1 July, Arboleas Birding Group, Cabo de Gata

Thank the great god Spuggie for the reports from the Arboleas Birding Group through the good offices of Dave and Gilly, plus his photos to enliven things. However, let Dave continue with this week's episode. Given the temperatures they deserve good birding on 1 July. It takes courage to go out now unless early in the morning and, as Dave rightly points out, heat haze makes life difficult.

As foretold in my previous missive, I returned to Cabo de Gata with Gilly and three
other members of the group. Apologies if this sounds very similar. At the first hide there were 100's of Avocets and Kentish Plovers. A Stone Curlew could be seen on the steppes to the right. There was also a small flock of Black-tailed Godwits and a single Ringed Plover. We were pleased to see a flock of 10 Curlews fly in. 2 Gull-billed Terns were present.

A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was very close to the hide and I think from its demeanor not in the best of health. At the 2nd hide my faithful counter did her bit and notched up 638 Greater Flamingos. Little Terns were diving in all around. The public hide produced another 60 Black-tailed Godwits. More terns were on the sandy islands but the heat haze was getting much worse. I could confirm Sandwich Tern, but I suspect there were either Whiskered or Common there as well.
As we commenced our route round the rear of the reserve we were greeted by a Black
-eared Wheatear. Avocets with young were close to the track as were some Redshanks.
A very dishevelled Roller posed for us on the power lines. A single Slender-billed Gull was feeding close in. At the end of the day we'd seen 33 species.

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