24/04 : Las Norias & Roquetas

A lot to do this Thursday morning, inlcuding my own blog from yesterday, so straight in with the first, the story of Dave E-B and the Arboleas Group visiting Las Norias and Roquetas. It was also the day of the Great Crested Grebe, as you will see later. It seems rather late to see a raft of Black-necked Grebes, they should all be paired up and settling down to matrimonial bliss. By the by, Dave, Aylesbury duck are best seen with orange sauce! So, onwards ....
Great Crested and Little Grebes
As Bob Wright's Axarquia Birding Group visit to Las Norias and Roquetas was so successful (see www.birdingaxarquia2.blogspot.com) I thought I'd lead our group in their footsteps. I got a lift with Val and Rob down to the Service Station at Jct 420 on the E15 where we met up with John, Tony and Karen. After a quick cuppa we drove along to Jct 411, through Las Norias  and made our way to the first causeway. There was a gusty wind which wasn't good for birdwatching! Above us and over the water were numerous Pallid Swifts, Sand Martins and a few House Martins. Eventually we did manage to spot a Barn Swallow and a Crag Martin as well. The water pipe work seems at last to have been virtually completed, but the downside is they've put up fencing restricting access to that little pool to the left. We did however manage to have good views of a singing Great Reed Warbler. On the large expanse of water to the left there were numerous pairs of Great Crested Grebes, but not much else. A Cormorant flew right over us. Also seen were some Gadwall and Mallard. Our views to the right hand water were poor due to the sun being right in our eyes, but I don't think we missed much. We only added a pair of resting Red Crested Pochards on the far bank.

raft of Black-necked Grebes
male Red-crested Pochard
     We drove round to where the old heronry was situated. It was, as expected, deserted. There was however a raft of Black-necked Grebes. A Gull-billed Tern flew over. Disappointed, we headed for the second causeway. The "flooded" meadow on the junction had dried up so we parked up and checked out the smaller lake on the factory side. I spotted a Squacco Heron on the far bank amongst the discarded plastic sheeting. A further one appeared when the first flew off. Down near the factory we could see a Shoveler and some Common Pochards. The new heronry on the opposite side was far more interesting. Lots of Cattle Egrets nesting. There were numerous Night Herons on their nests as well. In the waters between the road and the colony there were more Great Crested Grebes and Red-crested Pochards. A Little Bittern gave us a fleeting view. A pair of Grey Heron was also spotted. We walked all the way up to the little bridge. On the way back a Purple Heron was seen flying. I spotted an Egyptian Goose resting on a bank in the reeds. An Avocet flew over.

unidentified dragonfly
Orethetrum cancellatum
     We then headed for the lake at Roquetas, John spotting a Kestrel on the way. The wind was really gusting now. There was very little on the water. Some Red-crested Pochards were sheltering close to the bank on our side. A couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over. We walked up to the "Coot" pond.The only birds on the water there were Mallard, White-headed Duck, Coot and an Aylesbury Duck called Christmas Dinner! No sign of No.84 Red-knobbed Coot. We could hear Reed Warblers. A Little Tern flew over. We walked back to the vehicles. John shouted out, " Feral pigeons!". Yes,
Whiskered Terns over the lake.......everyone always remembers your mistakes! (See previous report!).
     41 species for the day. Not as good as Bob Wright's total but, in mitigation, we had the wind.....and no, I didn't count the Aylesbury Duck! Also seen were some great dragonflies.

1 comentario:

LojaWldlife dijo...

Hi Andy. The unidentified Dragon is a female of the Black-tailed Skimmer which id the Male in the other shot,

Mick Richardson