Thursday, 24 March 2016


We have spent a couple of days exploring the Huelva area, particularly the Odiel Marshes bordering the town but also El Portil (where we based ourselves) with a brief trip to Castro Marim on the border in Portugal.
The most obvious birds in the area are the Greater Flamingos with hundreds on the various pools, including El Portil, Castro Marim and the Isla Cristina area, which we passed through, but the best views and biggest numbers were on the Odiel Marshes.
Greater Flamingo
This is also a good area for Spoonbill although they tend to feed out of sight in the various creeks across the marsh for much of the time. Little Egrets were common and we saw several Great White Egrets.

The pool by the visitor centre had around 50 Red-crested Pochard each morning but most left the pool during the day. There were plenty of Coot but I didn't managed to find any Crested Coots. Yellow-legged Gulls were regular visitors to the pool but the only terns I saw were Sandwich Terns feeding along the estuary channels.
Red-crested Pochard - male

Waders were reasonably plentiful with flocks of over 100 Dunlin and similar numbers of Grey Plover and Black-tailed Godwit with small numbers of Redshank, Greenshank, Avocet, Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel.
Birds of prey were in low numbers with just a couple of Marsh Harrier, several Osprey (which are using the nesting towers provided for them) and the occasional Griffon Vulture passing overhead. 
Marsh Harrier - adult male

No sign yet of any Montagu's Harriers and passerines were in low numbers with what I presume are resident Corn Buntings, Fan-tailed Warblers, Sardinian Warblers and a few Chiffchaff. 
Sardinian Warbler - male

I searched for European Chameleon but without any luck, is it too early I wonder?
Overall it felt like Spring was not really underway here yet.

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