04/07 : Río Almanzora & Vera
Once again, Dave and the Arboleas Group save the day with something of interest, unlike myself who has nothing to offer except an awful lot of time putting together a powerpoint presentation. This feat was eventually finished last evening, largely thanks to the daughter who knows about these things. However, tomorrow I am out to sea in the western Approaches of the Strait (it is not Straits, which is due to the poor English from way back when) of Gibraltar in search of whales, including the fabled Killers of ill repute, and seabirds, but for that you will have to wait until Saturday evening or Sunday.I read with interest of the sewage ponds. I cut my teeth (metaphorically) on waders at Beverley sewage farm, East Yorkshire, when I was in the range 10-13 years old, cycling there and back from Hull and the wind was always against in both directions. I remember being excited by my first Green and Wood Sandpipers, Greenshanks which I knew from Scotland and which still remain my favourite wader, breeding plumaged waders, especially Curlew Sandpipers. The smell was the least of the problems, as identifying them with only 8x30 binoculars and no 'scope was quite a feat. As the song says, 'Thanks for the memory..'.
Gilly and I met up with Brian, Mary, Dave, Myrtle, Adrian, Sandra and Colin (happy 65th birthday) at the usual ford on the Rio de Almanzora rambla at a slightly earlier time to avoid the heat of the midday sun. Unsurprisingly, there was very little water and what there was, was large stagnant puddles. We did manage to spot Barn and Red-rumped Swallows, Pallid Swifts, a Kestrel and a Hoopoe before we sauntered up towards the desalination plant and sewage works. We added Greenfinch and Goldfinch, a Yellow Wagtail and a Southern Grey Shrike on the overhead power lines.
We faired better at the sewage works pools (apart from the stink!). Yellow-legged Gulls, Black-headed Gulls and an impressive 32 Black-winged Stilts. Also seen were Green and Common Sandpipers. Below us on the rambla, Brian spotted a Little Ringed Plover and chick and a sitting Bee-eater. On the way back the new OAP in the group spotted a Cattle Egret. A single Woodchat Shrike made an appearence.
After a refreshment break in Villaricos we headed for the beach, which of course had sunbathing beauties (many not so beautiful) thereon. On the flat, ploughed area behind the beach were Yellow-legged Gulls together with 16 Audouin's Gulls. A trudge along the beach produced Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Crested Lark and some flying Turnstones. A few Kentish Plovers were also seen.
We then convoyed to the dual carriageway in Vera which overlooks a large shallow pool. Here we saw both Cattle and Little Egret, but the star bird of the day was a Marbled Duck with three ducklings. Suitably chuffed, we headed round to the pool opposite the Consum supermarket. Here we added Little Grebe and some White-headed Ducks. I managed to spot a Purple Swamphen by the reeds opposite where it was later joined by a second.
For this time of year, 37 species wasn't bad. Unfortunately due to other commitments and the hot weather next weeks trip to Sierra de Maria will be our last till September.
Publicado por Andy Paterson