Today we were leaving to go home but took a detour around the Lagoons of Ruidera which are very picturesque. We had a few stops, including one to look at a waterfall where a Kingfisher flew across in front of us and a Jay and a Mistle Thrush were seen in the wooded area next to the lagoon. We continued towards the old town of Villanueva de los Infantes which the apartment owner had recommended to us. En route we saw Buzzard, Black Kite, loads of ‘regular’ Magpies and one Azure winged Magpie. The town was a nice place with a lovely square and many pretty narrow streets. A coffee stop allowed us to soak up the atmosphere and a coffee and a cake each for only two Euros was an added bonus!
Finally we set off towards Alicante. During a picnic stop near Munera we saw a Red Kite being mobbed by Crows, in the same place we had seen one on the way up, and another two Red Kites flew over the road as we passed through Barrax.
Overall we had a very enjoyable three day break, staying in the excellent Apartamentos Los Panchos in Ruidera, which we would recommend to anyone. The town of Ruidera is also a lovely place to visit and we noticed many Poplar trees next to the lagoons and the river which should surely hold Golden Orioles in the summertime. The most numerous birds seen during our trip were Magpies which were everywhere, again a possible indicator for the presence of Great Spotted Cuckoo in the summer. Next year we plan to stay in Daimiel for a couple of nights, so we can have a good look at the Tablas de Daimiel Nature Reserve when the spring migrants and summer visitors should be around.
Species list for the three days – Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Common Crane, Greater Flamingo, Greylag Goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Red Kite, Black Kite, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Osprey, Kestrel, Red legged Partridge, Coot, Great Bustard, Lapwing, Curlew, Common Snipe, Lesser Black backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Green Woodpecker, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Penduline Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Jay, Magpie, Azure winged Magpie, Jackdaw, Crow, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.