8 July, Río Almanzora (Almería)

Gilly and Dave deserve medals for venturing out in the heat that we have been experiencing, although yesterday it did wane to more reasonable levels here in Torremolinos. Mind you, how they must have felt (and perhaps said, at least mentally) when they saw what was happening at what was a good birding site, doesn't bear thinking about. It is - was- a super site which I have visited a couple of times. The sad photos tell the tale and we can only hope that Dave's final, heartfelt wish come true and I suspect that it may well do so. I certainly hope so! Such is the price of progress and the need for water.

Rio Almanzora
Due to the heat and the knowledge a lot of the Arboleas Birding Group
were unavailable, no trip was organized this week. However Gilly and I made a visit to the Rio Almanzora estuary near to Villaricos. I regretfully have to inform you of the probable fatal demise of this location as a birding hotspot.

As you will see from the attached photographs the pipework for the Cuevas de Almanzora Desalination Plant has completely overwhelmed the beach end of the Rambla. These pipes, I assume, will eventually be oiked (a technical term) out to sea. Apart from the odd Yellow-legged Gull and passing hirundines, the area, quite understandably, was a bird desert. Things didn't get any better up the rambla towards Cuevas de Almanzora town as the other end of this pipework had been laid actually in the rambla, adjacent to which the Desalination Plant is situated.

Remember all those waders using the permanent shallow pools? Sorry....virtually all gone, a dry wasteland. There were a couple of pools in which Black-winged Stilts were present which gives hope that once the lorries and diggers have gone, the water, which obviously is still trying to survive there, may pool again. Time will tell whether this once birding hotspot will regenerate to its former glory. One can only hope!

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