7 April, Fuente de Piedra

I like Fuente de Piedra, especially early on a summer's morning before the world starts to awake and it can be equally attractive in the winter when an early morning visitor will find it covered in hoar frost. These are the times when one can cut the silence and the only noises are natural ones, the honking of the cranes and the flamingos basically, with a few ducks for good measure. I can't say it pleases me greatly when it's full of noisey, ill-educated school children (although those today were well under the control of the teacher and a monitor) and neither do I care for the coach loads of equally noisey (because they're half deaf) of the O.A.P.s. OK, I admit, I'm an intolerant old b****** according to my family but this morning there were none of these but civilised people (bar one who was obviously a city type - lack of education?) who either gave or responded to a 'good morning'.

I arrived late to Fuente de Piedra, gone 10.15, but as I was in no hurry and alone I could go at my own pace. The first suprise, just after coming off the A-92 and even before entering the village a Common Tern flew across the road in front of me. The lake is bueatuful at the moment, full of Greater Flamingos but no Lessers, nor have the latter been seen since 15 March when we saw 2. As there 4 in the lakes of La Mancha, we shall have to wait and watch.

But there is some good news and that is that the water levels are slowly lowering and there were waders on the flash on the right before the car park. From the lookout point at the centre I could see a Ruff (i.e., the male) and on the lake some Shovelers and 3 Shelduck along with the usual Mallard. On the little lake behind the centre, the laguneto del Pueblo, there were some 200 Greater Flamingos, the great majority asleep, and a solitary Whiskered Tern.

From the walk way to La Vicaria a Glossy Ibis hove into sight and then settled, there had been 3 the previous afternoon and this one had obviously missed the bus. Better still was the presence of 7 Wood Sandpipers, lovely things in breeding plumage, and a wader which at first with a poor view looked like a small Greenshank, of which there was one present, when it flew.

The only species that I know that looks like a small Greenshank is a Marsh Sandpiper and when it returned and posed next to a Wood Sandpiper it proved to be so and is shown here both alone and with a Wood Sand. for comparison.

I walked as far as the road to Sierra de Yeguas, enjoying the morning and the birds to the sound of the Black-winged Stilts and the Avocets. and the occasional brilliant flashing yellow of the male Yellow Wagtails. At the other side of the road on the receding water there was a pair of Ringed Plovers (or should I now call them Greater Ringed Plovers?) and also a single, very smart, male Kentish Plover, but I only heard and saw a single pair of Little Ringed Plovers.

I followed the same track back, the only extra being 3 Redshanks which had swept in noisily as usual. Not a great deal seen but what there was was seen well and all I had gone for was just that, plus a bit of R & R, and I wasn't in the least defrauded.

No hay comentarios: