17 June: Cabo de Gata and Rambla Morales

First, you may have noticed a lack of posts on my part. This is because I have problems with knees and back which have been horrendously uncooperative these past few months and have severely curtailed my mobility and hence birding, which has been confined largely to watching from the terrace. Not nice and I have been told that the medics can't do much for me except keep taking the analgesics as before. I don't want any sympathy, that's the way it goes and there are plenty in far worse state and I have had 60+ years at it. I shall continue with this blog until at least the autumn of 2016, as meantime I hope to get some birding in and am going to get in two major trips whilst I can and which have always been on my 'wanted' agenda: 2 weeks in the Galapagos next spring and Svalbard/Spitsbergen in the same summer for 10 days, and some may be interested in reading those reports. I shall also try to get in some birding locally and I am having  week on Garan Canaria with a friend (female) in the second half of August, so there'll be something from there.
Meanwhile, birding from the terrace has included a flock of 13 Teal (cerceta común) flying W yesterday evening (17 June) and gaining height. What the devil they are doing here and where they were going is one of life's big mysteries which I can´t explain. There is also a small family of Spotted Flycatchers (papamoscas gris) in the garden, which is rather nice. 
In the next few weeks,I shall be putting in some bird book crits, books which any birder down here should have. 
I am most grateful to Dave & Co (Arboleas unlimited) for his reports and here is Dave's latest and last for a while.
Gilly and I headed down to one of our favourite birding haunts....Cabo de Gata. By the time we'd reached the cafe at Pujaire, Gilly had seen a Great Spotted Cuckoo (críalo) and a Southern Grey Shrike (alcaudón real) and I had seen a Turtle Dove and a Pallid Swift as well as some of the commoner birds.
We met up with John, Rod and Jacky before making our way to the first hide. There was hardly a cloud in the sky and no heat haze, so visibility was great. There were numerous Avocets (avocetas) with a few Black-tailed Godwits (agujas colinegras)and Black-winged Stilts (cigüeñuelas). Smaller waders included Kentish (chorlitejo patinegro) and Ringed Plover (chorlitejo grande). I spotted a lone Stone Curlew (alcaraván) way over to the right. Also seen were Shelduck (tarro blanco), Mallard (azulón) and a Little Egret (garceta común). Only hirundines were Red-rumped Swallows (golondrina daurica). The only gulls seen were Yellow-legs (gaviota patiamarilla) and Slender-bills (gaviota picofina), both in small numbers. A couple of Iberian Yellow Wagtails (lavandera bueyera raza iberiae)were seen before we drove to the second hide. En route Gilly saw a Kestrel (cernicalo común). A seawatch proved fruitless. Jacky spotted a Southern Grey Shrike (alcaudón real), whilst Rod added a Woodchat Shrike (alcaudón común). John spotted the Redshank (archibebe común). Gilly did her usual Greater Flamingo (flamenco grande) count....520 birds. Heat haze was now becoming a problem.
We drove to the public hide. First bird was a Whiskered Tern (fumarel cariblanco)resting on a rock on the right hand salina. We added Audouin's Gull (gaviota de Audouin), Lesser Black-backed (gaviota sombría) and Black-headed Gull (gaviota reidora). I was first to spot the Eurasian Curlew (zarapito real) flying onto one of the islands. A second was seen beside the right hand salina.
After refreshments at the beach-side cafe we convoyed to the pool at the Rambla de Morales. Not many birds, but a good variety. Coot (focha común), Moorhen (gallineta de agua), a single white fronted juvenile (first summer - A.) Cormorant (cormorán grande), a couple of male White-headed Ducks (malvasía cariblanco)and both Little and Black-necked Grebes (zampullines chico y cuellinegro). Gilly glimpsed a bird near some distant reeds. I managed to have a fleeting view before it disappeared...a swimming Water Rail (rascón europeo). Also seen was a Bee-eater (abejaruco) and Greenfinch (verderón) and a Barn Swallow (golondrina común) on our way out.
45 species in total. Our last outing of the summer due to the heat. See you in late August. I'm sure I'll be out at some point, so watch out for other reports.
Good birding. Regards, Dave.
A sentiment with which I fully agree. Have a good summer.

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