Saturday, 12 May 2012

Birds of Extremadura, Spain III

I could not keep you in suspense for long, so without delay here are some of the more 'exotic' species I saw in Extremadura.

Above: A Cattle Egret (Garcilla bueyera). We were wandering around a park in Merida located on an island in the river not very far at all from the town centre. Although I couldn't get really close to them before they moved away, I knew I would regret it if I didn't take a photograph!

Above: See all those white dots in the trees? Click on the photograph to enlarge, count them (c. 50 I make it) - what are they? Mostly Cattle Egrets (Garcilla bueyera) with some Little Egrets (Garceta común) - again on an isolated island in the middle of the river at Merida. This is just one photograph of the nesting colony and I took several of different areas - there must have been 100's of Egrets there.

Above: A Purple Swamphen (Calamón común). We couldn't connect with this species at first, but with persistance I found a pair (with 2 chicks) in Merida. Moorhen and coot were more common. One species I was supposed to be able to see in Merida was the Penduline Tit. Apparently they are more likely to be seen when it is not windy - either they weren't there or it was too windy as I didn't see one. I'll have to wait until another time now.

Above: A Great White Egret (Garceta grande). The long protruding legs and yellow beak make this all white egret a great one!

Above: A Little Bittern (Avetorillo común). It gave frustratingly short views (again in Merida) as it skulks around the reeds most of the time, but it popped out, flew to a different area of reeds for long enough to get a few photographs before dissapearing quickly. Having not seen one before, it was definitely high on the 'to see' priority list. Definitely a highlight of the holiday.

Above: A Grey Heron (Garza real). Ok, so not so exotic but nice to compare to the heron in the photograph below:

Above: A Purple Heron (Garza imperial). Have seen them before - this was the best photograph I've managed so far.

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