02/01/2013 : Cabo de Gata and Rambla Morales

Happy New BIrding Year to all readers! On a personal note, thanks to the readers for their notes of support after the death of my wife at the end of November and in part the sorting out of paperwork associated with probating of the will has been responsible for me not getting out. I've not been out yet but will be doing so down to the Guadalhorce later today and on Saturday to La Janda, but as expected Dave and Gilly beat me to it.

Flamingo display, necks raised high, wing flashing; note size difference between males and females
Dartford Warbler (male)
     After the Christmas and New Year festivities (and putting on a few pounds!), it was good to be heading south to Cabo de Gata with Gilly and Val. We met up with Rod and Linda at the usual cafe in Pujaire before heading to the first hide. All the usual suspects were present. I counted 280 Greater Flamingos during the day, some of which were beginning to display. There were numerous Slender-billed Gulls, a lesser number of Avocets and a few Black-winged Stilts. Also seen were Little Egret, Grey Heron, Black-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Greenshank and Redshank. On the small bird front we saw lots of Stonechats, singles of Southern Grey Shrike, Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch and a very obliging Dartford Warbler.
     Although the sea was calm, we saw nothing of interest out there so we made our way to the second hide. I immediately spotted some Stone Curlews over to the left in their sunbathing spot, seven in all.
Also saw Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls, Shelducks and Shovelers, but the "best" bird there was a Wren in the reeded gully to the right. A Sardinian Warbler displayed close by.
Sardinian Watbler (male)
     At the public hide we added Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Cormorants and at least 100 Black-necked Grebes in two rafts. Gilly also spotted 4 Eurasian Curlews flying low over the savanna to the left. A Spotted Redshank in front of the hide was a pleasant tick in the box. There were about a dozen Sandwich Terns on the causeway to the right together with a load of gulls. As we were leaving everything took to the sky, but as hard as we looked we couldn't see any birds of prey in the area.
     After a refreshing cup of coffee, sea watching without any success, we drove via the campsite to the Rambla Morales. After parking up we walked towards the reeds and water, flushing a Green Sandpiper and hearing a Cetti's Warbler. On the water we added Coot, Moorhen, Common Pochard, Teal and White-headed Duck. A solitary Cattle Egret was seen as were a few Reed Buntings. A small flight of Sanderlings shot up and down the expanse of water looking for somewhere to land. Gilly also photographed a small bird in the reeds which, once on the computer, turned out to be a female Blackcap. Finally, on the way to Retamar for lunch, we saw a soaring Common Buzzard to complete the list.
    52 species in all. A damn good start to the year.  Wish you all good birding for the year.

No hay comentarios: