15/12 : a morning at Fuente de Piedra

Getting later all the time writing things up, but the time I spent there, abour 2h.30, was a lot less than Bob will have written up in his Axarquía blog as his group of followers stayed on and went around the lake, whilst all my birding was in the vicinity of the centre. Neither were the birds willing to be photographed, so that makes this blog even shorter and more boring.

So, basically, it came down to a single Lesser Flamingo seen from the mirador (there have been 2 and the other was presumed to be down at the far end of the lake), plus an increase in Greater Flamingos. The only waders were a few rather dejected looking Stilts and 3 Snipe. There were plenty of Shovelers and some lovely Teals, the males giving that absurd and very unduck-like chirruping call.

Passerines gave better play with a distant view of male Yellow Wagtail, but it vanished before I could get the 'scope on it. Whatever race, it's either very late or the mild weather has made it lazy. There were 2 Water Pipits, always a nice little bird to see, and only 1 Meadow Pipit, rather surprisingly. A Reed Bunting was seen, but that's not too unusual there in the winter. I suppose the best passerine was a smashing little adult male Bluethroat (white-spotted form, the red-spots don't migrate or winter this way). We searched fruitlessly for Spanish Sparrows and I at least never saw a single Stone Curlew, while I know that those who stayed on saw disant Cranes (there are around a thousand in the area, I am informed by the reserve office).

And that, as the late Tommy Cooper would have said, is your lot! Next blog will be this coming Monday when Bob and I shall give the Guadalhorce the benefit of our inestimable presence.

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