|At last, a visit from the local Dipper Mirlo-acuatico Europeo Cinclus cinclus|
And so we arrived on site with five minutes to spare before opening time and a couple of birders wandering about either in a dream or, more likely, awaiting the opening of the gates. How wrong I was. The first, Spanish speaking, informed me the reserve was closed and the second birder happened to be fellow ABS member Gerry Bennett from Nerja who had also made a special journey. To say that Gerry was best from p;leased is somewhat of an understatement, the more so since he had checked the website before setting out and there was no mention of a potential closure. What to do? This was like a re-run of the olden days when I often found the reserve locked up on a Monday or Tuesday evening as if making up for the week-end opening but I had thought those bad memories were long gone. Anyway, along with Gerry we decided to head off up to the picnic area at Velez de Benaudalla and see if the resident breeding Dippers might still be about.
|Lots of Spotted Flycatchers Papamoscas Gris Muscicapa striata to be seen in the fading light|
|Difficult to enough light on this Grey Wagtail Lavandera Cascadena Motacilla cinerea|
This morning, Tuesday, I was back at the picnic site by 8 o'clock, leaving the House Martins and Common Swifts screaming around the village in the hope that the Dippers might still be about but as time wore on I feared the worst. Had the youngsters fledged and the whole family moved away? Had the nest site been disturbed or even interfered with as the river is a popular spot for both picnickers and bathers on warm days?
A very patient thirty minutes or so with, once again, numerous Spotted Flycatchers to be seen along with both White Wagtail and Blackbirds. Chaffinches on the track and in the trees along with the calling Golden Orioles were not really a compensation. A final walk upstream to the large weir and back again before departing to collect Jenny at the apartment. But as I approached the nest site I saw a very pale leaf on a low branch just above the water and thought how strange. Lifting the bins for a closer view you can imagine my surprise and delight to realise that I was looking at the very white chest of the Dipper - he/she must have just had its morning wash!
|The Dipper Mirlo-acuatico Europeo Cinclus cinclus that remained for many minutes; shame the light was far from perfect|
Mallard, Cattle Egret, Coot, Rock Dove, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Hoopoe, Green Woodpecker, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Dipper, Blackbird, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Golden Oriole, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.
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