4 September : Sierra María

I agree, Dave, and perhaps we can look forward to the weather cooling down a bit. I was at the Guadalhorce today and shall be tomorrow, so all you unlucky folks can look forward to a double dose! Friday I hope to be at Fuente de Piedra as Bob tells of good numbers and variety of waders on the lake behind the information centre.  And as Fuente de Piedra = flamingos, there are still plenty of those and it looks as though one of our 2 juvenile Lessers from this year has turned up at Gallocanta (Zaragoza) as it was seen there on 29 August (E. Pelayo in rarebirdspain). Just like starting autumn term at school, isn't it?

After our enforced summer break it was good to be back in the birdwatching saddle. Gilly, Ros and myself met up the Trevor, Ann, Colin, Sandra, Rod and Linda at the garage cafe in María for a coffee before heading up to the chapel. We'd already seen House Martins round the town, but round the chapel was slightly disappointing, not helped by the stalking cat near the water trough. We wandered up to the botanical gardens seeing Chaffinch and Rock Sparrow. The water pools in the gardens are always an attraction for the birds. We saw Coal Tit, Serins and Crossbills. Further along the lower trail I spotted a Crested Tit. As we headed up the medium trail, leaving Ros and Gilly with her bad knees to await our return, we saw loads of Mistle Thrushes and small flocks of Chaffinches and Rock Buntings. I found the birding very frustrating there as we had glimpses of birds flying and disappearing into trees, rarely making a sound so it was impossible to get identification on them. We did see a confirmed female Subalpine Warbler and a Short-toed Treecreeper. Colin, I think, spotted some high flying raptors. The highest one was the easiest to ID, an adult Booted Eagle. The lower three were, I believe, Common Buzzards. Also seen was a single Crag Martin. Gilly had seen a Jay and another Subalpine Warbler. We also had a possible Whitethroat.
     We then headed towards the plain. The highways department are finally tarmacking the widened road from the campsite entrance and beyond, so we couldn't stop at the old farm buildings. There was very little on the plain. Three Carrion Crows, a Crested Lark and best of all were some Lesser Short-toed Larks. At the hamlet Gilly spotted a couple of Lesser Kestrels. However beyond them in the distance Griffon Vultures were seen. Once we got our eyes in we saw two plumes, one of 45 birds, the other 30 birds. 
     A Jackdaw was added to the list as we headed to the La Piza forest cafe for lunch. Here there were a few Crossbills, but not the numbers of previous visits. A Booted Eagle soared overhead. 
Whilst there one of the owners showed us a book called "Guia de Aves de la Comarca de Los Velez" which is a guide to the birds of the area. (ISBN 84-611-2821-4) Very impressive with the text in Spanish, English and French. Fully illustrated. €15, I believe.
     The photos are still from previous trips, solely because there were no opportunities today with my newly repaired and returned lens which appears to be working well.
    With a pair of Ravens seen on our way out, we ended up with 28 species for the day.

No hay comentarios: