An action packed, full day out, but we had dull overcast conditions with bout of light rain. A brisk westerly wind followed us all day too, but we got on with the birding regardless.
Our drive to laguna de Medina was uneventful and mainly in the dark. We listed White Stork, Jackdaw, Cattle Egret, Common Buzzard and Crested Lark along the way. The laguna itself was almost deserted, very few birds we on the water, just 20-30 Mallards, 10+ Shoveler, good numbers of Great crested Grebe and not much else. The track and scrub along the way didn't hold much either, Cetti's Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Zitting Cisticola, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and a few Stonechats. The open fields next to the track held Red-legged Partridge, Crested Lark and a large mixed flock of Sand Martin, House Martin, Barn Swallow and Red-rumped Swallows.
We then visited the salt pans of Santa Maria, it was raining the whole time we were there! But we found a lot of waders which consisted mainly of Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Redshanks and a few Dunlin.
Along the approach track we found a flock of about 200 Spanish Sparrows, several Northern Wheatears and a number of Marsh Harriers, White Storks and Little Egrets. As we left the area a Black Kite flew very low over the car and headed for a local rubbish dump.
After a coffee stop we drove through more rain to arrive at Bonanza Salt Pans where we spent a great couple of hours watching a large number of birds, the whole area was just superb. We had close views of Black-tailed Godwit, Pied Avocet, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Greater Flamingo, Sanderling and Ruff. We sat and ate our lunch looking over another pool where even more birds were present. Open mud flats held at least a 1,000 birds it was fantastic. We saw Black Stork, Great White Egret, Eurasian Spoonbill, Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Tern (my first for the autumn), Knot, Red Kite, Osprey, Black Tern and Little Tern.
From there we drove round to Laguna Tarelo where the algal bloom continued to discolour the water, it is now a bright red! Consequently there are now no diving ducks found there, just a few Common Coots, mallards, Shoveler and Little Grebes. There were a lot of Night Herons, Little Egrets and we found a single Squacco Heron. But the best find was a pair of Marbled Duck, they didn't show well, they just sat on an island with their heads tucked over their backs, but good birds nevertheless.
Trebujena marsh didn't produce anything new, we searched for Red-knobbed Coot without success. On the way home we stopped near Sierra Crestellina to look at our first Blue-rock Thrush of the trip, that bird was our final sighting of a long and bird filled day.