Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Extremadura - 19th January (Day 4 of 4)

The final day and up at 07:00 for a 07:30 breakfast, packed the bags and headed towards Embalse de Arrocampo in the dark. A short way from La Aldea del Obispo we passed over the  Rio Marinejo and in the half light I spotted an Otter swimming upstream towards the road, we slammed on the breaks, turned and drove back but by the time we got back there was no sign, I wound down the window and heard the characteristic whistle of an Otter but we could not see it. We headed of to Arrocampo where a patchy fog hung over the ponds and wet fields. We first went to hide 2 and waited for the sun to rise, in the 45 minutes we spent here birds seen included Purple Gallinule, Bluethroat, Water Pipit and a heard only Penduline Tit. The view was quite spectacular with the snow covered Sierra de Gredos Mountains in the distance but rather unsightly factories and pylons in the foreground. We headed off to an area of fields and scattered Holm Oak where Black-winged Kite occurs but after 1.5 hours driving this area we had no luck, highlight was stunning views of a male Penduline Tit which showed down to 5m or so. Other birds here included Green Sandpiper and the usual field species such as Spotless Starling, Crested Lark, Corn Bunting, White Stork, Zitting CisticolaCattle Egret and Iberian (Southern) Grey Shrike. We decided to head for hide 5 where Bittern had recently been seen and Ricardo had also seen Black-winged Kite and as we approached the hide the in front of us hovering was a stunning Black-winged Kite, the bird hovered and then flew a wide circle around us before disappearing into the distance. A short watch at hide 5 produced the usual range of common wetland birds and then it was time to head for the airport. The final bird of the trip as we drove into Madrid was Monk Parakeet. I checked in for my 15:45 flight and relaxed in the airport lounge for a couple of hours and tallied the trip list, a total of 117 species and four lifers - Great Bustard, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Iberian Green Woodpecker and Iberian Azure-winged Magpie.

Spotless Starling, a singing bird at Embalse de Aracampo

Spotless Starling at Embalse de Aracampo

Cattle Egret at Embalse de Aracampo

Corn Bunting at Embalse de Aracampo

White Stork at Embalse de Aracampo

Male Penduline Tit at Embalse de Aracampo 

Male Penduline Tit at Embalse de Aracampo

Black-winged Kite at Embalse de Aracampo

Crested Lark at Embalse de Aracampo

Zitting Cisticola at Embalse de Aracampo

Here are the links to the other days of the trip: