Saturday, 4 March 2017

Spain - Placencia - Parklife!

This morning I negotiated the snow covered highway that runs parallel to Sierra de Gredos mountain range. Temperatures outside the car were -4 and the snow ploughs were busy scraping away yesterdays blizzard. I did however make good time to Placencia which was to be my pit stop before I passed through Monfrague National Park to my final destination of Trujillo.

I took a mid morning stroll around Parque de La Isla which is situated on the edge of the town bordering the river. There was some mizzle rain which cleared by midday. The walk proved to be an interesting one with several woodland species recorded but no woodpeckers!

As I crossed a small path over a concrete channel I noticed several Hirundines completing circuits over the fast flowing water. In amongst the Swallow and House Martin was Crag Martin. This was a perfect photo opportunity for this species which was a life bird in Sierra de Gredos. Having completed the task and feeling rather pleased with myself I moved on into the park.

The next species I photographed would not be so obliging as it moved up a tree trunk and then onto a branch and out of sight. I have looked at the photos many of which were blurred and I cannot decide what species of Treecreeper this is. The key to identification is the birds call but do you think it would utter a single note. Not a sound but the bird does appear to have a distinct white supercilium which would suggest it is a Eurasian Treecreeper.

The species list was gathering pace with Song Thrush, Robin, Wren and Little Egret being added to the trip list. A Red Rump Swallow was spied in amongst a group of Swallow. The surprise of the day was not a bird but an Otter who clocked me a gasp and promptly disappeared under the water. I waited but did not see it again! Fantastic!

There were several pairs of Chiffchaff moving along the riverbank feeding on flies and a Kingfisher flew by in a flash of blue! There were several Serin calling and a group of Siskin were busy feeding in the Alders.

The last species recorded in Placencia was a Sardinian Warbler which was seen in an orchard after I had made a wrong turn. The afternoon was to be spent at Monfrague National Park!!

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