It's a pity that the farmers who use the tracks and road don't use some of their EU funded agricultural profits to better the surface. One must suppose it's cheaper to buy a new 4WD every few years instead of putting money into improving it. However, those regular users (and I am not one) who do not have such funding must see their more normal vehicles put through regular testing more suitable to the manufacturer's testing grounds!
There were Moorhens and on the stream which runs out from the embalse de Celemín, we saw4 Purple Boghens, but surprisingly there were none along the drainage canal. There were very few White Storks on the paddies and similarly few Little and Cattle Egrets. However, on the way back towards the N-340 we saw 3 large flocks of White Storks numbering somewhere between 750 and 1.000 birds in total and which had probably come across from Morocco. Amazingly we saw only 5 Cranes, although there are reputed to be some 2.000 in the area, and we did hear several distant calls.
|Marsh Harrier, adult female|
As for raptors, we saw relatively few, the majority probably being the Kestrels, even though I did not specifically count them and followed closely by 8 Common Buzzards and Marsh Harriers with only 7 noted, although it's quite possible that I missed putting down one or two, but I didn't forget to note down the female Hen Harrier or the 2 distant Peregrines. The dream raptor down on La Janda is the superb little Black-winged (I still think black-shouldered is better) Kite, of which we saw 4 but not one close enough to photograph well. Only a couple of distant Griffon Vultures deigned to put in an appearance to make a total.
The stretch of road to the east of the smelly farm is always worth a stop and it was along there, raptors apart, that we saw 3 Magpies, the most that I have ever seen there, and while scanning along there we found the pair of Southern Grey Shrikes (forget them being called Iberian Shrikes, or similar, as one new field guide has denominated them) and a distant odd-looking stone turned out to be a Little Owl taking in the beautiful winter sunshine, a new species down here for Ron.
Not a vastly earthshaking day ornithologically but satisfying.