07 October: Las Norias and Roquetas

This blog contains a photo of cannibalism. At the end there is a set of dragonfly photos. Have a good trip to Blighty, Gilly and Dave.
The 25th March was our last visit to Las Norias, so it was about time we made a return visit! Gilly, Val and I met up with Colin, Sandra, Rod, Kevin and John at the service station off junction 420 on the E15/A7 for a coffee before heading to the first causeway. Viewing was hampered by the ever increasing vegetation.  
adult and juv. Great Crested Grebe
The commonest birds on the water were Great Crested Grebes (somormujo lavanco), some of whom had juveniles with them. Colin spotted some Teal (cerceta común). I was surprised that there were no Shoveler (pato cuchara)yet. John spotted some distant Little Terns (charrancitos)down the far end where Kev and Gilly made a Grey Heron (garza real) count. The greatest number was 47. A pair of Common Sandpipers (andarríos chicos) flew low over the water. Kevin wandered round the side of the pumping station where there's a small reed bed. He saw Reed Warbler (carricero común) and Willow Warbler (mosquitero musical) and Sardinian Warbler (curruca cabecinegra) and Chiffchaff (mosquitero común) were also seen. A Cetti's Warbler was heard. Bird life was much the same on the larger lake. I think we only added Cormorant (cormorán grande) and Black-necked Grebe (zampullín cuellinegro). Gilly took various photos of dragonflies.
Moving round to the next side of the large lake, the view was slightly better over the water, but vegetation obscured the view on the rocky point. There were a few Red-crested Pochard (pato colorado) and some Gadwall (anade friso). We headed to the second causeway. 
Blue-headed (flava) Yellow Wagtail
The meadow was dry but it did have quite a few Yellow iberiae Wagtails (lavandera boyera) feeding there. Gilly was the first to spot the Night Herons (martinete común). There were about ten, some juveniles, perched on the far side of the smaller pool. A couple of Little Egrets (garceta común) were seen. Ducks included Mallard (azulón) and Common Pochard (porrón común). Apart from the odd Barn Swallow (golondrina común) flying over we also added Sand Martin (avión zapador), Magpie (urraca), Cattle Egret (garcilla bueyera) and Green Sandpiper (andarríos grande).
We then convoyed, via a cafe, to Roquetas, stopping at the end of a causeway which crossed the salina. The water level was very low, so numerous small waders were attracted. We saw  Little Stint (correlimos menudo), Dunlin (correlimos común), Ringed (chorlitejo grande) and Kentish Plover (chorlietjo patinegro). Kevin spotted a Spotted Redshank (archibebe oscuro)and later a flight of 7 of these flew off. I spotted a distant raptor, which luckily flew closer to us. After much discussion it was agreed it was a dark morph Booted Eagle (aguila calzada). Also seen were Greater Flamingo (flamenco común), Yellow-legged (gaviota patiamarilla) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (gaviota sombría).
We ended up with 40 species. Slightly disappointed if I'm honest, but it was good to be birding in great company.
Gilly and I are now away to the UK for two months. Rod and Linda are in charge.

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