Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Birding at the Wetlands of Valencia


Last week, Yanina and I teamed up to provide a day of guided birding at the wetlands of Valencia for a very experienced couple of birders from the Netherlands.  They wanted to combine a short break in this magical Mediterranean city with a day of birding in the local costal marshes and lagoons.
After the short drive from the city centre, and a morning coffee stop by the beach, we began to explore the coastal lagoons and surrounding reed beds.  As one of the clients was a very knowledgable bird photographer, we concentrated our efforts on a relatively small area of the reserve, hoping for some key target species and aiming to obtain some quality photos.
One of the highlights of the first lagoon was the extremely rare White-headed Duck.  We also had good views of Little Bittern and Great Reed Warbler.
As we headed along the coast, we were treated to some superb views of the fascinating Collared Pratincole.  The coastal scrub also held Stonechat, Whinchat and Crested Lark.
Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole
The next lagoon gave good views of waders including Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint.
After lunch on the pebble beach, we headed for the day´s final lagoon where we enjoyed great views of Purple Swamphen, Glossy Ibis, Red-crested Pochard and Whiskered Tern.
Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis
It had been a great day, and we´d seen some of Valencia´s classic wetland species.  As is so often the case, the blend of wonderful bird life, great habitat, and good company had made the day very special.
The species list included…
Common Tern, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Black-headed Gull, Black-winged Stilt, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, Little Stint, Gadwall, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Mallard, White Headed Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Greater Flamingo, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Crested Lark, Stonechat, Whinchat, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Spotless Starling, Yellow Wagtail, Swallow, Swift, House Martin.

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