Recent Reports 

Rare Birds in Spain

Recent Reports: October  2000

Available reports:

* rarities needing homologation by the CR/SEO

Magnificent Frigatebird* Fregata magnificiens. A probable subadult female recorded off Torremolinos, Málaga on 17:25 h on 22.10 (Andrew M. Paterson). The 2nd for Spain after an adult male seen off Baiona, Pontevedra on 29.09.1985. 

Great White Egret Egretta alba. What formerly seemed an scarce or even irregular bird is turning up to be, this year at least, a relatively frequent species:

  • NE Mediterranean coast:
Present at five-six places (North to South):
    • Aiguamolls de l'Empordà, Girona: eight birds in total: 2 birds at Llarga lagoon on 8.10 (I. Batet i Ll. Torner)  and a party of six birds at Vilaüt pond the same day 

    • (A. Spromg i H. de Vos).
    • Baix Empordà marshes. 9 birds at Pals ricefields, Girona on 29.10 (Daniel Burgas)
    • Tordera river mouth. Three birds on 19.10 flying north, without stopping (Enric Badosa, David Caballé).
    • Llobregat Delta, Barcelona: a party of 6 more were seen on 3.10  (R.Gutiérrez, E.Guinart, F.López) -2 and 4 the previous days-, but not subsequently until 16.10 when a single bird is found (L.Gustamante; Mike O'Neil, Audrey Baker, R.Gutiérrez, F.López, F.X. Santaeufemia, A. Ramal). On 21.10 three birds appear, thus  two new (F.López) still there on 31.10 (R.Gutiérrez, F.López). See photo section. Another? bird was at Llobregat river between Molins de Rei and  Sant Vicenç dels Horts on 29.10 (Sergi Sales).
    • Ebre Delta, Tarragona (D.Bigas; Sisco Vidal): 54+birds. 19+ birds established at Buda Island will probably overwinter; 35 more birds at Punta de la Banya and some others here and there not counted to avoid duplications (Ebro Delta Nat. Park).
    • Lleida /Huesca limit: 3 birds in the Cataluña y Aragón canal in the limit of both comunities on  20.10 (Jordi Bas). 
    • Lleida:  Two birds at Segre river, between Oliana and Basella on 30.10(David Guixé).
    • Marjal del Moro, Sagunto: 2 (4?) birds were seen around the area from 27-28.10 (Marcial Yuste).
    • Albufera de València; 1st sighting was on 06.09 (3.09 at Turia river mouth slightly northwards, F.J. García i Gans) and there were  2 birds on 2.10 (Bosco Dies & J. Ignacio Dies). However, on 12.10.2000 the total number of birds was of 7 (Bosco Dies & J. Ignacio Dies), who knows if involving some of the birds recorded further North previously. 
    • El Hondo de Amoros, Alicante: a single bird was present on 5.10 (Luís Fidel Sarmiento). More news on this sighting in the SEO/Alicante web site. Or see the photo of this bird.
    • Santa Pola, Alicante: a single bird on 30.10 (Luís Fidel Sarmiento).
Thus, minimum count for this part of the country gives 95+ different birds.
  • North West & Atlantic Coast 
    • Galicia. At Valdoviño, Galicia, a single bird was seen on 4.9 (A.Gutiérrez). 
    • Asturies. A bird was seen on 18.09 at Ría de La Villa, Asturies (Pablo Valdés).
    • Cantabria.  Santander Bay on 4.10 (Juan Gómez). Two birds were at Canal de Escalante, marismas de Santoña, Cantabria on 20.10 (Javier García-Oliva). On 28.10 two more were seen at Pozón de la Dolores, near Santander Bay (Ángel Herrero, Ramón Balbás).
    • Euskadi. A single bird at Balsa de Zurbano, Vitoria Gasteiz, between 4-8.10 (Alejandro Onrubia). At Forua,  Ría de Gernika, Bizkaia, a bird was present on 7.10 (Jon Hidalgo). Two further birds were at Bahía de Txingudi, Gipuzkoa, on 6.10 (Héctor González) and 18.10 (Héctor González & Mikel Etxaniz) and two birds were seen at embalse de Villarreal, Araba, on 14.10 (J.I.García Plazaola & Xabi Buenetxea) . 
    • Laguna de Dos Reinos, Navarra: two birds on 21.10 (Gabriel Berasategui) and on 24.10 (Luis Almingol).

