26/09 : Cabo de Gata
From Dave E-B and about putting birds out of their stride by going birding on a different day (see the last paragraph!). We both had a good day yesterday!
Birding came early this week to fit in with visiting birders. Brian and Mary brought Richard and Ann and I took Stan, an ex-member returning to Arboleas for a holiday. Arriving in the Cabo de Gata area early, Stan and I stopped off at the "Dotterel" field near the speed camera. Alas there were no Dotterels in sight but we did see Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler and a passing Short-toed Eagle. We then headed to Pujaire to meet up with the others at the cafe. They also had arrived early and were waiting for us!! After reviving coffees we headed for the first hide where there was a Polish birder. He'd been on the reserve since first light (know the feeling from last year!). He reported seeing Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Knot and two Ospreys. Apart from the 100s of Greater Flamingos we spotted Avocet, Little Egret, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Slender-billed Gull and Spotted Redshank. A Sparrowhawk flew low past us causing pandemonium amongst the smaller birds.
Heading to the second hide, the scrubland to the left was alive with Cattle Egrets. There must have been about 75 on there. On the beach a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls had joined their Yellow-legged cousins for the winter. There was also a solitary Whimbrel wandering around on the sand.. The wind at the hide was bad, making the use of the scopes worthless. We did however note some Cormorants, Shelducks, Shovelers and Little Terns. After a short delay waiting for a coach load of grockles to leave the public hide we resumed our search for birds various, but only added to our list with Sanderling, Kentish Plover and Redshank.
At this point the two groups split up. Stan and I, before heading round the rear of the reserve, did a bit of sea watching (actually having a coffee from a beach-side cafe!). Spotted a pair of Gannets, an Audouin's Gull and at least 2 Cory's Shearwaters. Suitably revived we drove on to the rutted track and were rewarded with good views of Northern Wheatear, Whinchat, Willow Warbler, Thekla Lark, Spectacled Warbler, Dunlin and Little Stint.
Meeting up we the others at "Sulky's" restaurent in Retamar ( named after owner's miserable face!) we compared notes. They had gone through the campsite to the Morales water. Amongst other commoner birds they'd seen White-headed Duck, Black-necked Grebe and a distant Osprey ( don't you just hate it when that happens?) They also noted Zitting Cistacola and Cetti's Warbler.
54 species for the day. Coming on a Monday had obviously put the birds out of their routine. Wednesday is their hiding from birders day!
Publicado por Andy Paterson