11/01/2012 : Ramblas de Henares, Arboleas Group

I'm glad that Dave has sent this short trip report as I've been rather hosuebound, amongst other things, with the knees in near total self-destruct mode which is hellish painful. Before going on to his report, some bits from myself and further west.

Stephen Daly told me of up to to 3 Peregrines chasing Skylarks on La Janda where there may be as many as 3 female Pallid Harriers, at least 2 juveniles/1st winter birds and the single male is occasionally seen by the fortunate. I have staggered along to the Guadalmar side of mouth of the Guadalhorce where I saw c.30 Common Scoters (all females/imms.) last week and yesterday (12/01) an exceedingly early Alpine Swift, an even earlier bird having been seen last week further west! And this morning, a Short-toed Treecreeper working the trees in the garden. I also have some interesting news about future work/maintenance in the Guadalhorce, but of that more in a future blog. So, all that said, over to Dave.

Where? you may ask, are the Ramblas de Henares. It's Adrian's local patch Puerta Lumbreras side of Vélez Rubio. He very kindly gave us a tour up and down dale. The weather wasn't brilliant. Cloudy and cool which kept the birds sheltering. Normally I'd give details of where we were when we saw various birds, but I had no idea where we were in any of the ramblas. If Adrian wasn't leading us around we'd still be there! So I apologise as this is not good journalism, here is the list of birds we saw :- Spotless Starling, Kestrel, Southern Grey Shrike, Thekla Lark, Rock Bunting, House Sparrow, Serin, Red-legged Partridge, Blackbird, Robin, Magpie, Chaffinch, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Carrion Crow, Corn Bunting (18 in flock), Green Woodpecker (2), Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Black Wheatear, Great Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Stonechat, Moorhen, Song Thrush, Little Owl, Wood Pigeon and we heard Crested Tit. 29 species, a very enjoyable day.

Many thanks to Margaret, Adrian's wife,, for a sumptuous after-birding meal and welcome to Sandra and Colin Hayward to the group.

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