12/12 : Cabo de Gata & Rambla Morales

After 30+ years doing a minimum of ironing, I am now being reintroduced to this fascinating aspect of family life, using a versión of La Traviata with Callas and Di Stefano as background anaethesia, and am now having a coffee break to put this entry of Dave's in, all so I can go down to the Guadalhorce this afternoon and try and see at least one of the three Short-eared Owls that are down there, plus a Long-eared Owl was seen last week.

Dave, American spelling is like Starbuck's coffee, pure rubbish! By the by, it can't recognize recognise either. It was, I think, one W.S. Churchill (who did win a Nobel Prize for literature) who said that Britain and the America were two nations separated by a common language!

I would be interested to hear privately what non Spanish birders would like to see in an English language magazine if the Spanish Ornithological Society decides to go ahead with one.

Bit of a chill in the air as we made our way to Cabo de Gata. We had 13 members in total including two more willing victims, Alan and Richard. After our usual coffee at Pujaire we headed for the first hide. There was a constant stream of Crag Martins but no Barn Swallows seen today. The Greater Flamingos had virtually departed en mass. Only 14 seen. And there weren't many waders either. The most numerous were Avocet (sad reflection of this American website's spellcheck didn't recognise Avocet and suggested Exocet instead!). Small numbers of Eurasian Curlews, Knots, Redshanks, Greenshanks, Ringed Plovers, Grey Plovers and Black-tailed Godwits. There were small flocks of Slender-billed Gulls and some Mallards. Around the vegetation there was an abundance of Stonechats. Southern Grey Shrikes were spotted on the power lines.  A Kestrel was also noted. Brian had a brief glimpse of a Dartford Warbler whilst Sardinians were easy to observe. Out to sea we could see Gannets flying past.
Trumpeter Finch
     The beach was devoid of bird life. A solitary Cormorant was swimming beyond the small breakers. At the second hide we had a better view of a Dartford but only added Greenfinch and Cattle Egret to the list before we headed to the public hide. Had a bit more luck here with a raft of about 20 Black-necked Grebes. Also seen were Lesser Blackbacked Gulls, Shelducks, Kentish Plovers and Sanderlings. On the causeway to the right were about a dozen Sandwich Terns and some Black-winged Stilts

      Brian and Mary went to "do" Rambla de Morales whilst the rest of us, apart from Dave and Myrtle, headed towards the lighthouse. Gilly spotted a Black Wheatear. We stopped to look, only to see two Trumpeter Finches and a Meadow Pipit nearby. By the lighthouse Val saw her first Blue Rock Thrush, albeit a brown female!

      We heard later from the "Morales 2" that they saw a Common Buzzard, Shoveler, Turnstone, White-headed Duck, Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler amongst others.
      All in all a reasonably good day with a combined total of 52 species.

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