Saturday 18 January 2014

This last week I’ve been thrilled to see a Dartford Warbler in our patch of land: it flew from one wild rosebush to a small wooded area and then I lost it. Later as I was watching a pair of Stonechat it reappeared by their side as if to reassure me that I hadn’t imagined seeing it.  I have a soft spot for this little bird, so it made my day.  I also saw a Cirl Bunting just by the village so I’m hoping that they’ll be nesting again very soon…

Yesterday we had an outing to the Lagoons of Villafáfila in Zamora.  
North Lagoon
It’s a bit of a drive but worth it at this time of year for the amazing amounts of wintering geese, ducks and waders, but the stars of the day just had to be the resident Great Bustards.  
Group of male Great Bustards
Bustards in flight
It was cold and windy and my eyes watered as I tried to focus but I managed a couple of half-decent shots.
We were really pleased to come across a couple of Avocets feeding in a small lagoon, and they stayed long enough for me to do some digiscoping, and flew off just after I’d finished.
I’d never seen so many Lapwings altogether (several hundred) and there were hundreds of Greylag geese, Shovelers, Teal, some Wigeon and, I spotted four Shelduck flying away but couldn’t find them again, also a very pale Buzzard which perched for a long time on a ruined adobe 'palomar' (dovecot).
 Unfortunately the sheltered hides are only open at the weekend so I’m sure there was far more to see from a better vantage-point but no doubt I’ll be back.
A distant dovecot
Rainbow over lagoons
One very cold birder....

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