Tuesday, 10 January 2012


 We arrive at the wide open vistas, rice paddies and salt pans that make the delta such an unusual habitat, but this return trip at the beginning of November finds a very different place to our Spring visit. There seem to be very few birds here, waders, ducks or others, a strange feeling, as though we have just missed a really good party, or the party is next week!  But we cycle off in hope, to the Riet Vell, where there is a good hide overlooking a small lake surounded by rushes. We wait and watch, but only see some Coot, Moorhens and slulking Purple Swamp Hens. Not to be put off we move on to La Tancada, a very large expance of open water, normally covered in wild fowl... today only many many Coots, until we espy, sitting on a sand bar, two Caspian Terns, with their huge red beaks. Sadly they were at too great a distance to photograph, but we enjoyed watching them through the scope.

One of the original dwellings of the Delta, with La Tancada behind.

We stopped on the road that borders La Tancada and sitting quietly in a sheltered spot, along a waterway  
was this beautiful little Common Sandpiper, looking for all the world like a cave painting.

From here we cycled to L'Encanyissada, an elevated hide, near the village of Poble Nou del Delta, where we have seen so many Red Crested Poachard before, but this time there were only a few at great distance. Again we waited and waited and were rewared with this low flying Heron. There are so many Herons here on the Delta, but always one more phtograph to be taken.

Patience was rewarded also with this female Marsh Harrier, after she just seemed to want to evade the camera, dropping intermittently into the reeds.

Dawn broke the next day, very windy, with clouds skudding across the grey skies and blustery showers.
Wanting to be out and doing something, we decided to cycle to the Illa de Buda, following a cycle track that skirted the beach, this proved to be hard work and all seemed very desolate. I think all bird life must be hunkered down somewhere. However we were lucky enough to observe through the scope, a young Peregrin Falcon, down and resting. We watched it for some considerable time (nothing else about!) A small brown bird came to rest beside it, within 1ft of it. They looked at each other and the small bird flew off, very wise, I think, as it may have been on the menu!! After a round trip of some 35kms, into a head wind, we returned, saddle sore (me) and called in again at the Riet Vell, where Mike photographed this little Iberian Chiffchaff, we also just missed a Water Rail, that suddenly exploded from the rushes and just a quickly disappeared, crashing into some more!

Iberian Chiffchaff.

During that night, it blew a hooley and rained, next day dawn broke to a grey and threatening sky, so we decided to bid farewell to the Delta, hoping that the next time we visit, as we surely will, there will be more for us to photograph for you. But, as lovers of the wild places and nature, we are happy to take what we are given, see it, and marvel of the wonders of the natual world.

No comments: