14/03 : Vélez Rubio - Lorca

20.30: 15/03 : I have only just opened mail for the first time since yesterday lunchtime and after a long day on La Janda which will be written up for tomorrow evening, but as a taster, we saw 17 (yes, seventeen) species of raptors. Sorry for the delay, Dave, and the Goshawk shot came out too blurred to reproduce well. Also, there have been 2 Marsh Sandpipers reported from Fuente de Piedra.

Today eleven of the group descended on Adrians local patch between Velez Rubio and Lorca. After a light breakfast just off junction 6 of the A91 autovia we followed Adrian in convoy, heading ultimately to the Embalse de Puentes. Along the way we managed to see a Raven, Red-legged Partridge, a pair of Southern Grey Shrike and a Thekla Lark. The convoy then came to a stop at the sight of a large raptor on a pylon. A magnificent Short-toed Eagle, our first of the year. We next stopped at some farm buildings where there were Crested Larks and a Black Wheatear. I then spotted a raptor circling above us. A young Goshawk.
The next stop produced a singing Dartford Warbler and distant views of Griffon Vultures over the " Grandmother's Molar" mountain near Velez Blanco. Also seen were Goldfinch, Mistle Thrush, Stonechat and Black Redstart amongst others.

A stop next to the small Velez river, I think, added Moorhen, Barn Swallow, Grey Wagtail and Cetti's Warbler. We then ascended to the top of the reservoirs dam. On the water there were Great Crested Grebes, Pochards and Coots. Cormorants were drying their wings. Two pairs of Red-billed Choughs played in the updraughts, except when some Griffon Vultures flew over. The temptation to harass them at a safe distance was too great to miss!! We had a great view of a Crag Martin taking a butterfly on the wing just above our heads. Also seen was a female Kestrel and a Black-winged Stilt.

We then descended to the pine forest below the dam to have a picnic lunch by the waters edge. We were joined by Chaffinches, Long-tailed Tits and Firecrests.

Gilly had commitments later in the afternoon, so we, together with Phil and Sue, headed home whilst the others went round the other side of the reservoir. They added Great Tit, Little Grebe and both Booted and Golden Eagles to the list. An impressive raptor day! 48 species in all. A great days birding.

1 comentario:

Kev dijo...

17! Looking forwards to reading about that!!