10/10 : Cabo de Gata

Before getting Dave's report down please note the following two points:-

POINT 1 : Regrettably, and for causes totally beyond my control, there may be delays in publishing reports from Dave and my own input is, again very much perforce of circumstances, very probably going to be reduced.

POINT 2 : If you need to communicate with me about information for or about something which isn't to do with the blog, please make a note of my private address which is : andy(dot)birds (at) gmail(dot)com. This is because there have been three occasions when someone has sent a private mail which requires information to the 'comments' and this section I don't tend to look at too often.The result was that replies were much delayed and in two cases too late for the would-be recipient.

So now to Dave's report about the Wednesday visit to Cabo de Gata which also includes this grasshopper with a fancy, jaw-breaking name of Dociostaurus maroccanus, I have renamed for ease of use.

Grasshopperus cabogatensis      

     We had Stan with us again this week as we headed south towards Cabo de Gata. We were a bit concerned about the weather as we hit mist some 15km from our destination, but it had cleared as we neared the coast. After a coffee with Colin and Sandra in Pujaire, we met up with Rod and Linda at the first hide. After the recent deluge we were expecting the water level to be very high, but it only seemed only slightly higher than two weeks ago. There was a scattering of waders: Avocets, Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed and Kentish Plover and I also spotted a small flight of Eurasian Curlews over the savannah to the right. On the causeway were Slender-billed, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls. A steady stream of Barn Swallows flew by. A Southern Grey Shrike was on the power line and we saw the first of many Stonechats.

     As there was no wind, the sea was calm, so we had a good view of nothing on the birding front! From the second hide we didn't add anything to the list on the water in front, but in the sheltered gully to the right there was a large elusive warbler, which was also keeping very quiet. Eventually we had a good enough view to ID it as a Great Reed Warbler, obviously on migration. We also saw Chiffchaff, Reed, Sardinian and Dartford Warblers. Also seen were Common Sandpiper, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and a flight of Shelducks.
     At the public hide we were delighted to see a solitary Black Stork to the left. The Black-necked Grebes had arrived in force. There was also a Spotted Redshank near to one of the islands. Gilly and I simultaneously spotted a Bluethroat to the right. It chased a Willow Warbler and landed conveniently on a bush. We also saw a Corn Bunting as we drove back towards Pujaire.
     36 species in all. A good days birding.

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