|Road-trip progress: 8th - 9th Dec 2013|
And so to my 10th and penultimate post from the late autumn/ early winter trip to Espagne, and what a trip it has been. Memorable in so many ways but I'll save the round up till I've knocked up some kind of report / species list and gathered together all the best pics on some kind of gallery ....I don't mind spending a chunk of my xmas day doing that, strange bod that I am!
|Christmas in Seville|
Talking of Christmas .... MERRY XMAS EVERYONE! and all that follow my little blog on here and on #bagginstim..... thank you for your time.
After the dramatic scenery of Extramadura and the relative calm of Sevilla, I encountered some horrendously inclement weather as I tracked up west of Madrid .... freezing fog and lots of it settling on my windscreen made for 'uncomfortable' driving, especially at night and with local cars on the tail of a dawdling Englishman in a slightly broken Transit van!
So in less than 1/2 a day's driving (albeit northwards) I went from this lovely sunshine in Northern Extramadura, and me enjoying it ....
|Lovely autumn colours nr El Torno, Extramadura|
|Yes enjoy that son boy 'cos it ain't shining up north!|
..... to this the next morning
|Wake up call, it's Winter! 8.30am, Zamora car park.|
|Great Bustard in flight ... so wish I could have seen one like this!|
I hadn't seen much for the past couple of days, northern Extramadura was pleasant but quiet apart from large lark & finch flocks, including another Citril Finch and the curious site of c40 Meadow Pipits and c20 Chiff Chaffs feeding together whilst above them maybe 400 Starlings perched on telegraph wires, this was nr some unremarkable water course between Toril and Serrejon, but somehow synonymous as far as the density of these particular birds.
I was in going home mode for sure but I was still yearning for at least another couple of days of good weather and good birding ... and indeed I got them. Travelling up through Castilla y Leon, the fog suddenly lifted and somehow (no satnav remember!) I navigated myself to Fuentes de Nava, nr Palencia - a piece of reclaimed agricultural land and now one of the most important wetland sites in Northern Spain.
The omens were good, en route, stopping for break somewhere nr Palencia, a bird on a wire I'd initially taken for a Kestrel turned out to be a Merlin (one of several I've seen recently) but none as photographable as this one.... nice!
|Merlin on the wire, nr Palencia|
|Fuentes de Nava with flying Teal in the foreground|
|Fuentes de Nava_9dec2013|
Not quite the diversity and numbers of birds either but certainly plenty of wintering Greylag Geese that's for sure .... never easy to estimate such numbers but I guesstimated about 2500! There were maybe half a dozen Spanish birders / photographers knocking around and as I found further south, this annual invasion of tens of thousands of geese really seems to take their fancy ... are we in the UK missing something here or what?
|Wintering Greylags at Fuentes de Nava|
|Greylags at Fuentes de Nava .... check out the goose extreme left!|
|Half a White Fronted Goose .... havin it!|
|Fuentes de Nava .. sun was shining but there's ice in that dyke!|
... hehe, i'll have to rummage through the rest of my geese pics for more or maybe even a stray Bean Goose!!
Nice place this was and just what I needed ... somewhere big and rangy to walk about in with the sun on my back .... after that dreadful freezing fog it was almost heaven!
|Teal across Fuentes de Nava|
The light was superb late on in the afternoon ... just look at the colour on these Teal flying across one of the lagoons there.
|Marsh Harrier over Fuentes de Nava|
|White Stork overhead, Fuentes de Nava|
|Sheep herding amongst the geese, Fuentes de Nava|