La Safor Birders are a small group of Birdwatchers based in the mountain village of La Drova in the La Safor region of the Valencian Community. The key members have a long experience of birding both here in Spain, the UK and elsewhere. The purpose of the blog is to provide a forum for recording species seen throughout the year in La Drova whilst also acting as a base upon which to record specific birding trips throughout our local area.
Last week, I had the pleasure of providing a bird watching trip from Valencia City for two clients from Switzerland. They were both enthusiastic biologist, keen on discovering the bird life of Albufera Natural Park.
Having collected them from their hotel in Valencia, we made a short journey to one of the most important wetland of Spain.
Our day began in a reserve area with superb views of Collared Pratincole, Kentish PLover and huge flock of Flamingo. After a short walk in the forest we arrived to a different observatory in front of a sea-bird colony, which holds five different species such as Elegant Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, Mediterranean Gull and Slender-billed Gull. Also Avocet and Black-winged Stilt were with chicks.
After a picnic in the forest we continued driving through reedbeds and out into open country where we were treated to views of Squacco Heron, Purple Heron and Purple Swamphen.
This time of the year, rice fields are essential for food supplies and the best place to get great views of the bird life diversity.
We´d made an early start that morning so we were back at the van by mid-afternoon. Therefore, we made a short drive to another site as my clients was keen to get better views of Audouin´s Gull, a lifer for them. Not only did we see a further eight, but we also had great views of Gull-billed Tern, Hoppoe and Crested Lark.
Content with the day´s species list and more importantly, the quality of the views, we returned to the city of Valencia. It had been a great day, and a pleasure for me to spend the day with such experienced and enthusiastic birders.
The species list included…
Red-legged Partridge,Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Reed Warbler, Fan Tailed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Goldfinch, Serin, Spotless Sterling, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Yellow Wagtail, Magpie, Blackbird, Crested Lark, Hoopoe, Spotted Flycatcher, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red Rumped Swallow, Swift, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Elegant Tern, Whiskered Tern, Yellow Legged Gull, Black Headed Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Cormorant, Little Bittern, Black Winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Common Sandpiper, Little Bittern.
This video of a Bittern in Valencia was taken during a guided birding trip to Albufera de Valencia with clients of USA. It is fantastic to see this endangered species thriving here in this internationally important wetland.