Minutes after walking away from the Ring-billed Gull, I raised my binoculars for (yet) another scan of the numerous coots and found I'd put them more or less straight onto the Red-knobbed Coot. We'd obviously started at the wrong end of the park! I'd never seen a Red-knobbed Coot feeding out on the grass like a Common Coot either which may also be attributed to dire necessity brought on by the drought. When I've seen them bobbing around on water I've managed to convince myself that the two species do have (slight) structural differences but walking around on the grass none of these were apparent. You can decide for yourself by checking out my short video of the bird at youtu.be/CYo2KDB0mQM As with the bird reported from the Lagunas de Martin Miguel, this bird's trademark red appendages hadn't fully developed and consequently weren't at all obvious. In this state, such a bird could easily be passed over amongst its commoner congeners (as we found out at the previous site). This bird also showed distinctly brownish wing coverts which seemed to suggest that it was a first year bird. However, this is not mentioned in the "Birds of the Western Palearctic" which only comments that feathers can be brownish when worn. That all three birds reported in Cadiz province (plus another on a golf course in Malaga) were feeding in unusual habitats probably reflects the exceptional dryness of the season.
Entering the resort from the roundabout at the junction of the A 491 and A 2077, as we did, proved to be a mistake as you then have a tedious drive through the whole area before reaching the lakes. It's better to take the A 491 north for c3 km and come in on the northernmost entrance. Unfortunately, I discovered, the map in my notes wasn't entirely accurate as it omitted both this and another entrance to Costa Ballena. The corrected version is below. I also realise that I haven't given full access details to the site in my notes. These too are below -
For Costa Ballena – head south from Chipiona on the A 491 & take the first exit signposted for Costa Ballena to enter the complex. Turn left at the second roundabout & park near the park. If arriving from Sanlucar on the A 2077 head north on the A 491 for c3 km and follow instructions as above.