18 June : Cabo de Gata, Rambla Morales and some Pyrenean photos

There they go, shoving off to the Pyrenées, Bearded Vultures, Marmots, the only thing that we also get down here is Citril Finch! You don't see many Dippers in salt pans either! I did once see a 1st year Bearded Vulture down in the Strait with migrant Griffons.Wait 'til somebody reports a Marmot on Cabo de Gata!

Myself having spent last week in the Pyrenées with Brian and Mary, seeing good birds & orchids, it was nice to be home with Gilly and today heading to Cabo de Gata to see what, if any, good birds were around. We met up with Rod, Linda, Colin, Sandra & Kevin in the Pujaire cafe. Kevin had spent the night near the beach in his camper van, doing a spot of birding. He'd seen Stone Curlew and a pair of Caspian Terns amongst other birds. 
We headed towards the first hide, having already logged 6 species of the usual common ones, the best being a Little Owl near the campsite entrance. Above us were numerous Common Swifts with a few Pallids. On the water there were numerous Avocets, a few Slender-billed Gulls, Mallards and a solitary Shelduck. On the waters edges we saw Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and a few Yellow Wagtails. Gilly spotted a warbler on the chain link fence to the right of the hide. She took distant photo for later ID. I enlarged, cropped and rotated image for easier viewing. From the flattish forehead I think it's an Olivaceous Warbler.
We moved to the beach near the second hide. Out to sea I spotted a flight of 15 low flying Cormorants flying into the bay. Flying in the opposite direction was a pair of Cory's Shearwaters. We added no new birds to the list at either that hide or the public hide. Gilly counted 564 Greater Flamingos
After a welcome cold drink at the Cabo de Gata village beach cafe, we, apart from Kevin who had to leave, headed along the beach track to the Rambla Morales lake. Linda and Sandra popped round to the beach end, seeing White-headed Duck and an Avocet with fluffy chicks. Gilly, feeling ill with tonsillitis, stayed with the vehicles. Us boys walked down the edge of the lake seeing Coot, Moorhen and a Black-necked Grebe. We also saw Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola and Greenfinch. Getting back to the car, typically, Gilly had seen good birds, an Audouin's Gull and a tern she'd photographed. Looking at the image at home...a Caspian Tern! On the way back to the motorway we took the shortcut seeing Bee-eater and Jackdaw.
We ended up with 38 species, some being really good birds!
After today's bird photographs I'll put in a few of the Pyrenean ones for your perusal.


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