16 Sept. Cabo de Gata & Rambla de Morales

Apologies to Dave and all, but for some reason this damned machine put his e-mail report in 'spam' and I've only just seen it. The wonders of modern technology, you'd think it'd recognise mail from Dave by now after all these years.

It's been nearly three months since the group had ventured down to Cabo de Gata so we were looking forward to today's trip. Gilly and I picked up Richard Shropshire from Los Gallardos on the way down. We met up with the other nine members at the Pujaire cafe. After a quick coffee we headed for the first hide. We immediately saw our first Marsh Harrier (aguilucho lagunero) of the day and more were seen later, including one bird setting off out to sea. Scanning the shoreline I spotted 12 Grey Herons (garza real) There were numerous Shovelers (pato cuchara) together with a few Mallard (azulón) There were one or two Little Egret (garceta común), an Eurasian Curlew (zarapito real) and a good number of Black-tailed Godwits (aguja colinegra). Little waders included Ringed (chorlitejo grande) and Kentish Plover (chorlitejo patinegro) and Little Stint (correlimos menudo). Gilly spotted a Little Tern (charrancito). Hirundines were mostly Barn Swallows (golondrina), but some Sand Martins (avión zapador) and a Red-rumped Swallow (golondrina daurica) were seen. 
A seawatch from the beach only produced a Sandwich Tern (charrán patinegro). The high winds were producing some decent rollers (waves, not birds!). Dave and Myrtle had already seen some Stone Curlews (alcaravanes) by the time we got to the second hide. They also pointed out a perched small bird. A juvenile Woodchat Shrike (alcaudón común). Gilly counted 466 Greater Flamingos (flamencos). A passing walker kindly put up a Whimbrel (zarapito trinador) and a Southern Grey Shrike (alcaudón real) was spotted.
The view from the public hide was magnificent. Loads of birds. There was a huge raft of Avocets (avocetas) and Barrie counted nearly 50 Black-necked Grebes (zampullines cuellinegros). There were numerous Redshanks (archibebe común) together with a few Greenshanks (archibebe claro). The shoreline had mainly Kentish Plovers (chorlitejo patinegro), but there were some Ringed Plovers (chorlitejo grande) and more Little Stints (correlimos menudo). Also seen were Sanderlings (correlimos tridáctilo) and a few Knot (correlimos gordo). All at once groups of waders took to the air. Must be a raptor...a juvenile male Montagu's Harrier (aguilucho pálido) and yet more Marsh Harriers (aguiluchos laguneros) were seen!
Dave and Myrtle headed to the shops and Jacky went for a walk so it was left to the rest of us to go for a coffee in Cabo village before making our way along the beach side track to the Rambla de Morales, seeing yet more Marsh Harriers (aguiluchos laguneros) on the way. Not many birds were present with Coots (focha común) and Yellow-legged Gulls (gaviota patiamarilla) Colin was the first to hear a Zitting Cisticola (buitrón).
There were a small number of Greater Flamingos (flamenco común). Three White-headed Ducks (malvasía cabeciblanco) were also present. Barrie then spotted a single Black Tern (fumarel común) as it patrolled up and down the very green waters.
Gilly had stayed with the vehicles and got an artistic shot of a Marsh Harrier (aguilucho lagunero) heading out to sea!
We then said our goodbyes. As we were in a 4x4 we headed along the track towards the campsite and added a Gadwall (anade friso) in a pool further down. As we approached the campsite a flight of 20+ Bee-eaters (abjarucos) flew past.
Ended up with a total of 44 species. Not bad considering we saw hardly and small land birds. They presumably were keeping their heads down, sheltering from the wind!

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