three reports from Almería

Although two of these are a bit out of date, I have included them for their intrinsic interest for visiting birders. All were received as one yesterday evening (19 May), so here we go. The first is written by Mary as Dave and GIlly were unavailable and numbers two and three are from Dave.

10 May, embalse de Negratín
Brian, Mary, Trevor and Anne met for coffee at the usual hotel near the dam, Embalse de Negratin not far from Baza.  We decided to take one car and do the route in reverse starting from Bacor Olivar. We noted that the cherries are colouring up nicely.  It will not be long before another visit to this area should be planned.
We stopped just past the village. With the sun behind us we scanned around. On top of the dead branches of a tree sat a beautiful Woodchat Shrike. This tree was a great attraction for us and the birds.  We saw the following birds here: Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Serin, Spotted Flycatcher and our “bird of the day”, a Wryneck. In and around the fields were Barn Swallow, Turtle and Collared Doves, House Sparrows and Spotless Starlings. We could hear Nightingale and Golden Oriole calling.  Later, further on route, I saw a pair of Golden Orioles. Brian and I took it in turns to drive the car further down the road to a shady spot whilst we took it in turns to walk with Anne and Trevor from Bacor Olivar to the embalse.
Along the way we saw a pair of Blackbirds with food to feed young. Overhead flew five Griffon Vultures and later a small flock of Bee-eaters and a Carrion Crow.  Brian and Trevor took time to identify a Melodious Warbler with the book. 
In the valley at the bottom of the dam we watched the House Martins renovating their nests under the cliff overhang. In the river there was a Grey Wagtail and on the rocks above were Rock Doves, Blue Rock Thrush and a Jay
Finally we stopped at the car park by the embalse.  A man was fishing from the steps over the side, whilst the fish could be seen drifting along further down. Whilst watching the fish a couple of Common Sandpipers and a White Wagtail were seen.  The White Wagtail too was collecting food for young. Brian’s final bird was a Yellow-legged gull.  A total of 24 birds.  We heard several that sounded like warblers, possible Sardinian, but as we are not that good at bird sounds we couldn't count those.
By this time we were all parched and returned to the hotel for a well earned drink and bacon bocadillos for Brian, Trevor and Anne.

10 May, Sierra de María
I picked up Alan and Marian from near their friends' villa and drove them to Maria, seeing a Woodchat Shrike as we approached the town. After a cuppa at the garage cafe we drove to the chapel. I expected to be able to show or even hear Golden Orioles,but no sight or sound of them. But we did have good views of three Cirl Buntings. Meandering up towards the Botanical Gardens a few Griffon Vultures glided passed. In the lower part of the gardens there were numerous good birds seen, some "firsts" for my guests: Bonelli's Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper and Firecrest. As we progressed a Woodlark posed nicely on a tree close by. Taking the medium walk, we were very pleased to see Melodious and Sardinian Warblers. We first heard then saw a pair of Ravens soaring above us. Alan spotted a warbler in a bush which I identified as a Western Orphean Warbler....bird of the day! We also added Hoopoe, Serin and Crossbill to the list.

Next moving to the farm buildings we saw Rock Sparrow, Crested Lark and Carrion Crow. At the water trough further along towards the plain, a pair of Turtle Doves were perched in a dead tree. On the plain itself we saw Northern Wheatear and its Black-eared cousin. We had good views of a Calandra Lark and of a very obliging Short-toed Lark. At the hamlet Lesser Kestrels did not let me down. 

We headed back to the La Piza forest cafe for lunch. We sat facing the bird feeders. Short-toed Treecreepers were nesting in the box closest to us and I had just said I'd expected to see Crested Tits when a pair arrived on cue! We also had more Crossbills there.

39 species for the day and at least 10 "firsts" for Alan and Marian. Well pleased! Just like to add....all photos by Dave!
19 May, Cabo de Gata and Rambla Morales 
The final report is from 19 May of another commissioned trip with Alan and Marian.

We drove down to Pujaire, stopping for a coffee before heading to the first hide. Above us were numerous House Martins, Common Swifts with a few Pallids and some Barn Swallows. On the water there were numerous Avocets and Greater Flamingos. Scanning round with my telescope I was able to point out Kentish and Ringed Plovers, Black-winged Stilt, a Redshank and Slender--billed Gulls. A pair of Godwits proved to be Bar-tailed when they flew. A pair of Common Terns was joined by a Gull-billed Tern on the causeway. A number of iberiae Yellow Wagtails were seen. A Hoopoe and a Southern Grey Shrike were seen on the power lines behind us. 

Moving round to the second hide we saw both Little and Sandwich Terns fishing close inshore. We only added Little Egret to the list. The public hide was not much better. A summer plumage Sanderling confused us for a bit. We stopped for a coffee overlooking the beach. Close inshore was a magnificent Black-necked Grebe. A quick trip to the lighthouse added a Black Wheatear.
As we were in the 4x4 we went round the rear of the reserve. No water in the first two salinas so no birds either. At the third one we had water and a Grey Plover in full breeding plumage as well as Avocet, Ringed and Kentish Plovers. Zitting Cisticolas were chasing each other over the shrubs. A male Sardinian was seen with young. As we reached the disused buildings at the far end we were out-stared by a Little Owl.
We then drove through the campsite and headed to the Rambla de Morales, parking up at the dried crossover. Numerous Reed Warblers could be heard, but not seen. Had good views of more Zitting Cisticolas calling above us. We added Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe. We saw one male White-headed Duck and the black-headed one seen last year. Our final bird was a Bee-eater.
41 species for the day. Alan and Marian were both pleased. Hope to see them again on their next visit.

No hay comentarios: