31 August : CABO DE GATA

Well, now that I'm back from the UK and thawed out - why the hellI I go to the UK in August is beyond my comprehension but I did see Dave at the Rutland Bird Fair as well as Stephen Daly and the ubiquitous Bob Wright, and herewith the the first entry since my return, even beating my own visit to the Guadalhorce this afternoon with Birgit which I can now do in peace and tranquility tomorrow. So, fresh from the pen of Dave and Gilly, their day at Cabo de Gata. By the by, Dave, the photo didn't reproduce at all well so I removed it.

Can you believe it? Tomorrow is the 1st September! Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself..... especially when you're getting older! We enjoyed ourselves today down at Cabo de Gata. Passing through Retamer Sur, on our way to Pujaire to meet up with Dave and Myrtle, Gilly spotted a pair of Rose-ringed Parakeet. After a reviving cup of coffee we headed to the first hide. A Roller was soon on the list together with numerous Red-rumped Swallows, feeding and resting up before continuing their journey south. There was lots to see on the water. Amongst the numerous Greater Flamingos (see count later) were Avocets, Black-winged Stilts and Slender-billed Gulls. I spotted a larger wader to our right, a Whimbrel, clearly showing its crown stripe. Iberian Yellow Wagtails were catching insects in the low scrub in front of us. On the waters edges were Greenshanks and Redshanks. A Hoopoe flew past as did a Sand Martin. Didn't see any House Martins or Swifts today. Think the Bee-eaters may also have migrated south. Then suddenly a mystery was solved as I spotted a Water Rail crossing the water, very close to where I saw a glimpse of a bird last week. On the causeway there were lots of Little Egrets. A short time later a Cattle Egret flew by as did a Turtle Dove. A Southern Grey Shrike was also seen.
The beach was busy with sunbathers and a group of Yellow-legged Gulls. Nothing was seen out to sea. We headed across the scrubland to the second hide. Here Gilly did her Greater Flamingo count with 985 seen from there. I estimate there must have been at least another 1,000 over the rest of the reserve. Also seen were 17 Grey Herons and 3 Shovelers. Numerous Little Terns were diving amongst the feeding Flamingos.
Next we went to the public hide. We added Black-tailed Godwit and Chiffchaffs to our list. There were numerous Sandwich Terns on the causeway to the right. We then split up as Dave's vehicle can't travel round the rear of the reserve. Gilly and I counted 50 Audouin's Gulls resting on the salina. A group of Willow Warblers taunted us along the fences in front of the car. Spotted a raptor sitting on a pylon. Through the scope I could see it was a Peregrine Falcon. Gilly then spotted a low flying raptor. A female Montagu's Harrier with a probable two more in the distance. We also saw a distant hovering Short-toed Eagle. There were less smaller waders round here due to the fact that we weren't the first people using the track. Lots of cyclists had been here before us scaring the waders away.
Even so, a great day. 42 species in total.

No hay comentarios: