13July, Sierra de María (Almería)

This arrived late last night (or rather, I arrived home late) and forgot to put it in this morning as I was doing my well known impression of the blue-tailed fly (which chases its own backside until the inevitable happens! Work that out for yourselves!), so, sorry, Dave. Left to his own devices as you will read, Dave took himself off birding, which takes some strength of mind in the heat we are currenlt experiencing. What a sad life we batchelor birders are forced to have. I hope mine is going to be away for a week or more in late August - early September!

As Gilly's away for a few days to the UK, I was up early and headed up to Sierra de Maria. In fact I beat the baker to the cafe, so dipped out on breakfast!! I reached the car park in front of the chapel & wandered over to the water trough behind it. I gained a bit of height, sat down and waited to see what would appear. Within 5 minutes I'd got Jays, Chaffinch, Crossbill, Cirl and Rock Bunting, Great and Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Linnet, Subalpine Warbler and Chiffchaff -Iberian, presumably). Highly satisfied I walked towards the Botanical Gardens, which were just opening. A Booted Eagle soaring overhead caught my attention.
The gardens staff's first job of the day in this hot weather is to put on the irrigation sprinklers in the tended area near the Information Centre, a fact I was unaware of but the local bird population did. Many of the previously mentioned birds were there, plus Crested Tit and loads of Coal Tits, one of which took a shower three feet in front of me. However, the bird of the day suddenly appeared... a Hawfinch. Never seen one there before. Managed to get a record shot. The walk round the rest of the gardens produced numerous small family groups of Bonelli's Warbler and a distant Griffon Vulture. Down on the plain...God, was it hot!....the only birds out were a panting Roller, a Crested Lark and a Northern Wheatear. Possible Corn Bunting and Lesser Short Toed Lark flew over. So, it was back to the La Piza woodland cafe for a large cold drink and lunch. A Short-toed Treecreeper made an appearance. Crossbills were hanging around the water spouts and, beggar me, another Hawfinch turned up!! A Woodchat Shrike on the drive to Vélez Blanco completed the days 35 total.

No hay comentarios: