon, max 18°C, mod SW wind


Corn Bunting © 2008 Fraser Simpson

EL ALMARCHAL (Polistes study site)
Area of wheat, horse grazing and Prickly Pear hedges on the north side of the village. No sign of calling Little Bustards this year. Bee-eater (18 flew N), Corn Bunting (c10 singing mm), Zitting Cisticola (6 singing mm), Stonechat (2 prs), Quail calling, Red-legged Partridge (pr), Yellow Wagtail (1), House Sparrows abundant, Montagu's Harrier (1), Linnet, Goldfinch, Spotless Starling, Greenfinch, Barn Swallows collecting mud from ditch, Pallid Swift (3), Collared Dove, Feral Pigeon and Kestrel. Cream-spot Tiger (2) found resting on the Opuntia (photographed).

 

 

 

Day 7
Tuesday 8 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > La Janda
Overcast, heavy showers, max 17°C, strong SW wind


Yellow-legged Gulls © 2008 Fraser Simpson

ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Gull-billed Tern flew over the town.

ARROYO DE LA ZARZUELA (Zahara Estuary)
Purple Heron (1) and Little Egret (5) present in the morning.

ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES - N340
Black Kite (24) feeding on ground in a newly-sown fields beside the road on the southwest side of La Zarzuela. Over 100 Cattle Egrets noted in several flock along the eight kilometres of the A-2227 road.

LA JANDA
Track along the south side of the Canal Colector del Este (Río Almodovar), running parallel to Carretera Nacional N340/E5 (accessed opposite the A-2227 road to Zahara, from building once marked Venta de Retin).

Track down to the canal
Many Corn Buntings and Zitting Cisticola's singing, Goldfinch, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow (inc flock of 27), Stonechat, White Stork, Calandra Larks struggling to display in the wind, Mallard common in the fields with many singles, pairs and small groups flying around, Marsh Harrier, Cattle Egret (3), Montagu's Harrier, Linnet (9). Green Sandpiper and Mallard (12) in first main ditch on left.

Canal Colector del Este (Río Almodóvar) mostly fringed with Phragmites and some mud.

The first four kilometres offer the best visibility, afterwhich the reeds get quite high.

Egyptian Mongoose (1) 
Black-winged Stilt (28)

Purple Swamphen (4) after 2.4 km at small island in canal

Spoonbill (5)

Iberian Yellow Wagtail (2)

Little Egret (20)

Great Reed Warbler singing

Cetti's Warbler singing

White Stork (11)

Moorhen (3)

Mallard (108)

Grey Heron (2)

Marsh Harrier (2)

Red-legged Partridge (2 prs)

Zitting Cisticola singing

Barn Swallow

Reed Bunting (pr)

Pheasant (m)

Goldfinch (c30)

 

Main marsh on the left
Gull-billed Tern (7)

Spoonbill (2)

Black-winged Stilt (3)

Marsh Harrier (2)

Moorhen (3)

Kestrel (1)

 

Lagoons on the left

At junction/stop sign at bridge (7.0 km) over canal, signposted to Presa del Celemin.

Purple Swamphen (13) in the adjacent canal.

Purple Heron (1)

Marsh Harrier (1)

Bee-eater (13) overhead

Black-winged Stilt (36)

Little Egret (5)

Little Ringed Plover (1)

Lesser Kestrel (2)

Sand Martin (1)

Grey Heron (1)

Cetti's Warbler singing

Nightingale singing

Goldfinch (flock of 120)

Moorhen (1)

Linnet (5 mm)

Pheasant (m)

Crested Lark (several pairs)

Mallard (30+)

Red-legged Partridge

Barn Swallow

 

PLAYA DE ZAHARA
1745-1820h Stong westerly, overcast, big swells!

At least 30 Gannets diving fairly close inshore

Many Yellow-legged Gulls flying northwest along the coast

Audouin's Gull 3 NW + 6 SE

Several Cory's and Balearic Shearwaters on the horizon

Several Sandwich Terns passing

Lesser Black-backed Gull 11 NW

Caspian Tern 1 NW

Slender-billed Gull 6 NW

Great Black-backed Gull 1 NW

Kentish Plover (pr) near the small boats at the end of the boardwalk

 

ARROYO DE LA ZARZUELA (Zahara Estuary)
1830-1900h Starting to brighten up later.

