27 April, Cabo de Gata

And I had a Pied Fly. yesterday too and a Spotted Fly. this pm.!

A friend of mine, Dave, had never been to Cabo de Gata, so who was I to deny him a birding visit there. Gilly, unfortunately was still suffering from her tummy bug and unable to come along. The weather was brilliant. Sunny, but the wind strengthened later.

We saw our first Roller of the summer on the way down. At the first hide there were lots of waders to be seen. Curlew Sandpipers (a German birder called them Little Curlews, which made my heart miss a beat!), Dunlin, Kentish and a Ringed Plover and the resident Avocet and Black-winged Stilt. I spotted a distant Oystercatcher and the German a distant Spotted Redshank. 32 Cattle Egret were unusually on the waters edge and 2 Spoonbills were still present. Close to the shoreline Northern Wheatear, Whinchat and Yellow Wagtail were seen.

Moving on to the second hide we saw a full selection of local gulls. Yellow-legged, Slender-billed, Audouin's and Black-headed. An immature Night Heron flew over, possibly my first here at the Cabo. A group of 7 what I thought were Chiffchaffs I now believe to be Willow Warblers were in the shrubs in front of us. There were 93 Greater Flamingos. Also saw Redshank, Little Egret and Sanderling.

At the public hide 6 Common Sandpipers were sheltering as the wind had increased. Also there were Temmink's Stint. After a quick visit to the lighthouse where we had a glimpse of a Black Wheatear on the way up, we headed round the rear of the reserve. A Woodchat Shrike was seen first, followed by Black-eared Wheatear and Northern Wheatear. A Lesser Short -Toed Lark showed well till I got the camera out (typical!). I declined to get another photo of a Corn Bunting, but did take some of a Greenshank. Our final star bird was a Pied Flycatcher.

46 species in all. A wonderful days birding.

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