Mary’s Blog – Extremadura

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15th May

Today we left Torrejon El Rubio and set off towards Madrid for a few nights in the city. On the journey we saw all the usual suspects, such as, White Stork, Black Kite and more. A Red Kite near Navalmoral was a nice change from all the black ones.

We stopped on route at the Arrocampo Reservoir to see if we could add any more species to the list. This we did in the form of Purple Heron, Great White Egret and a nice male Marsh Harrier. Male and female Little Bitterns were seen sitting together in the top of the reeds opposite the hide for quite a while before they flew off. Little Egret and Grey Heron completed the Heron count. Great Reed Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler were both heard along with another Golden Oriole; we were doing well for those this week. As we walked back to the ranger’s office to return the hide key, I was scanning a side channel and was happy to see a Kingfisher as it sped away, as I had missed the one John saw earlier in the week.

Incidently, I was looking through my photos last night and zoomed in to see a small bird I had spotted behind some Griffon Vultures on top of a cliff in Monfrague. We could clearly see it was a Swift with a White belly; an Alpine Swift and an extra bird for the list. Can I count it as we didn’t spot it at the time? Well, I’m going to count it anyway.

Species list – Little Bittern, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, White Stork, Griffon Vulture, Red Kite, Black Kite, Marsh Harrier, Collared Dove, Swift, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Stonechat, Cetti’s Warbler (HO), Great Reed Warbler (HO), Iberian Grey Shrike, Golden Oriole (HO), Magpie, Azure-winged Magpie, House Sparrow.