Cattle Egret (27) with goats and sheep

Little Egret (5) in the brackish wetlands

Common Sandpiper (3)

Bee-eater (14) flew NW and over the Sierra de Retín

Corn Bunting, 2 singing mm

Zitting Cisticola, 2 singing mm

Spotless Starling (28+)

House Sparrows numerous around the edge of town

Barn Swallow (7)

Crested Lark (2)

Linnet (2)

Collared Dove (4)

Feral Pigeon (10)

 

ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Spotless Starlings heard night-singing from the Date Palms outside the hotel in the early hours of the 9th.

 

 

Day 8
Wednesday 9 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > Marismas de Barbate
Cloudy, heavy showers, max 17°C, strong SW wind


Short-toed Eagle © 2008 Fraser Simpson

ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Short-toed Eagle over the end of the Sierra de Retin. Several flocks of Cattle Egret on the drive to Barbate for diesel (the nearest garage to Zahara).

PARQUE NATURAL MARISMAS DE BARBATE
High tide. Viewed from Estadio Municipal de Deportes off Avenida Joaquín Blume. Cetti's Warbler and Nightingale singing from scrub behind the stadium along with Blackbird, Goldfinch, House Sparrow and Spotless Starling. Marsh Sandpiper (1), Greenshank (2), Dunlin (3), Black-winged Stilt (4), Whimbrel (1), Redshank (1), Hobby (1), Caspian Tern (3), Little Tern (5), Sandwich Tern (1), Spoonbill (2), Cattle Egret (6), Little Egret (1), Iberian Yellow Wagtail, Yellow-legged Gull, Corn Bunting, Zitting Cisticola and Crested Lark singing, Feral Pigeon, Mallard, Barn Swallow, Pallid Swift, Spotless Starling, Linnet.

From the old salt pans 250 metres south of the bridge over the Río de Barbate: Dunlin (27+), Ringed Plover (12), Kentish Plover (4), Greenshank (1), Turnstone (1), Mallard, Crested Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Barn Swallow, Stonechat, House Sparrow, Greenfinch. A single Bald Ibis flew SE over the reserve without stopping.

 

 

Day 9
Thursday 10 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > La Janda > La Zarzuela
Partly cloudy till heavy downpours in late afternoon, still very stong wind, max 19°C


Cabo de Plata © 2008 Fraser Simpson

A-2227 road: ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES N340
Dead hedgehog near La Zarzuela. Still around seven Black Kites in the newly-sown fields beside the road on the southwest side of La Zarzuela. Several flocks of Cattle Egrets.

LA JANDA
Track down to the canal
Bull-grazed asphodel field on the left, arable crop on the right. Woodchat Shrike, White Stork (3), Black Kite (3), Turtle Dove, Cattle Egret (6), Goldfinch, Yellow-legged Gull (o/h), Greenfinch, Stonechat (3 prs), many Corn Buntings singing, Calandra Lark (2 singing mm), Red-legged Partridge (pr).

Canal Colector del Este (Río Almodóvar)

Grey Heron (6)

Several Calandra Larks displaying

Collared Praticole (6 on small marsh, 10 hawking insect in the air)

Little Egret (13)

Goldfinch (flocks of 30, 10, 100)

Cetti's Warbler singing

Great Reed Warbler singing

White Stork (2)

Red-legged Partridge (3 prs)

Purple Swamphen (pr) at small island after 2.4 kmSpe

Mallard (100+) in ploughed fields

Short-toed Lark (2 singing mm)

Spectacled Warbler (m) in low vegetation at track side

Yellow Wagtail

Short-toed Eagle after 3.7 km

Kestrel

Phesant (3)

Egyptian Mongoose seen again today as well as several Rabbits

Cattle Egret

Booted Eagle after 5.7 km

 

Main marsh on the left after 3.1 km
Short-toed Eagle

Grey Heron (1)

Redshank (2)

Black-winged Stilt (c20)

Spoonbill (3)

Kestrel (1)

Moorhen (5)

Mallard (c40)

 

Lagoons on the left between 6.4 and 8.0 km

Black-winged Stilt (161)

Shoveler (m)

Mallard (100+)

Grey Heron (1)

Purple Swamphen (7) after 7.0 km at bridge over canal, signposted to Presa del Celemin.

