Its worth a visit

Monday 12th of September trips to Virgen de La Sierra and Lugana De Tiscar.(Cordoba Province the latter.

29/09/2011 16:02

Once again the area around Verga De La Sierra proved well worth a visit with at least 70 Chough circling over the Granite quarry on our arrival.

2 Spectacled Warblers were again in the quarry and at least 100 House Martins were wheeling around in the company of 3 Alpine Swifts and 4 Pallid Swifts.

A single Tawny Pipit was on the road around the half way mark and once again there was good numbers of Stonechats and the occassional Winchats perched just at the side of the road.5 Black Wheatears were again in the quarry along with a single Blue Rock Thrush.Griffin Vultures were already on the move and around seventy birds moved South in the hour and a half we were at the site.

2 Northern Wheatears were about half way down the hill but there was no sign of the Short Toed Eagle we had observed on the rocks on our previous two visits.A count of around 15 Crested Larks was made on ourjourney back down the mountain.

We headed off towards Cordoba and Laguna De Tiscar

Laguna De Tiscar proved just about the most difficult place so far to find.Most of the road numbers appear to have changed since our guide book was written and a lot of the roads we ventured upon ended up as a dead end.

However after much endevour we managed to get on the right rac and we arrived at Laguna De Tiscar at around 16:30 hours.

We got off to a good start as there cwas panic on the Reserve as we arrived and we just caught decent views of immature Montagues Harrier departing from hunting over the lake and flying off in a Southerly direction.

There seemed plenty of birds on this lagoon but access again was difficult to negotiate with Private signs all over the place.We eventually made our way to the waters edge though even then this wasnt ideal and we returned to the car so we could scope over the reserve and get some idea of the numbers of birds there.

There was around 220 Greater Flamingos on the main area of the lagoon and at once we counted 8 Purple Swamphens feeding out in the open.There was 2 Marsh Harriers (female and immature birds) quartering to the left of the main lagoon area and easy to count there was standing motionless 138 Black Winged Stilts being frequently flushed into flight by the Harriers).There was at least 3 Little Egrets feeding in open water along with 6 Shoveller,50 Avocets,3 Pintail,and 14 mallard.31 Cattle Egrets arrived towards dusk as did 5 Gadwall and 5 Yellow Wagtails.

A single Black Tailed Godwit was foud feeding on the Western part of the lagoon and 5 Black kites flew South a half hour before Dusk.

We were lucky to be joined by two local birders for the last couple of hours.We were then taken to a much better observation point were most of these observations were made.