    • October figures would include 16 different birds.
  • Inland
A single bird was at Laguna de Soto de Mozanaque, Fuente El Saz de Jarama, Madrid from late September to 28.10 at least (Delfín González)). Two birds at azud de Riolobos (Salamanca) on 17.9 (Eduardo Carras). Another bird at El Burgo de Ebro, Zaragoza on 28.10 over a Cormorant roost (Luis Gracia) Therefore, four birds in October
  • Southern Spain
In the Doñana area there are about 15 birds (Héctor Garrido). Besides, a single bird was at Brazo del Este, Sevilla on 5.10, but two on 15.10 and five on 19.10 (Nacho García, Andrés Serrano et al., SEO-Málaga). Three birds were seen at Guadalhorce river mouth, Málaga, the morning of 7.10 (Andrew M.Paterson). On 19.10, a single bird at Cornalvo Natural Park reservoir, Mérida (Juan Antonio García Jiménez). At least 24 birds in October.

Therefore a temptative total for the country would include  139+ different birds at least. See also september sightings.

Western Reef Heron* Egretta gularis schistacea. Pale phase, slightly
pied bird. Cal Roc, Llobregat Delta, Barcelona. 10.10.2000. The bird seen in September relocated again in the same place (!)(F. López,
E. Guinart, A. Ramal, E. González i A. Badia), still there on 25.10 (X,Larruy, J.Castelló,J.Becarés). So, present in the area probably from August.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus. Largest recorded flocks are those at Buda Island, Ebro Delta (c.60 birds, David Bigas) and Brazo del Este, Sevilla (73 birds on 5.10 but 226! on 29.10, the largest-ever party recorded in Spain, Francisco Chiclana). Another single bird was seen in Txingudi Bay, Euskadi, on 10.10 (comm. by Gorka Gorospe).

Marabou* Leptoptilos crumeniferus. A bird was photographed at Veta la Palma on 24.10.2000 but it had been seen lingering arounf the area for a month (Héctor Garrido).

Lesser Flamingo* Phoenicopterus minor. Two birds were on 18.10 at Parque Natural El Hondo, Alicante, in company of c. 3000 P. ruber (Marcos Ferrández & Jose Luis Echevarrías). Origin unknown.

Mute Swan* Cygnus olor. A bird seen at Estero Domingo Rubio, near the old road Palos - Mazagón, Huelva on 15.10 (Demetrio Aguado Macias). Perhaps the same bird that had been seen before in Veta la Palma (F.Chiclana). Despite its relative common status in C Europe, only a few sightings in Spain are reported every year.

Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis. A bird was seen at Embalse de Tresona, Asturies on  23.10 (Elías García Sanchez).

Palle-bellied Brent Goose* Branta bernicla hrota. A juvenile was seen at ensenada de Feás, Cariño (Ría de Ortigueira), A Coruña from 13-21.10 (José Miguel Alonso Pumar).

Ruddy Shelduck* Tadorna ferruginea. 5 birds were present at embalse de Santillana,Manzanares El Real, Madrid on 4.10 (Daniel L.Huertas).

American Black Duck* Anas rubipres. On 21.10 a male was found at ría de Ortigueira, A Coruña, in company of Mallards. Perhaps a returning individual following last year sighting of a drake which arrived on 11.10.1999 (José Miguel Alonso Pumar).

Falcated Duck* Anas falcata. The 3rd for Spain was a 1st winter male seen at embalse de San Andrés, Asturies from  20-28.10 at least (Elías García Sánchez). 

Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris . Two birds were counted at Canal Vell lagoon, Ebre Delta on 3.10.2000 (David Bigas). 55 birds were counted at Brazo del Este. Sevilla on 21.10 (Francisco Chiclana). And 3 more were at Albufera de València on 21.10 (J.I. Díes & Bosco Díes).

