19/09 : Rambla de Almanzora & Vera

First, would Kiersten who wrote to me via 'comments' please get in touch with me at my home mail (andy.birds (at) gmail.com) and I shall be delighted help if I can. Please note that I have been away, hence the lack of reply. Dave, don't mention little brown jobs to me! They should be banned or totally ignored or simply regarded as an aberration of evolution. Why do you think I took up seabirds and waders? Incidentally, the French call them petites merdes. I'm not translating it but it appears most appropriate to me and I was told it by a former member of the French rarities committee! And now for the Arboleas Group's most recent outing today which means I shall not put in my report on the trip to Lanzarote tomorrow and there's also the Guadalhorce tomorrow morning with Bob and the Axarquía group. Life's all go!

As we left Arboleas it was raining, but only a few spots. It took Gilly and I about 40 minutes to reach the "ford" over the Rambla de Almanzora, the sea side of Cuevas de Almanzora. On the way, near to the Repsol Garage at Palamores, Gilly had spotted 5 Bee-eaters. We were met at the rambla by Adrian, Colin and Sandra. There was no sign of rain as we began to walk towards the Desalination plant. There had recently been a heavy rainstorm. Water was still flowing as there were a few pools to attract waders. There were both Ringed  and Kentish Plovers and a Dunlin close to the road and a pair of Green Sandpipers flitted between ponds. The shrubbery was alive with LBJs. We positively identified Chiffchaff and Willow, Cetti's and Reed Warblers, but some proved unidentifiable. Gilly managed to point out a Spotted Flycatcher. At the sewage works there were Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper and Black-winged Stilts. In the small lake next to it was a pair of Shovelers, numerous Mallards and Black-headed Gulls, a few Cattle Egrets and a Little Grebe. The storm had severely damaged a wooden cycleway as large section of it were strewn about in the shrubs.
Crimson Speckled
     After a coffee break in nearby Villaricos we headed for the beach. There was nothing on the rocks by the harbour entrance, but along the shore were Sanderlings and a solitary Turnstone. Gilly took the photo as I was humping, sorry, carrying the telescope! Above the waves were a few terns. More difficult to ID in their autumn plumage, but concluded to have seen Sandwich, Little and a single Common Tern. Further out two juvenile Gannets were patrolling. Gilly got a nice photo of a Crimson Speckled moth.
     We then moved down to the ponds opposite the Consum Supermarket at Vera. The water level in the pools as seen from the dual carriageway was very low and there were very few birds on site, so we headed to the pool near the Acuaparc entrance. Here we saw Little Egret and numerous Teal. Colin spotted a Little Bittern and lastly I managed to spot a Purple Swamphen before we left.
     39 species in total. I think I can sum up my feelings as frustrated. Those LBJ's get under your skin, don't they, Andy!

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