Monday 30 January 2012


An earlier post of this blog presented the information to hand on the breeding of the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) in La Serena Reservoir. New figures have recently been published in Ardeola, so we hereby update that earlier information.

The Ardeola text ran as follows:
"Count of the breeding population in La Serena Reservoir in 2011 with a total of 341 breeding pairs shared out in five colonies: the biggest lies in the province of Badajoz with 313 pairs; in the same province there are two more breeding clusters with 11 and 3 nesting pairs; one 13-nest colony was found in the Córdoba part and one isolated nest in the Ciudad Real part". This therefore makes a total of 341 total pairs, 327 in Badajoz, 13 in Córdoba and one in Ciudad Real (Xurxo Piñeiro)."

Piñeiro, X. 2011. Cormorán grande Phalacrocórax carbo (pag. 487). In, Molina, B., Prieta, J., Lorenzo, J. A. and López-Jurado, C. Noticiario Ornitológico. Ardeola 58(2):481-516.

Friday 27 January 2012


Here you have the very latest figures on the population of the Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) in Spain and Extremadura, published by the Spanish Environment Ministry for 2011. The situation is very upbeat for yet another year, with 39 more pairs than the previous year. This represents a 14% increase in a single year. From 2006 to 2011 the population has grown by no fewer than 102 pairs, pride of place going to Castilla-La Mancha, which has almost doubled its figures in this period. Extremadura, on the other hand, is only treading water, with one pair more than the previous year. Numbers have been holding steady in Extremadura for the last six years so the situation cannot exactly be called bad, but it is now lagging behind the considerable increases being recorded elsewhere. Witness the fact that only one of the 102 new pairs recorded since 2006 is nesting in Extremadura.

See more Imperial Eagle posts.

Tuesday 24 January 2012


The Extremadura breeding and wintering Spoonbill survey (Platalea leucorodia) continued in 2011. See other Spoonbill posts in this blog.

During the breeding season all Extremadura's heron colonies were visited as part of the national breeding heron survey. Nests occupied by Spoonbills were found in 7 of the heron colonies, adding up to a total of 73 pairs. These are the highest figures recorded to date. The colonies were the following:

- Montijo Reservoir (Badajoz). 25 pairs. Biggest colony ever recorded in Extremadura.
- Valle del Tiétar I (Cáceres). 22 pairs.
- Valle del Tiétar II (Cáceres). 12 pairs (8 certain and up to 15 possible). New site a few kilometres from the former one on private land. Access denied. All the nests are in a big Cork Oak; the size of the nests and the state of the colony suggest that the colony has been occupied for some years.
- Alqueva I Reservoir (Badajoz). 9 pairs.
- Alqueva Reservoir II (Badajoz). 1 pair.
- Valle del Alagón (Cáceres). 3 pairs with nest, no signs of breeding.
- El Borbollón Reservoir (Cáceres). 1 pair of adults in one nest and one juvenile on the only visit made. New site.

Three visits were made to the Valle del Tiétar I colony to monitor breeding success. The 22 detected pairs all began breeding. In 15 nests it was possible to estimate the final number of fledglings: 41. Extrapolated to the whole colony this would give a figure of about 60 fledglings. This represents a fledgling rate of 2.93 chicks per successful nest and an estimated productivity and breeding success of 2.73 chicks per pair. Both parameters are well up on 2010 (1.94 and 1.43 respectively).

As regards wintering birds, in December we took part in the GRUSEC-brokered national Spoonbill count. Several sites were visited in Extremadura, with a total of 28 Spoonbills in six of them:
- Lagunas de La Albuera (Badajoz), 11 birds.
- Los Canchales Reservoir (Badajoz), 2 birds.
- Charcas de Los Arenales (Cáceres), 7 birds.
- Charca de El Ancho (Cáceres), 6 birds.
- Laguna de Galisteo (Cáceres), 1 bird.
- Valdefuentes Gravel Pit, Galisteo (Cáceres), 1 bird.

Spring count: Emilio Costillo, Javier Prieta, Sergio Mayordomo, Jesús Montero, César Clemente and Javier Mahillo. Breeding monitoring in the Valle del Tiétar: Javier Prieta.
Winter Count: Juan Carlos Paniagua, Antonio Núñez, Jesús Solana, Vanesa de Alba, José Guerra, Rafael Parra, Antonio Cebrián, Sergio Mayordomo, Carlos Fernández, Elvira del Viejo, José Luis Bautista, Pablo Herrador, César Clemente, Javier Mahíllo and Javier Prieta.

Wednesday 11 January 2012


Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispanioliensis). Male in winter plumage. By Atanasio Fernández.

