Another rare bird for Lleida: Cream-coloured Courser

On the 22nd April a lucky observer found a Cream-coloured Courser among a group of 6 Dotterel in a dryland area near Lleida. The observation was not reported until the bird had gone as it was in a sensitive area where Black-bellied Sandgrouse could breed this year. After the demise of the Dupont’s Lark in Catalonia the Black-bellied Sandgrouse, along with the Lesser Grey Shrike, is probably the most endangered bird species in this part of Spain. So in my mind the observer acted responsibly: getting his priorities right and putting the welfare of a rare breeding bird before the needs of local listers.

Luckily for all the first ever Cream-coloured Courser for the Lleida area turned up a couple of winters ago in a different dryland area to the north of Lleida, and stayed in place long enough to satisfy those who drove from Barcelona or Girona to see it. Of course then the local Lleida birders were the first on the scene. Including me!

Funnily enough there are other records of Cream-coloured Coursers on mainland Spain apparently associated with small flocks of Dotterels. How does that come about I wonder?

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