2 June, Sierra María, Arboleas Birding Group
God knows how I'd fill this blog without Dave and Gilly's contributions! I'm trying to get the blog of the Madeira seabird trip done and it's like Topsy - keeps on growing!!! Still, I'm going to the Guadalhorce tomorrow early with Federico, so it'll get put back even more. I am now going to attack it and hopefully will publish it Sunday.
It was a sunny day as we left Arboleas heading towards the Sierra de Maria. Us four met up with another member, whose wife would join us later.
After a cuppa at the garage cafe in Maria, we drove up to the chapel. As we wandered round we searched for the Golden Oriole we could hear, but failed. We did see the Nightingale singing near the water trough. Above it Crossbills were waiting to take a drink. A male Cirl Bunting made a brief appearance as did a pair of food collecting Rock Buntings. We also failed to see a Green Woodpecker and a Raven which we'd heard. About 5 Red-billed Chough were doing an aerial display way up on the mountain ridge.
Due to our various disabilities we stayed to the easier lower path. Birds were few and far between, but Bonelli's and Subalpine Warbler were seen. So, a bit down hearted we proceeded to the old farm buildings on the way to the plains. A female Black Redstart was on the fence surrounding the water deposit and Rock Sparrows were nesting in the buildings. Brian and Mary, who had now arrived (having quad biked over the mountain pass from Chirivel!!) checked out the track leading into the pine forest They logged Crested Tit and Mistle Thrush as we drove along the plain, seeing Short-toed Lark and its larger cousin, the Calandra Lark.
We met up again at the La Piza forest cafe for lunch. Two Griffon Vultures flew high overhead, Short-toed Treecreepers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker made an appearance. Crossbills were in abundance waiting to drink.
We saw (or heard) 42 species in all, a very good result considering.
Publicado por Andy Paterson