A list of the most notable December 2011 records sent to the GOCE birdwatching forum. Compiled by Sergio Mayordomo.

- White-Fronted Goose: on 08/12 two birds at Valdecañas Reservoir (Cáceres) and one at Lugar Nuevo, Peraleda de la Mata (Cáceres) (Javier Briz and Vicente Risco).
- Greylag Goose: 758 birds at Valdecañas Reservoir (Cáceres) on 08/12 (J. Briz and V. Risco)
- Barnacle Goose: three birds on 03/12 at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) (Sergio Mayordomo) and six at Talaván Reservoir (Cáceres) (José Luis Barriga). One bird at Moheda Alta, Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz), on 07/12 (Martin Kelsey).
- Egyptian Goose: one bird at Borbollón Reservoir (Cáceres) on 18/12 (SEO-Cáceres) and three at Riolobos ricefield (Cáceres) on 28/12 (Javier Prieta).
- Shelduck: one female at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) on 17/12 (Eva Palacios and S. Mayordomo).
- Ruddy Shelduck: four birds at Portaje Reservoir (Cáceres) on 30/12 (Juan Carlos Paniagua and S. Mayordomo)

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa). Drake in summer plumage. Guijo de Coria, Cáceres. 18-12-2011. By César Clemente.

- Wood Duck: one drake on a pond of Guijo de Coria (Cáceres) on 18/12 (SEO-Cáceres).
- Tufted Duck: eight ducks and two drakes at Lugar Nuevo, Peraleda de la Mata (Cáceres), on 08/12 (J. Briz and V. Risco). At Charco Salado, Casatejada (Cáceres), 30 birds on 08/12 (Antolín Redondo and Leandro), 31 on 10/12 and about 20 on 28/12 (S. Mayordomo). At El Manantío / Atalaya, Aldea del Cano (Cáceres), 24 birds on 21/12 (José Guerra and S. Mayordomo). Over 50 birds at Charca de Brozas (Cáceres) on 23/12 (Carlos Fernández).
- Ferruginous Duck: one drake at La Anguila Reservoir, Serrejón (Cáceres), on 10/12 (S. Mayordomo). At El Manantío, Aldea del Cano (Cáceres), one drake on 21/12 (Alberto Gil, J. Guerra and S. Mayordomo) and three birds on 31/12 (Agustín Rodríguez, Florencio Carrero and Rafael Parra).
- Great Crested Grebe: 200 birds at Alange Reservoir (Badajoz) on 06/12 (Antonio Núñez, Jesús Solana and Vanessa de Alba).
- Cormorant: over 1000 on River Guadiana at Badajoz on 06/12 (J. C. Paniagua).
- Spoonbill: one immature at Sotillo Reservoir, Monroy (Cáceres), on 02/12 (S. Mayordomo). At Lagunas de La Albuera (Badajoz), 11 birds on 03/12 (J. C. Paniagua) and on 18/12 (A. Núñez, J. Solana and V. de Alba) and eight on 22/12 (J. Guerra). At El Ancho, Arroyo de la Luz (Cáceres), one bird on 15/12 (Paco Be Water) and six on 23/12 (R. Parra). At Los Arenales, Cáceres, four birds on 17/12 (Antonio Cebrián) and seven on 21/12 (J. Guerra and S. Mayordomo) and on 23/12 (C. Fernández). At Los Canchales Reservoir (Badajoz), two birds on 17/12 (Elvira del Viejo, José Luis Bautista and Pablo Herrador). One bird Valdefuentes gravel pit, Galisteo (Cáceres), on 24/12 (César Clemente and Javier Mahillo). One bird at Laguna de Galisteo (Cáceres) on 28/12 (J. Prieta).
- Bittern: one certain bird and another possible at Arrocampo Reservoir (Cáceres) on 05/12 (Manuel García del Rey and S. Mayordomo).
- Little Bittern: on River Guadiana: three birds on 05/12, four on 08/12 and six on 10/12 at Badajoz (J. C. Paniagua) and at Mérida (Badajoz), six on 19/12 (Ángel Sánchez). One bird at Arrocampo Reservoir (Cáceres) on 10/12 (S. Mayordomo). One bird at La Granja gravel pits (Cáceres) on 19/12 (Ricardo Montero).
- Night Heron: At River Guadiana: one young bird on 05/12 and a roost of at least 15 birds on 10/12, Badajoz (J. C. Paniagua), and at Mérida (Badajoz), six on 19/12 (Á. Sánchez).
- Squacco Heron: one bird at Casas de Hitos, Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz) on 03/12 (Óscar Llama and Rafael Vicente). At River Guadiana, Badajoz, two birds on 03/12, five on 05/12, six on 06/12, nine on 08/12 and eight on 10/12 (J. C. Paniagua). One bird at Arrocampo Reservoir (Cáceres) on 06/12 (M. García del Rey and S. Mayordomo). One bird at El Batán ricefields (Cáceres) on 08/12 (Javier Gayo, J. Prieta and S. Mayordomo), 17/12 (E. Palacios and S. Mayordomo) and 30/12 (J. C. Paniagua and S. Mayordomo).
- Black Stork: one bird at Madrigal de la Vera (Cáceres) on 17/12 (Dave Langlois). One bird at Los Arenales, Cáceres, on 21/12 (J. Guerra and S. Mayordomo). Four birds at Charca de Fresnedillas, Oliva de Plasencia (Cáceres), late December (Jesús Montero). One bird at Laguna del Pozo de la Mozas, Oliva de Plasencia (Cáceres), on 31/12 (S. Mayordomo).
- Osprey: one bird at Viñuelas gravel pit, Galisteo (Cáceres), on 13/12, and several sightings of one bird at Gabriel and Galán Reservoir (Cáceres) (Alberto Pacheco).
- Black Kite: one bird at River Gargáligas (Badajoz) on 03/12 (Lorenzo Alcántara). On 19/12, two birds at Mérida (Badajoz) (Á. Sánchez) and one at Oliva de Plasencia (Cáceres) (S. Mayordomo). One bird at Los Frailes, Badajoz, on 27/12 (Gabriel Silva and J. C. Paniagua).

