15 September, embalse de Negratín

So, whilst I was being inundated with stuff on Slender-billed Curlews yesterday, Dave and Gilly and the Arboleas Group went off to the embalse de Negratín, and here is their report:

As we drove from Arboleas towards Baza, I regretted wearing shorts and T shirt as the low cloud made things grey and dismal, but once we'd crossed the motorway the sun broke through and we were relatively hot all morning. It was an interesting journey, but libel laws prevent me from commenting further!!
We six members stopped in the usual parking area next to the dam. we were greeted with the sight of the resident Peregrine Falcon eyeing up prey from its clifftop position. It swooped down out of view, only to reappear empty-taloned & move to an unseen vantage point. On the opposite cliff top sat a Blue Rock Thrush. Apart from a large flock of House Sparrows, there were few small birds. A Stonechat and a Sardinian Warbler made appearances. On the water side of the dam a flight of 6 Cormorants circled trying to gain height and 5 others were also seen, together with a solitary Yellow-legged Gull.
We moved down to below the dam. I spotted a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Shortly afterwards a male Golden Oriole flew across our path. The sound of numerous Cetti's Warblers came from the reeds. A group of Eucalyptus trees seemed to be a migrant hot spot. First two Pied Flycatchers were seen the a Spotted Flycatcher. They were trumped by a colourful male Common Redstart. We flushed a Green Sandpiper from the brook. At the dam pool a pair of Black Redstart were seen. The resident Rock Doves were sunning themselves. On the way back to the cars Brian spotted a Booted Eagle and after lunch we saw a Griffon Vulture and a Kestrel to complete our 30 species day.
Dave & Gilly

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