28 June, Cabo de Gata

Dave Elliott-Binns made a quickie trip to Cabo de Gata this morning, another early riser for which reason he was alone. Here is his account and his photos.

Cabo de Gata - Sunday 28th June 2009
A neighbour of mine needed to drop off a hire car at Almeria Airport, so I volunteered to collect him. We were meeting at 1115 hrs so at 0630 hrs I left home to do a bit of birding beforehand (alone - Gilly's not a morning person!) Glad I'd had breakfast before I'd left as the Pujaire cafe was closed as I passed it at 0730hrs. The news that it's summer still hasn't reached the Black-tailed Godwit population. From the first hide I saw a group of 15. The total for the day was 60 ! The most populous wader was Avocets, followed by Kentish Plover. 6 Redshank were also seen, together with a
single Curlew. There was zilch out to sea at the second hide, but on the salinas there were over 600 Greater Flamingos. Not an exact count as I was distracted by a very noisy Black-winged Stilt overflying due to a stray dog near its young, I presume. 3 Stone Curlews were spotted on the steppes. Along the beach to the public hide an opportunist Raven was checking on discarded tourist trash.
The hide itself added to the numbers of Black-tailed Godwits. Numerous Little Terns are nesting on the islands. Round the rear of the reserve, had good close views of Avocets and fluffy chicks.

Whilst driving back to the road, got some photos of a small lark. The dark patch on the breast side confirmed to me later that it was a well worn Short-toed Lark.

A flock of 53 Audouin's Gulls were resting. Slender-billed Gulls were feeding.

A total of 34 species for the day. Back here on Wednesday with the group.

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