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus). Some of the 500+ birds present at Salto del Gitano, Monfragüe, on 12-12-2011. By Javier Prieta.

- Griffon Vulture: over 150 birds at on Cáceres landfill site on 03/12 (A. Gil). 512 birds counted and over 600 estimated at Salto del Gitano, Monfragüe (Cáceres) on 13/12 (J. Prieta).
- Cinereous Vulture: over 150 birds at Cáceres landfill site on 03/12 (A. Gil).
- Goshawk: one bird at Monesterio (Badajoz) on 03/12 (A. Pacheco).
- Crane: 1942 at River Tiétar, Malpartida de Plasencia, on 21/12 (J. Prieta). 6000 birds at Borbollón Reservoir (Cáceres) on 26/12 (C. Clemente, Goyo Naharro and J. Mahillo). 25,346 birds in the central zone (Badajoz-Cáceres) on 28/12 (Manuel Gómez Calzado, Miguel Gómez Guarín and José Antonio Román).
- Stone Curlew: roost of over 300 birds at La Nava de Santiago (Badajoz) on 17/12 (Á. Sánchez and Ángel Luis Sánchez). Roost of over 40 birds at Montijo (Badajoz) on 25/12 (J. L. Bautista and P. Herrador).
- Avocet: on 09/12 four birds at El Torvical (Badajoz) and 20 at Puebla de Alcollarín (Badajoz) (J. L. Barriga and Juan Pablo Prieto). On 18/12, 33 birds at Lagunas de La Albuera (Badajoz) (A. Núñez, J. Solana and V. de Alba) and 14 at Puebla de Alcollarín (Badajoz) (José Luis Pérez Chiscano and J. P. Prieto). Eight birds at Gabriel and Galán Reservoir (Cáceres) on 19/12 (Chema Diu and R. Montero). One bird at Galisteo ricefield (Cáceres) from 21/12 to 24/12 (C. Clemente J. Mahillo, J. Prieta and S. Mayordomo). 70 birds at Puebla de Alcollarín (Badajoz) on 26/12 (Elvira del Viejo, Juan Carlos Núñez, J. P. Prieto, María del Viejo and Miguel del Viejo). One bird at Valdehornillos (Badajoz) on 28/12 (José Antonio Román).
- Sociable Lapwing: One bird at Castuera (Badajoz) on 12/12 (Jan Hill and Les Battle).
- Kentish Plover: 25 birds at Santa Amalia (Badajoz) on 29/12 (Fernando Yuste).
- Curlew: one bird at Galisteo (Cáceres) on 21/12 (J. Prieta) and another at Charco Salado, Casatejada (Cáceres), on 28/12 (S. Mayordomo).
- Black-Tailed Godwit: one bird at Galisteo ricefield (Cáceres) from 03/12 to 22/12 (J. Prieta and S. Mayordomo). Twelve birds at Hernán Cortés (Badajoz) on 29/12 (Atanasio Fernández).

Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus), in the background, and Snipe (Gallinago gallinago). El Batán, Cáceres. 30-12-2011. By Juan Carlos Paniagua.

