07 September : Embalse de Negratín

Dave's weekly offering from Almería along with some of the ARboleas Group comes this week from the embalse de Negratín. By the by, Dave, the photo of what you think may be a Whitethroat looks more like a juv. Subalpine to me, but then it's a well known fact that I am not good with les petits merdes, especually juvenile ones.

We headed north to the Embalse de Negratin, near Baza. At this slightly higher altitude the heat wasn't so bad. From the small carpark adjacent to the dam we could see a few birds. A pair of Black Wheatears on top of the distant cliff face. Both House and Crag Martins were circling above the reservoir outlet. The huge numbers of breeding House Martins had departed south. From the dam itself the water surface was totally devoid of any birdlife. Looking down into the valley below we could hear Cetti's Warbler and the odd Blackbird.

A pair of Stonechats and some Sardinian Warblers were flitting around the bushes. A Common Buzzard flew low over us.
Now down on the valley floor a male Golden Oriole showed itself well. There were at least 4-5 Spotted Flycatchers and the Black Redstarts were in evidence in greater numbers. At the bridge a Green Sandpiper was feeding in the shade. Around the reeds a Chiffchaff was seen. A Cetti's Warbler briefly showed itself. On the rock face we had Rock Sparrow and Rock Bunting. 2-3 Blue Rock Thrushes were seen. Brian spotted a Short-toed Eagle and Mary heard some distant Bee-eaters. On the way back to the vehicles I managed to get a photo of what I believe to be a Whitethroat. Not a bad days birding. A total of 30 species.

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