Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Birding in the reserves of Albufera de Valencia


Last Friday I had pleasure to providing a trip for two clients, one from USA and the other from England.  They were both extremely experienced birders and whilst at a congress in Valencia they were keen to fit in some guided birding in the reserves of Albufera de Valencia.
As they were on a very tight schedule, I opted to take them to three of Albufera´s best reserve areas, as a way of maximising the species that they would see.
The first stop was in an area of forest and lagoons, where we could had great views of a colony of Sandwich Terns and Common Terns.  In the breeding season, this is one of the hotspots of Albufera.  A hybrid Tern, very similar to an Elegant Tern was also nesting here.
Another amazing sight was the endangered Marbled Duck and the ever popular Sardinian Warbler.
Next stop was in a restricted reserve area within the marshes, where we were delighted to see Great Reed Warbler and Little Bittern, plus a rarity for Spain, the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, a bird normaly found in Siberia.

On our way to the last spot, we made a brief stop to admire a pair of Turtle Doves, a species that is in decline, and for one of the clients, a new sighting.

To finish this great day, we visited a reserve area by the beach, where Kentish Plover and Collared Pranticole were nesting.  It was wonderful in so many ways…magnificent landscape with a blue Mediterranean sea and dozens of Sanderlings decorating the beach!
It was great to spend the day with these excellent birders, and I hope they will return to enjoy another trip with us.
Species List:
Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Audouin Gull, Shelduck, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Mallard, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, (Hybrid) Tern, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Sanderling, Little-ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Swallow, House Martin, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow.

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