25 September : Nijar garnet Nature Walk

A Nature Walk indeed! Brings back memories - nice ones - of the primary school from the long unplumbed depths of the brain, doesn't it?

Gilly had a note excusing her today as she was teaching  patchwork, so I'm writing this without her notes relying totally on my memory. This could go wrong on so many levels! 
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At Ros's request we headed for the extinct volcanic rim at Nijar where there are large deposits of sadly small garnets strewn along the dried water courses. After a cuppa at the service station at junction 487 we, that is myself and 12 other members, drove south to the next exit (481). From there we drove carefully cross country on a sometimes rough track to the parking area directly opposite the "Cuidad del Motor". On the drive I spotted a Common Redstart and a Kestrel. Having been here before I was able to show the group that there were garnets in the car park!
We then walked through the sometimes narrow gorge into the central area of the volcano. Above us on the ridge was a family of Black Wheatears and later a pair of Blue Rock Thrushes. There were a few Barn Swallows and numerous Crested Larks. A raptor soared above the opposite ridge. It was later identified as a Bonelli's Eagle. A definite second bird was seen later as were a pair of Booted Eagles. Sardinian Warbler and Greenfinch completed the list. Today wasn't about birds. The Bonelli's Eagles were a huge bonus. 
Today was about getting out in nature, somewhere different with birding friends. I think we all enjoyed the experience. Welcome to Les Senior, who we bumped into on last weeks Villaricos trip and joined us today. Thank you to Ros for suggesting today's outing. She & her husband Roger are going back to the UK till next year.
Hope I didn't miss too much out!

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