We spent the night before in Sanlucar de Barremeda, so we were able to get to the meeting point of Bar La Campana in Bonanza, in plenty of time to meet up with all the ABS members and our guide for the day, Juan Martin Bermudez. There was a great turnout of members and we travelled in convoy to our 1st stop at Laguna del Tarela.
Here we saw, Night Heron, Moorhen, Coot, White-headed Ducks, Little Grebe, Pochard, Grey Heron, Penduline Tit, and excitingly Marbled Teal which are quite rare here. Overhead we saw Crag Martins and an Osprey as well as Red Kite.
We then travelled through the forest of Pinsapo trees and on to the tracks running alongside the river Guadalquivir. Here we saw Cormorant, Stonechat, Spotless Starling, Kestrel, Black-winged Stilt, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Crested Lark, Greater Flamingos, Black Redstart, Little Egret and Common Magpie.
We then halted at a place on the river, where there was a wetland, with a hide. Here we saw Golden Plover, Sanderlings, Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit, Pied Avocet, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Caspian Tern, White Storks, Slender-billed Gulls, Booted Eagle, Mallard and Marsh Harrier.
Juan told us that there had been recent sightings of a Velvet Scoter, near to our chosen Restaurant on the river. We all headed in that direction, and on the way, we also saw Blackcap, Goldfinch, White Wagtail.
The Velvet Scoter was still there, though unfortunately the river was very choppy and it was difficult to get a good view. We managed to have some good luck and managed to get it in a scope, where we could see it more clearly. There was also a Common Scoter at this site.
It was now time for our Christmas Lunch. Juan took us to the restaurant, Tarberna Manegodor and we had an excellent lunch, typically Spanish with lots of fish dishes. The food and service were excellent, and we would like to thank Yvonne Henwood, for providing us all with Christmas crackers and Katrina Jones for organising the days itinerary. During our Christmas lunch a telescope was presented to a family of our junior members, the scope was very generously donated by ABS members Susan and Tony Urwin.
The area around the Rio Guadalqivir, from Sanlucar to Trebujena is a very interesting birding area and well worth a visit. We certainly enjoyed it.
Author: Susan Pyott – ABS Member
Photos: Juan Martín Bermúdez and Audrey Houvenaeghel (ABS Members)
Footnote: A summary from our guide for the day, Juan Martín Bermúdez (An approved ABS Wildlife Guide, see link here). Species seen on the day here.
“The Andalucia Bird Society is an exemplary nature conservation organisation that plays a very important role in Andalucia and of which I am a proud member. This year I had the honour of leading the Christmas Meeting and Lunch in Doñana in its Cádiz province and Trebujena Marshes – Turismo Cádiz, where we enjoyed 78 species of birds. The icing on the cake was the magnificent Christmas Lunch offered at the Ecological Reserve and Restaurant Manegodor. Happy New Year, ABS and friends!” Juan Martin.