23 September; (1) Embalse de Negratín (2) my own records

(1) Embalse de Negratín : Another of the welcome trip reports which Dave Elliott-Binns puts together on the trips of the Arboleas Birding Group.

Having checked the weather forecast the previous evening for Baza, it predicted clouds and a 0% chance of rain. So off we went with one other member to meet up with Brian and Mary from Chirivel at a cafe near to the reservoir. After a hearty breakfast we headed to the top of the dam. At the top of the pines and poplars behind the carpark we managed to spot about 4 Crossbills. On the grassy bank below the dam a number of Stonechats flitted around. As usual, the birdlife on the water was disappointing - 3 Great Crested Grebes and about 6 Cormorants.
We then ventured down into the valley below, hoping for better. We were rewarded with views of both Pied and Spotted Flycatcher. Gilly heard, then spotted, a Great Spotted Woodpecker. The resident Crag Martins were still enjoying the company of 100s of House Martins and 10s of Barn Swallows. We heard Cetti's Warbler in the reeds by the outflow pool and about 20 Rock Doves
were resting on the cliff.
As my school report said...."Could've done better"! But we did see 29 species and it began
drizzling as we left....never did believe the forecast!!

Dave & Gilly

(2) My own records: Like Dave's school report, mine also made similar comments and usually added '...if he tried.' However, as I have never understood the need for quadratic equations and the gulls on the playing fields were usually far more interesting, need I say more? Unlike Dave and the Arboleas group, ain't been nowhere and ain't done nuthin', except paint sheets for the book (a slow and at times frustrating task) and my birding has been reduced looking out over the garden in the coffee breaks (one every 2 hours) and an afternoon walk with my little hairy friend, usually down by the Guadalhorce.

Since last Sunday, the garden (and remember this is more or less in the centre of Torremolinos) has hosted Spotted Flycatcher (virtually daily), Pied Flycatcher (one afternoon), Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff and a daily female/juv. Common Redstart. There has also been one of the resident Red-vented Bulbuls a couple of times (these appeared about 10 years ago and are an exotic).

The walks down by the river have produced little: Grey Herons, Little Egrets, a few House Martins, a dozen or so Red-rumped Swallows both yesterday and this afternoon - they are the most delightful things to watch- plus Barn Swallows. Regrettably plans to join the Axarquía folks tomorrow have had to be abandoned and it looks like birding might be limited for the next few days or more.

Good birding!

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