Small White

Yellow Wagtail

Whitethroat (4 singing mm)

Several Cett's Warblers, Corn Buntings, Zitting Cisticolas and Nightingale singing

Linnet (5+)

Moorhen

Bee-eater (1)

Little Egret (1)

Crested Lark

Yellow-legged Gull

Redshank (1)

A-2227 road: N340 - ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Griffon Vulture and Black Kite over La Zarzuela. Cattle Egrets feeding with sheep grazing on the small football pitch in the village of La Zarzuela (Km-6). Calandra Lark flew over the road at Km-8.

ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES - N340 road at Km-5 on the A-2227 (Finca la Negra/Cerro del Hinojal) (Theba study site)
Seven Calandra Larks displaying. Griffon Vulture (3) over the Sierra de Retín. Several Crested Larks and Corn Buntings singing. House Sparrow, Goldfinch, and Linnet.

A-2231 road: ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES - BARBATE
Griffon Vulture (2) over the end of the Sierra de Retín. Sandwich Tern flew SE along the edge of the hillside, later feeding in the Arroyo de la Zarazuela (Zahara estuary). Coastal marsh at Km-5.0 held a Spoonbill and five Calandra Larks displaying over the grasslands.

 

 

Day 10
Friday 11 April 2008
Zahara de los Atunes > Bolonia > Sierra de la Plata > Benalup > La Janda > Marismas de Barbate > Cabo Trafalgar
Partly cloudy, wind much reduced, max 19°C


Zahara de los Atunes © 2008 Fraser Simpson

A-2227 road: N340 - ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Griffon Vulture (3) over the end of the Sierra de Retín. White Stork over La Zarzuela. Also Turtle Dove, Cattle Egret (120+), Zitting Cisticola, and Spotless Starling.

N-340
Montagu's Harrier near the Bolonia junction, Woodchat Shrike, Cattle Egret.

CA-8202 road to Bolonia
Red-rumped Swallow, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Griffon Vulture, Goldfinch, Cattle Egret, Woodchat Shrike, Spotless Starling, Corn Bunting, House Sparrow, Collared Dove.

Bolonia Swift Cave 36° 6' 01.3'' N 005° 47' 35.7'' W
1010-1130h Although the Zona Militar sign is still there, a couple of miradors have now been built and a few army vehicles passed without stopping to ask any questions. No Swifts or hirundunes there on arrival. Waited 20 minutes until a pair of Crag Martins appeared. Finally after about half an hour, a single Little Swift passed by on the slope below the mirador at the cave with no further sighintings in 80 minutes. Kestrel and Griffon Vultures breeding on the cliff. Griffon Vulture (4 o/h), Egyptian Vulture (1), Peregrine (mobbed by Kestrels), Blue Rock Thrush (2 singing mm),  Rock Bunting (singing mm), Cirl Bunting (2), Blackbird, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch singing, Barn Swallow (4), Green Woodpecker singing, Sardinian Warbler (3 singing mm) and Serin (2).

Species noted around the crags and Cistus/Dwarf Fan Palm habitat on the lower slope: Red-rumped Swallow, Collared Dove, Nightingale, Sardinan Warbler, and Zitting Cisitcola.

Bolonia beach
Sanderling (38), Yellow-legged Gull (20+), Corn Bunting, Stonechat, Goldfinch and Zitting Cisticola.

CA-8202 junction with N-340
Cattle Egret (30) feeding with free-roaming pigs.

N-340
Several Jackdaws on the edge of Vejer de la Frontera.

A-2228 road between Vejer and Benalup
Spanish Sparrow nest found in Libreros (Km-2), also Woodchat Shrike (3), Sardinian Warbler, White Stork (2) overhead here. Pheasant at Km-5, Collared Dove, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Crested Lark, Goldfinch, Black Kite at Km-11, Griffon Vulture at Km-13, Woodchat Shrike at Km-14.

