Brianpen Birds - Toledo, Spain Bird List from 27-28 May, 2010


Bird List, Toledo, Spain, 27-28 May 2010

River and Old City
North Wall
River and Reeds
Hills South of City
Oak Grassland
We visited Toledo for two days in late May, staying at the Hotel El Diamantista down by the river on the south edge of the old city, an excellent choice for birding. In the photo on the left above, Hotel Diamantista is just to the right of center one building back from the park. This is a list of the birds I saw or heard during our stay. Places I visited included the old city, the park along the river near our hotel, the hills across the river south of the city along and above Paseo de la Rosa and the trail running north along the river for about 4km from below the hotel. North of the city (downstream) the river is bordered by extensive reed beds and tamarisk? with a fringe of various broadleaf trees - - elm, poplar (a silvery-leafed cottonwood), a green-leafed cottonwood, tamarisk, a nut tree, perhaps walnut, mulberry, almond, fig. Above the river to the south the hills are covered with bunch grasses, various shrubs and scattered oaks and junipers(?).
Altogether in the two days I identified 30 species of birds.
SpeciesNotes Little Bittern 2 along the river Night Heron 5 along the river Cattle Egret Large rookery of 300+ in tamarisk and reeds N of the city, and occasional fly-bys elsewhere Little Egret 1 on river near our hotel, all white with black legs and yellow feet Gray Heron 3 near our hotel and downstream along the river. Squawk is slightly higher-pitched than Great Blue Heron at home. Domestic Goose Flock of about 20 roosting on sandbar upstream from our hotel. A few had partial graylag-type markings Mallard 10 in and along the river Common Kestrel 1 seen overhead briefly. Pale below with some dark markings and dark tips of tail feathers. Moorhen River-edge rushes near our hotel Rock Dove Abundant, constantly flying around the river canyon. They're nesting in holes in walls in town but I rarely saw them foraging in the city. Woodpigeon Common flying along the river and overhead Common Swift Abundant everywhere, but especially over the old city both low and high in a big swarm. They nest in holes in houses and walls. Their call is a hight "Zrieeeer" usually repeated two or three times. Hoopoe 1 seen once trees in the park below our hotel. Red-rumped Swallow 1 along river north (downstream) from town Barn Swallow Common near our hotel and over the river House Martin Upstream from our hotel along Ruta de Don Quixote with barn swallows visiting a sandy bank, perhaps for minerals. Nightingale Several singing in trees near our hotel by day and occasionally at night, also in reeds downstream along the river. Song consists of loud clear phrases both musical and scratchy, like a melodious American mockingbird. Brown above, pale gray below with bright rufous color in tail and back and a dull eyering Blackbird Several in various well-vegetated habitats w/ trees and weeds. The female is more brownish and spotted or mottled. Compared to an American Robin the song has less variation in pitch with a richer and slightly more burry tone and the calls are higher-pitched. Cetti's Warbler 4 heard in reeds, seen once. Hard to spot but easy to hear in river edge reeds and brush. Song is loud and emphatic "chyicheet cheepurrcheeepurrcheeepurcheeepurr cheert churt". Uniform dull brown above with short wings and tail. Blackcap 1 singing in dense brushy trees along the river. Song like American Warbling Vireo, a brief loud warble with lots of variation in pitch, including sharp high-pitched notes. Longish-tailed and gray above with black cap, paler gray below with whitish throat. Blue Tit Several, including 1 nesting in hole in roadcut cliff, others foraging in dry hillside bushes. The nasal "tseee tseee tseee" calls reminded me of American bushtit. Great Tit Several in dense brush along the river. Young are more drab. Golden Oriole 1 seen, a good-sized bright yellow bird in river's edge trees across from our hotel. I couldn't distinguish the song from the Nightingale. Spotless Starling Common. All dark. A few around edges of town, including a flock of 10 or more in dry oak grassland and brush in the hills across the river from the old city. Magpie 2 in dry hillsides along/above the river Jackdaw Several seen, in dry hillsides above the river and overhead elsewhere. Distinctive nasal calls. House Sparrow Abundant, mostly along the river. Flocks feeding on mulberries and on grass seeds. Females near our hotel were carrying nesting material. Serin 1 probable in tree along the river north of town, near open farm fields. Small, with yellow breast, streaked sides, white belly, faint dark pattern in yellow face. Song is a high buzzy "zzeet zzeet zzeet zzeet". The calls were different but I didn't note them. Greenfinch 2 along the river in trees, probably nesting near our hotel. Goldfinch Abundant along the river. The chattering song is somewhat similar to a barn swallow but higher and more musical with a tinkling quality, but also with scattered scratchy notes.
Little Bittern
Night Heron
Common Swift
House Martin
Blue Tit