23/11 : Cabo de Gata

Dave and Gilly have returned from their sojourn in an overly warm (all things are relative) England and where would they go? Cabo de Gata, of course, with the Arboleas Group, but not before first visiting a Brambling on a bird table!

Well it's great to be back home after 5 weeks in the UK. Upon our return Brian and Mary from Chirivel contacted us to say they have a Brambling visiting their bird table. Gilly not having seen one and me not having seen one for 38 years or so, we had to go. Sure enough, on Monday we went and after a 40 minute wait the Brambling duly arrived.

Today on our trip to Cabo de Gata we were blessed with good weather, sunny and a light breeze, and four new members, Val and Tony Penny and Rod and Linda Prout. We all met up with Brian, Mary, Adrian, Helen, Dave and Myrtle at the usual cafe in Pujaire. After coffee and introductions we headed for the first hide.
The water level was about right for a change. All the usual suspects were there. Greater Flamingos, Slender-billed Gulls and Avocets, as well as smaller numbers of Redshanks, Greenshanks and Black-tailed Godwits. A group of Eurasian Curlews was spotted on the rolling savanna to the right. Must have seen at least 40 of these during the day.
Land birds included 100s of Stonechats (well, it seemed like it!), Southern Grey Shrike, Sardinian Warbler, Robin, Black Redstart and an obliging Dartford Warbler. A lonely Crag Martin flew passed.

Next we went to the second hide ( the pool opposite the first hide was dry). Here we saw Ringed and Grey Plovers. Myrtle spotted some LBJs in the reeds beside the hide - Reed Buntings, a very good spot. Brian meanwhile had stayed by the vehicles near the beach. Upon our return he reported seeing 2 Razorbills, a Gannet and Lesser Short-toed Lark. A search for all three proved fuitless but we were blessed with a 120 strong Greater Flamingo flypast, a magnificent sight. At the public hide we spotted a pair of Shelducks and a raft of about 40 Black-necked Grebes. All at once the small to medium sized birds took to the air as a Peregrine Falcon swooped from nowhere.

Gilly had decided to stay in the truck. She didn't make herself "Miss Popular" when she announced she'd seen a Trumpeter Finch and had got a photo to prove it!

The group split here as usual. Rod, Linda, Gilly and I headed round the rear of the reserve in the 4x4, whilst the others made for Morales through the campsite. We were greeted by a feeding flock of Cattle Egrets. On the wader front we added Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Kentish Plover and Black-winged Stilt to the list. We also saw White Wagtail, Corn Bunting, Zitting Cisticola and some Cirl Buntings drinking on the track's puddles.
The others did well in seeing an over-wintering Barn Swallow, Teal, Shoveler, White-headed Duck, Coot , Moorhen and Little Grebe.
Couldn't have asked for a better home-coming what with the weather, the birds and the company. 58 species in total.

No hay comentarios: