08 April : Fuente de Piedra

A fairly brief entry after the rather nice morning that Ron and I had at Fuente de Piedra on Tuesday morning. We made the tactical decision to try and  get there before the noisesome and rowdy masses of uncontrolled little children and their apparently gormless teachers descended from the two coaches - which was a wise decision!
The result was some 40 species and we walked the board walk and beyond, checked from the mirador and had a look at the laguneto del Pueblo behind the information centre.
The main onjective was waders and we weren't defrauded as we saw some 11 species, the best being some 18 Ruffs - none in breeding plumage, 14  Curlew Sandpipers with some showing first signs of breeding plumage, 27+ Little Stints but no signs of Temminck's, 13+ Avocets, 6 Wood Sandpipers and the same number of Redshanks, with Dunlin (2) and a Common Sandpiper, plus the usual Little Ringed Plovers and Black-winged Stilts.
The laguneto del Pueblo gave 2 pairs of White-headed Ducks, 4 pairs of Red-crested Pochard - the males in splendid plumage, as well the usual Mallards and Shovelers while there were 4 Shelducks out on the main lake. There were some 20 or so Whiskered Terns and a single Black Tern as well as Gull-billed Terns moving to and fro over all the area throughout the morning. A single 1st summer Little Gull was a nice and rather unexpected surprise.
We heard Bee-eaters passing over on several occasions and were also rewarded with views of male Yellow Wagtails which stood out like the proverbial sore thumbs,even at long range, which makes one wonder how or why more aren't wiped out by Sparrowhawks. Corn Buntings did their usual impression of squaky gates and Ron was delighted with a superbly coloured Melodious Warbler, his 200th species for his various winter visits over the years, this year staying longer to get more spring migrants.
A very good morning, not quite sure how many species but certainly in excess of 40.
PS: A Ring-necked  Duck was reported from Rambla Morales yesterday by Rai Martín.

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