19 & 24 November, Cabo de Gata,

Whilst I have been away enjoying the birding in Fuerteventura, which I hope to have blogged and posted by this coming Saturday or Sunday (there were over 600 photographs taken and which needed sorting and c.400 e-mails awaiting me on return), Dave, Gilly and the Arboleas Group have been down twice to Cabo de Gata. So, with my excuses made, herewith the daring and deeds of the Arboleas Group thanks to Dave's tireless fingers.

19 November
We arrived at the first hide before the sun had risen at about 7.15am. Gilly decided to snooze for a bit in the car before joining me. Birding got off to a good start as first into view through the gloom were a pair of L
apwings. I quickly spotted 6 Little Egrets. The water level was still very high so little waders were few and far between. I did manage to see a Grey Plover, Dunlin and Kentish Plover. There was also some Chiffchaffs, Sardinian Warblers and a Water Pipit.
Gilly now having surfaced and been revived with Thermos coffee, we drove over to the pool on the other side of the road. Here we saw 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Stint.
Next up was the beach. Numerous fishing boats on the horizon meant that there was only a few passing Audouin's and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. On the walk over to the second hide there were of course an ample supply of Stonechats, a few Greenfinches and a couple of Corn Buntings. To the north I picked out 7 Eurasian Curlews feeding on the savannah. It was nice to have good views of Dartford Warbler amongst the Sardinians. A small flock of Teal were on the water and Gilly counted 165 Greater Flamingos.
On the approach to the public hide we disturbed a group of 12 more Curlews feeding. Avocet and Black-winged Stilt were added to the list. On the causeway to the right I counted 5 Sandwich Terns at rest. Shelduck were numerous with 45 seen during the day.
After a cup of coffee we ventured round the rear of the reserve. The first two salinas were now virtually dried up so very little bird life was to be seen. There was a large flock of Spotless Starlings feeding by the power lines. We spotted at least two Northern Starlings amongst them. Winter must be upon us! After notching up 43 specieswe headed home for lunch & a well deserved siesta.

24 November
The light rain woke me up at 4.30 in the morning and it was still drizzling at around 7am. Brian and Mary quite sensibly decide it was a long way to come with the chance the trip might be called off. It was therefore only Chris, Gilly and I who headed south to Cabo de Gata. It was sod's law that we travelled through bright sunshine, but as we approached the Cabo it became overcast, but luckily no precipitation.
By the time we'd reached the first hide we'd already logged a few birds including Cattle Egret, Hoopoe and Black Redstart. The water level was still very high with only the larger birds hanging around. A flock of 90 Slender-billed Gulls was on the rocky causeway. Little Egrets and Black-winged Stiltx were feeding where they could stand up.
A single Black-tailed Godwit flew over us towards the pool on the opposite side of the road so we followed it over there. Sure enough it had landed near to a pair of Dunlin and a Little Stint and there were also 6 Teal. We were very surprised to see 3 very late Barn Swallows feeding over the pool with some Crag Martin.
Checking out over the calm sea we saw nothing of interest, so we headed for the second hide. Gilly did her Greater Flamingo count, registering 211. 3 Grey Plovers, a Greenshank and a Ringed Plover were spotted, but the stars were a pair of Pintail. A Water Pipit gave us good views in the water filled dyke to our right.
Just as we were about to park up at the public hide an Air Sea Rescue helicopter flew over. It put up 14 Eurasian Curlews from the savannah all of which would've otherwise gone unobserved of which 12 returned to where they were feeding, but 2 landed on a sandy spit on the salina. Also seen from the hide were 8 Black-necked Grebes, Kentish Plovers, Redshanks, Sanderling and numerous Avocets.
The harvesting of the salt round the rear of the reserve has created a saline desert so very few water birds were seen with the exception of 39 Shelduck on one of the few expanses of water left. On the steppes to the left the only thing of note was a large flock of what were probably Meadow Pipits was seen....apart from the boringly numerous Stonechats!! We ended up with 45 species for the day.

No hay comentarios: