At least I was travelling lighter than normal as the head of my tripod self-destructed on Tuesday and I was using the little Nikon 50mm with 27x wide angle. However, a new tripod head is on the way from the UK and will be here Monday. If you have problems I heartily recommend Steve at www.swoptics.co.uk - splendid service and not for the first time, plus the prices are very competitive..
I must say that the temperature was lovely with a nice breeze blowing down towards the sea, but how long would it remain so? An advance reply: not for long!
|female Red-crested Pochard|
From there we went down to the wader pol in front of the second hide but there was very little with a few Stilts and a single Little Ringed Plover. It really was quite dismal except for the presence of Bee-eaters in numbers., including hearing but not seeing one high flying flock which was certainly moving down towards the Strait. Down to the río Viejo which was disappointingly devoid of birds except for a handful of Kentish Plovers but naught else. I was about half round and I'd only seen about 18 species at that point! It looked as though I wouldn't even reach Dave's totally in Almería yesterday, plus the temperature was rising unpleasantly to wards the uncomfortable side of warm.
At the sea watch mirador Federico and I parted ways, he to cycle back, myself to walk along the beach and then in to the laguna Grande.Along the beach I crossed paths with Esteban, one of the Medio Ambiente's wardens and whilst we bemoaned the lack of birds he told me that the Little Ringed Plovers had 10 nests that he had counted and the Kentish about 25, which is better than the impression that I had and we agreed that a really good clearance of ground plants was vital if there were to be more Kentish.
Around to the laguna Grande and there was a Redshank - yes, a Redshank to make 4 species of waders! - on the pool before it. On the water and islands there were Audouin's, Mediteranean and Black-headed Gulls and then a flickering flight and a bright yellow bill revealed a Little Tern. Then a Common Sandpiper flitted across - 5 species of waders! Checking the eucalyptus trees at the far side I picked up a rather distant Great Spotted Cuckoo, they do start back early, as do the Common Cuckoos. A quick visit to the laguna Escondida gave a lot of Bee-eaters with large numbers of young on the wing and as usual there were some around, feeing and perched and, as always, calling loudly. There were 4 White-headed Ducks on the laguna, I'd only seen one previously this morning and brought the species total up to 30 species, plus 2 more spp. on the way out to round out the morning.