08 April: Almanzora y Vera

Yes, I know this is late but unless you want a very rude reply and increase your vocabulary about commputers, servers or whatever, ask but I warn you that I am on a short fuse, unable to get out because of knees and their lack of cooperation and which have no solution according to the vet. If not, don't. But at last here is Dave and the Arboleas' Group's last outing.  This has not been edited or otherwise messed up as I'm due out in 10 minutes.
It is worthwhile noting there have been big numbers of passerine arrivals, both at my end of the universe and in Almería, including lots of Redstarts, Whinchat, and (as of this morning, 13/04) 4 Red-throated Pipits in Tarifa with records from Torrox (MA), Padul (GR) and Almería. I, being basically housebound and unable to walk far, have only just heard my first Bee-eaters.

waves at Mojacar
Winter.....they thought it was all over, but..... No, it wasn't today anyway. Having picked up Rod from his house nearby, Gilly & I made our way to the ford crossing the Rambla de Almanzora.....there was actually water across the road for a change! First to arrive was Les who had already seen a Willow Warbler amongst other birds. More members arrived. We welcomed back Ros and Charlie. Two new visiting members were Albert & Jeni from Holland. On the ford side pool we only saw Mallard, Black Winged Stilt & Moorhen, so we walked towards the sewage works. Everybody was wrapped up as the wind was up & it was a bit chilly. A Little Egret flew passed. A reasonable quantity of hirundines filled the sky, Red Rumped & Barn Swallow together with House Martin and a solitary Sand Martin. A Little Ringed Plover was identified in flight. I spotted a distant Southern Grey Shrike on a pylon. A Common Sandpiper & a Ringed Plover were also seen. We were then given a wonderful display by at least 6 Alpine Swifts flying low over us to "take the waters" in the large sewage works pool (clean water!). In the swift group were also Common & Pallid Swifts. A pair of Grey Heron flew over. Smaller birds seen included Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, White Wagtail and Greenfinch. A Reed Warbler was heard. A solitary Bee Eater flew over as did a Kestrel. We walked back to the vehicles where we were joined by John who'd seen a Little Stint.
After a coffee break in Villaricos village we headed to the beach, John adding a Stonechat to the list. The waves were enormous hence no birds on the harbour rocks, but a couple of Audouin's Gull were resting on the sandy beach. We walked round to the estuary where the water level was high. A few Cormorant were at rest. Most notable bird was a single male White Headed Duck. Also seen were Grey Heron, Little Egret & Coot. A Zitting Cisticola was heard. A short walk to the next viewing area produced a Turnstone & a Hoopoe. As we tacked back towards the vehicles against the wind we saw the "resident" Whimbrel and more Turnstone.
Green Sandpiper
Val & Ros said their goodbyes as the rest of us made for the dual carriageway opposite the Consum supermarket. The water level was also up, so very few waders apart from a Green Sandpiper & the usual Black Winged Stilt. Wildfowl numbers were very much down. Numerous Mallard, a pair of Shoveler, a Teal and a few Common Pochard. Two Greater Flamingo were still present. Round at the smaller pools we had more Common Pochard, White Headed Duck and a pair of Little Grebe. Gilly, who'd stayed in the truck heard a Great Reed Warbler.
Despite the windy weather, we saw 47 species. It'll be a delayed report next week as the group are travelling further afield.

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