- Jack Snipe: one bird at El Batán ricefield (Cáceres) on 30/12 (J. C. Paniagua and S. Mayordomo).
- Woodcock: one bird at Santa Cruz de Paniagua (Cáceres) on 29/12 (J. C. Paniagua) and another at Dehesa Boyal de Montehermoso (Cáceres) on 30/12 (C. Clemente).
- Spotted Redshank: at El Batán ricefield (Cáceres), four birds on 03/12 (S. Mayordomo) and two on 17/12 (E. Palacios and S. Mayordomo). At El Torviscal ricefields (Badajoz), two birds on 09/12 (J. L. Barriga and J. P. Prieto) and one on 26/12 (E. del Viejo, J. C. Núñez, J. P. Prieto. M. del Viejo and M. del Viejo). At Galisteo ricefield (Cáceres), three birds on 21/12 (J. Prieta) and one on 22/12 (S. Mayordomo).
- Yellow-Legged Gull: one bird at El Ancho, Arroyo de la Luz (Cáceres), on 21/12 (J. Guerra and S. Mayordomo).
- Lesser Black-Backed Gull: 6500 birds at Alange Reservoir (Badajoz) on 06/12 (A. Núñez, J. Solana and V. de Alba).
- Whiskered Tern: one bird seen from the Roman Bridge of Mérida (Badajoz) on 04/12 (J. Solana).
- Stock Dove: four birds at Oliva de Plasencia (Cáceres) on 19/12 (S. Mayordomo). At Galisteo (Cáceres) 50 birds on 21/12 (J. Prieta) and 200 on 24/12 (C. Clemente and J. Mahillo). Over 50 birds at Riolobos (Cáceres) on 30/12 (J. C. Paniagua and S. Mayordomo).
- Short-Eared Owl: 17 birds at Hernán Cortés (Badajoz) on 12/12 and one bird at Santa Amalia (Badajoz) on 15/12 (J. A. Román). One bird at Cocosa, Olivenza (Badajoz), on 28/12 and two at Santa Amalia (Badajoz) on 30/12 (F. Yuste).
- Pallid Swift: Wintering birds at Alange (Badajoz): 15 birds entering the eaves of the church on 01/12 (J. Solana), twelve on 06/12 (A. Núñez, J. Solana and V. de Alba), nine on 11/12 (L. Alcántara) and another nine on 27/12 (J. Solana).
- Wryneck: one bird at River Jerte, Plasencia (Cáceres), on 06/12 (S. Mayordomo).
- Carrion Crow: one bird at Huélaga (Cáceres) on 18/12 (SEO-Cáceres).
- House Martin: one bird at Montehermoso (Cáceres) on 07/12 (J. Mahillo).
- Swallow: one bird at Mérida (Badajoz) on 19/12 (J. Solana).
- Red-Rumped Swallow: one bird at Plaza Mayor, Trujillo (Cáceres) on 01/12 (M. Kelsey).
- Goldcrest: several in one fir clump at Navaconcejo (Cáceres) on 10/12 (José Luis Rivero). Several at Piornal (Cáceres) on 15/12 (J. Prieta).
- Fieldfare: one bird at Villanueva de la Vera (Cáceres) on 01/12 (D. Langlois).
- Alpine Accentor: on 03/12, three birds at Pico Villuercas (Cáceres) (M. Kelsey) and two at Monesterio (Badajoz) (A. Pacheco). 17 birds at Puerto de Esperabán, Pinofranqueado (Cáceres), on 08/12;. 19 at Sierra de Aguafría, Monesterio (Badajoz), on 23/12 (A.Pacheco) and five at Zarza de Montánchez (Cáceres) on 24/12 (A. Pacheco.)
- Pied Wagtail: on 18/12 one bird at Plasencia (Cáceres) and at Carcaboso (Cáceres) (J. Prieta and S. Mayordomo) and at Navalmoral de la Mata (Cáceres) (J. Guerra). One bird at Valdefuentes gravel pit, Galisteo (Cáceres), on 24/12 (C. Clemente and J. Mahillo). One bird at Riolobos ricefield (Cáceres) on 28/12 (J. Prieta).
- Brambling: one bird at Zarza de Montánchez (Cáceres) on 28/12 (Steve Fletcher).
- Bullfinch: one pair at Monesterio (Badajoz) on 03/12 (A. Pacheco). Six birds at Villanueva de la Vera (Cáceres) on 13/12 and only one on 14/12 (D. Langlois). One bird at Huerto del Ojaranzo, Monfragüe (Cáceres), on 14/12 (S. Mayordomo). Two birds at Santa Cruz de Paniagua (Cáceres) on 31/12 (J. C. Paniagua and S. Mayordomo).