Gran Alacant to Ciudad Real
We set off towards our overnight stop in Ciudad Real, on the way to Extremadura. On route we made a short detour to Higruella where we headed along a track which Bryan had shown us, where our first bird was a Short toed Treecreeper, closely followed by our target bird a Golden Oriole which flew across the track in front of us and into some Poplar trees, We searched for the bird but sadly it was not seen again. As we left the area we saw a Black eared Wheatear and four Bee eaters. We continued our journey west until we were approaching Ciudad Real. We decided to take another detour to look at the Tablas de Daimiel. We parked by a large lagoon and walked along the boardwalk where we saw a Roller which flew away from us and landed in a tree. As we continued along the boardwalk we noticed several White Storks nesting in the trees by the side of the lake. While we were there a few of the Storks flew around giving us some good photo opportunities. A Purple Heron was a nice addition to our list as it flew a little way in front of us. We drove back towards the main road with a brief stop to look at another lagoon on our left which held a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a flock of Greylag Geese, which were a bit unexpected. This was not really a ‘birding day’ but the award for ‘bird of the day’ definitely went to the Golden Oriole.
Species list – Great Crested Grebe, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, White Stork, Greylag Goose, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Coot, Black headed Gull, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Common Swift, Bee eater, Roller, Crested Lark, Swallow, Black eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler (HO), Great Reed Warbler (HO), Short toed Treecreeper, Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Golden Oriole, Magpie, Jackdaw, Crow, House Sparrow.