Scaup Aythya marila .A female was present at Ría de Ortigueira, A Coruña, on 13.10 but not afterwards(José Miguel Alonso Pumar).

Ferruginous Duck. Aythya nyroca. The only reported birds were two at Albufera de València on 21.10 (J.I. Díes & Bosco Díes), a male at La Furta, Asturies, from  02.10 onwards (Clemente Álvarez Usategui) and seven (!) at balsa de Zolina, Navarra on 21.10 (Gabriel Berasategui).

Ruddy Duck* Oxyura jamaicensis.  The bird initially in company of 3 White-headed ducks Oxyura leucocephala at Canal Vell lagoon , Ebre Delta, Tarragona found on 18.9.2000 was still there on 15.10.2000 (David Bigas). From 6.10 the number of White Headed Ducks has increased to 16 individuals, still present on 15.10, the largest-ever group recorded in recent times in Catalonia (David Bigas).

Steppe Buzzard Buteo buteo vulpinus. A bird showing rufous tail was seen flying over Garraf hills, Barcelona on 15.10 (F.Xavier Santaeufemia).

Sketch from F.X. Santaeufemia field notes (kindly supplied by the author)

Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae. Two birds were hunting between Canopolis and Garraf at Garraf hills, Barcelona on 8.10 whilst another single bird passed by on 15.10 (F.Xavier Santaeufemia).

Cream-coloured Cursor* Cursorius cursor. A bird found at Punta de la Banya beach on 7.10 (David Bigas) might have been there from mid September as told by the local warden (Ferran Blanch). Only recent record for NE Spain. Severe flooding of the Punta de la Banya from 11.10 has prevented further search of this sought-after scarcity.

Pacific Golden Plover* Pluvialis fulva . An adult seen on 7.10 near the river mouth, Llobregat Delta, the first for the area (Xavier Larruy, Juan Becarés).

Pectoral Sandpiper* Calidris melanotos. A bird was seen at Tresona reservoir, Asturies, on 3.10 (Elías García Sanchez).

Terek Sandpiper* Xenus cinereus. 1.10.2000 and previous days: a bird at Tancada Saltpans, Ebre Delta ( to David Bigas). Perhaps the bird seen in August at Buda island now moved there.
Another bird - juvenile/1st winter - (the same?) at Punta del Fangar on 20-21.10 (David Bigas).

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus. A bird was seen on 15.10 at Txingudi bay, Euskadi (Héctor González). Only the 2nd record for Gipuzkoa.

Richard's Pipit* Anthus richardi. A 1st winter was at Mas Trencat field, Aiguamolls de l'Empordà Natural Park, Girona on 20.10 (Jordi Martí).

Siberian Blue Robin* Luscinia cyane 18.10.2000. A 1st winter bird having moulted two wing coverts was trapped and ringed at Canal Vell lagoon biological station, Deltebre, Tarragona by David Bigas. 1st record for Spain and only the 2nd-ever record for the whole Western Palearctic. Perhaps the rarest-ever bird seen in Spain. Only twitched by 9 lucky people amongst whose I happily was :-)))))) .

Greenish Warbler* Phylloscopus trochiloides . 2nd - 3rd for Spain. A bird seen at Embalse de la Granda, Asturies on 23.10 (Elías García Sánchez) would follow the first seen last year in the same place by the same qualified observer and another recent claim in Catalonia yet to be concreted (GCA).

Red-eyed Vireo* Vireo olivaceus. A 1st winter bird (retained tail and primaries, moulted head and coverts) was trapped and ringed at Tiana, Barcelona on 30.10 (Carles Llebaria and others) during a GCA ringing campaign. The 3rd for Spain.

Little Bunting* Emberiza pusilla. A bird was trapped and ringed at Segre river, Seu d'Urgell, Lleida (near the Andorra border) on 26.10 (Jordi Dalmau i Ausàs).See photos below.

Photos: © Jordi Dalmau. See larger versions of the photos at GCA website
Lamentablemente, de momento no hay versión castellana disponible.
Lamentablement, de moment no hi ha versió catalana disponible
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