So, today, 31 October, and with glasses to correct a slight myopia with which I have been left, today I took off for the Laguna Dulce at Campillos and then on to Fuente de Piedra, just to get out.
The laguna Dulce has much less water than when I last saw it, hardly surprising after this incredibly long, hot autumn and the high levels of evaporation, and the effect on the birds has been very negative. There were only 4 Red-crested Pochards, a few Shovelers, Mallard and Gadwall, plus a some 150 Coots and a single Black-necked Grebe. The best was a distant view of my first 4 Cranes of the autumn. Hardly earthshaking, so it was on to Fuente de Piedra.
The first good news is that after what has seemed to be an interminable wait the observation point at Las Latas, at the south end of the lake from where one can look down the length, is now operative. There is a parking area. then through a gate (please close the latch when leaving). The view, when there is water in the lake and it is full of birds, will be stupendous, but today there was little water and not a lot to see.
|Las Latas observatory|
|view from Las Latas observatory|
He also told me that this year they had again had one of their oldest birds, a female born in the Camargue in 1977, which makes her 37 years old, back in the colony although they weren't sure if she had bred or not, although she did so last year. There was also a single Ruff and a few Black.winged Stilts, but most of the time we spent talking about future plans for Fuente de Piedra and, especially, for the Guadalhorce, all of which will be revealed in the fullness of time if all goes well but it sounds good, believe me.
So, I'm back in action and now for a few long distance shots of the Lesser which weren't helpoed by the heat haze. Heat haze on 31 October?