Benalup road/track to La Janda (Coridor Verde Dos Bahias)
Great Reed Warbler singing from damp areas. Many Corn Buntings singing. Zitting Cisticola, Cattle Egret, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Mallard. After 2.3 km at a bridge over the river: Cetti's Warbler and Great Reed Warbler singing, Eurasian Coot, Black Kite, Moorhen, Mallard, Jackdaw (3), Little Egret, Kestrel, and Linnet (8). Black Kite (2) after 3.4 km, Linnet (30) after 4.8 km. Bridge over river at Presa del Celemin junction: Purple Swamphen (8+) Moorhen (10+), Little Egret, Mallard, Kestrel, Jackdaw, Black Kite (5), and Griffon Vulture (3). Black Kite (1), Cattle Egret (3) after 5.6 km. Dehesa-like habitat from 6.5 to 8.5 km: Roller (1) Griffon Vulture (7), Black Kite (22+), Jackdaw (12), Cattle Egret (50), Woodchat Shrike (4), Kestrel, Corn Bunting, Pheasant, Wood Pigeon, Stonechat, Red-legged Partridge, Raven (6) overhead, Pallid Swift (6), Linnet, Sardinian Warbler, House Sparrow, Zitting Cisticola, Goldfinch, and a Red Admiral. Marsh Harrier after 10.1 km. Red-legged Partridge (pr) at bridge after 11 km. Several Sympetrum dragonflies buzzing past the car. After 12.6 km you arrive at the bridge over the Canal Colector del Este, 7 km from the Venta de Retín entrance. Purple Swamphen (13) and Emperor dragonfly here.

Lagoons on the left between 6.4 and 8.0 km from Venta de Retín

Spoonbill (2), Linnet (4) on track, White Stork over the lagoon. Black-tailed Godwit (1), Black-winged Stilt (150+), Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Mallard (200+), Kestrel, Grey Heron, Cetti's Warbler singing, Whitethroat (several singing mm), Nightingale singing, Great Reed Warbler singing, and Clouded and Painted Lady.

 

Canal Colector del Este (Río Almodóvar)

Spoonbill, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Zitting Cisticola, Purple Swamphen (9), White Stork (3), Kestrel, Whitethroat singing, Cetti's Warbler singing, Great Reed Warbler singing, Iberian Yellow Wagtail, Zitting Cisticola with a large bush cricket in its mouth, Calandra Lark and Crested Lark displaying.

 

Main marsh on the left after 3.1 km from Venta de Retín
Spoonbill (9), Marsh Harrier, Yellow-legged Gull, Purple Swamphen (1), Little Egret (2), Stork White, Pallid Sift (c20) overhead, Black-winged Stilt (50+) and a Red Admiral.

A-2227 road: N340 - ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Monatgu's Harrier

Marismas de Barbate
At the board signed 'Dragados' with an information board on the regeneration of the marismas between the old stone and new metal Km-3.0 signs. Northern Bald Ibis ringed PA8 (I think) feeding in the company of a few Cattle Egrets. Drove the track which goes to the new lagoons being created. Largely birdless though obviously still being developed due to the presence of diggers, etc. Iberian Yellow Wagtail (20+), Tawny Pipit (3), Short-toed Lark (5 singing mm), Calandra Larks displaying, Cattle Egret (c30), Zitting Cisticola, House Sparrow, Stonechat, and Spotless Starling. Single Lesser Short-toed Lark singing at the end of the track in the dry, barren area.

Cabo Trafalgar
Sandeling (3) and Dunlin (2).

 

 

SPECIES LIST - COSTA DE LA LUZ 2-12 April 2008


To follow...

 Northern Bald Ibis © 2008 Fraser Simpson

Northern  Bald Ibis  Geronticus eremita

Barbate 11 April 2008

Part of the (re)introduction - ringed PA8 on left leg

 

 

Roller © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Griffon Vulture © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Black-winged Stilts © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Corn Bunting © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Spotless Starling

 

 

Cattle Egret © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

House Sparrow © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

© 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Iberian Water Frog © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Cream-spot Tiger © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Bacillid stick insect © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

© 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Sanderling © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Playa de Atlanterra © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Wasp Beetle © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

Stonechat © 2008 Fraser Simpson

 

 

 Previous Zahara de los Atunes Trip Reports:  2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2003

 

 

 

  

 All photographs © 2008  F. S. Simpson

Fraser's Birding Website · fssbirding.org.uk

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