With our new birdwatching friend Bruce along for the morning we headed back to the reedbeds and marshland of the reserve at Padul today, hoping that despite the rapidly worsening weather we might just pick up some seasonal, wetland specialities and get one or two new species on the day-list.
I think at this point we should thank our guest for both his enthusiasm and the heating system in his car! Padul was, quite simply, cold, wet and windy today but we still managed to pick up some interesting finds. With the breeze whipping in off the distinctly choppy-looking lake we still saw – or heard – Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Sardinian and Cetti’s Warblers around the new hide, and had nice views of the resident female Marsh Harrier.
The calls of Bee Eaters feeding out over the fields was a nice surprise, and a pair of Woodchat Shrikes were the first we’d seen this year. On the drive round to the other end of the reserve Stonechat, Crested Larks and Cattle Egrets all showed well, and we took the familiar walk to the hide in the centre of the stands of reeds and rushes.
Both Reed and Great Reed Warblers sang nearby…
…and with the light failing and rain starting to fall Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebes and Black-winged Stilts were still foraging in the shallows.
The unearthly, piglet-like squeals of a Water Rail kept our interest, until – all too briefly – one actually broke cover and I had just a glimpse of its slate-grey chest and face, and its bright red bill.
Encouraged, we decided to press on through the drizzle, and headed off to look for another of our target species for the day. We’d had unbelievable views of a Spotted Crake here only days earlier…could the same individual still possibly be in the same place?
We settled down to wait…and our patience was rewarded. Great views again – everybody else insisted that there had to be two, in fact – and we’d got a life-first onto the day-list for our visitor.
Another terrific day at one of our favourite local destinations. We run birdwatching trips and holdays here in southern Spain throughout the year, and if you would like more details on how to join us simply click here. For all our latest news, keep reading our trip reports and other posts!