14-16 April : Fuente de Piedra

Dave, Gilly and the Arboleas folks from Almería have ventured in to Comanche territory! Here is Dave's report, the second on their visit to Extremadura will follow in a day or so. All this takes time..... The photo of the Lesser Flamingos shows how different they are in size and colouration. Lapwings do breed in small numbers at Fuente, as do Shelduck. It was a jolly good list, Dave and Co..
Rod and Linda Prout very kindly organised at trip to Fuente de Piedra for 19 members of the Arboleas Birding Group. I usually do my reports the evening after the trip so my memory is not too blurred, but I'm writing this many days after so details will be vague! 
We arrived at the town late morning of Tuesday 14th April. After settling in to our hotels we met up at the Information Centre car park. Whilst waiting for others to arrive, some of us made our way to the viewing area. A large group of Greater Flamingos were relatively close, but there were thousands further away near the breeding platforms(?). An initial search for Lesser Flamingos proved fruitless.  Gull-billed Terns were frequently flying overhead. We made our way back to the car park. A Lesser Flamingo had been seen. We then convoyed round the western side of the lake to an elevated hide. From there we could easily pick out the single Lesser Flamingo. Lapwings were a good find. Heading further round we stopped at a mirador. From here we saw Raven, Purple Swamphen, Avocet, Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers, Whiskered and Black Tern.
Black Tern
Whiskered Tern
The next morning we had a better look round the Information Centre area. Waders seen included Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Sanderling, Redshank, Black-winged Stilt and Common Sandpiper. Also seen were Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Shoveler, Common Pochard, Teal, Mallard and Shelduck. Smaller birds seen or heard were Melodious Warbler, both Reed and Great Reed Warblers, Blackcap, Sardinian and Cetti's Warblers. A Great Spotted Cuckoo showed well as did Yellow Wagtails
male Yellow Wagtail, race flavissima
Today we saw 3 Lesser Flamingos. Later in the day we walked over the boardwalk and up the track to the road. Had good views of Whiskered Tern. Lesser Kestrels had been seen in the area earlier. A male Montague's Harrier showed well. Only a few of us were in the car park at the end of the days birding when a Griffon Vulture and 3 White Storks flew over.
The next day Gilly and I met up with Brian and Mary Taylor at the car park before we headed further north. The three White Storks were grazing a field near the entrance. The Lesser Flamingos were still there. Had good views of resting Black Terns. The only new birds seen was a Green Sandpiper and a pair of Stone Curlews in the vegetation in front of the seated hide.
3 Lesser Flamingos
In total we saw 81 species. Thank you again to Rod & Linda for organising the trip.

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