Gilly, four members of the birding group and myself headed down to Cabo de Gata, arriving at the first hide at about 9.30am. The weather was sunny, but with a bit of a breeze. A scan of the water in front of us produced the usual Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits (137 for day), Ringed Plovers, Kentish Plovers and Redshanks. Also present were the Greater Flamingos (222 counted later), Grey Heron and Little Egret. A shout went up regarding some birds of prey. A Short-toed Eagle was trying to gain height whilst being harassed by a female Montagu's Harrier. I checked for Eurasian Curlew on the right hand sandy waters edge but could not see any. However at least four were spotted on the grassland between us and the sea.
As we were watching these I spotted movement to my left. A Whimbrel, not 5 metres away, slinking over a sandy ridge to the water beyond. Whether it was a juvenile or a different subspecies I don't know, but it didn't display the pale median crown strip. I have a confession to make. As it was now hidden from sight, but only 10 metres away, grabbing my camera I climbed over the wire fence and skirted round where I thought it would be. I clicked as it saw me and flew off, getting a perfect under wing identification of a Whimbrel.
I returned to the migrant watch, seeing Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and a pair of resident Spectacled Warblers. On the wader front we added Greenshank, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint and an eclipse Spotted Redshank.
Another fantastic day at our best local spot. 49 species for the day. Brilliant!