It seemed like a good idea to pop up to the old railway line at Ventas de Zafarraya and then drive down the mountain track past the two picnic sites above Alacaucin. No at home to worry about, plenty of time for a shave and shower before going to the monthly dance; what could possibly go wrong?
Travelling down our mountain track I had the usual Thekla Larks and Serins and on reaching the village the low cloud base had encouraged all the local House Martins to come down in search of their morning feed. How many? Well in excess of 250 and just like driving through a cloud of mosquitoes. Then, approaching the lake, a couple of Red-rumped Swallows. Talking of cloud, that was what greeted me on arrival at the mirador at the pass and the only bird seen on the upwar jurney was a single male Stonechat at the side of the road. So bad I could barely see the edge of the car park never mind the track itself. Obviously no point in walking the old railway track so decided to check-out the nearby growing fields starting at the former "Muck Heap" where, all being well, there might be better visibility.
|Male Crossbill Loxia curvirostra|
Nothing for it but to head over to the Sierra Tejeda and take the mountain track down to Alcaucin. Still dull weather that made seeing anything, always assuming that any bird might want to be seen. A large flock of Chaffinches early on and then the top picnic area produced another plus a quartet of Crossbills, the latter again producing a nearer lovely male. And that was it as the cloud closed in reducing visibility to less than ten, if not five, metres. A very slow drive down the mountain, thank goodness I know where all the severe bends are, hugging the nearside at less than 10km per hour. It was either that or take the magic mushrooms and trust that the car would sprout wings as it took off into the sky!
|Honey Buzzards Perbnis apivorus on their way south|
Then in the clear when I hit the road and made my back top Los Romanes. A stop at my neighbours for a coffee at about one o'clock and forget the Barn Swallows and House Martins that were flying around the house, forget the Bee-eaters that arrived and even the Kestrel that came to perch on the nearby radio mast; it was the huge numbers of Honey Buzzards that had decided it was time to carry on southwards with, at a minimum, at least 250 passing directly overhead that got our attention. Now I wonder if the computer will behave itself and let me get the images onto the blog?
Greylag Goose, Mallard, Honey Buzzard, Kestrel, Collared Dove, Bee-eater, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Stonechat, Blackbird, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch, Crossbill.
ALL BEING WELL, MORE PHOTOGRAPHS TO FOLLOW
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.