Up early to tidy up the house before driving up to Seville airport – as there was no time for birding stops en route little was seen and no new birds were added to the list.
Although the final total - 151 species – was well below JC’s best ever total at this season (170 in 2008), in terms of quality birds the trip came up to or exceeded expectations. The only ‘miss’ was Spanish Imperial Eagle which can be tricky at the best of times. Little Bustard (finally!) was added to JC’s local list whilst and finding an Eagle Owl at the edge of the village very satisfying indeed. Our views of both White-rumped and Little Swift were also very good. Although not ‘tickable’, it was also pleasing to see a Reef Heron X Little Egret (another overdue sighting). Rufous Bush Chat was as elusive as ever, so it was good to get them at an unfamiliar site (which also had good numbers of Tawny Pipit which can be elusive). The comparatively low total was caused partly by the poor showing of wetland birds (ten fewer waders and 3 fewer gulls/terns than in 2008) and a failure to connect with a handful of woodland/scrub loving birds (Crested Tit, Subalpine & Dartford Warblers & Cirl Bunting) perhaps due to the excessive heat (up to 38C). Perhaps too, being here five days later in the year made a difference. On the plus side it was good to see so many lagunas that had been near enough bone dry now full to overflowing and the reservoirs similarly well stocked with water.
Thanks are due to the three Kent birders who joined me on this trip for their excellent company –Terry Laws, Martin Warburton and Geoff Burton.