For me it was a cloudy, overcast start to the day and the rains duly arrive about lunch time. Not at all birding weather and became very windy not to mention much colder. However, it would appear that we oldies, the birding pensioners, are made of stronger stuff as certainly a little discomfort was not going to stop John and Jenny venturing forth as can be seen from John's report below.
Embalse Bermejales, near Alhama de Granada: 13th January 2014
Grey start with rain later. We had planned a trip to the embalse for yesterday 12th, but had to cancel, so we went today instead despite the gloomy forecast. On the way we saw two Buzzards, several Common Kestrels, Black Redstarts, White Wagtails, Blackbird, at least fourteen Magpies,
Serins and a Mistle Thrush. As we neared the embalse the sky was getting blacker and blacker, so we went in and had breakfast, thinking that the clouds would have passed over before we came out. No such luck, although the rain hadn´t started yet, so we parked up regardless.
|Coal Tit Carbonero Garrapinos Parus ater (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
The first bird heard then saw - and number one hundred for the year - was a Coal Tit (feeding on our piece of pork fat we had put in the tree at least six months prior), followed by two Crossbills flying overhead. A family of Long-tailed Tits moved through the firs and on the ground several White Wagtails scurried about.
A Common Sandpiper flew in about two hundred metres away from us - at the waters edge - so I ventured away from the car to get a photo. After the photo-shoot I carried along the track and saw one Crested Tit, a Blue Tit, several Chaffinches, three Short-toed Treecreepers and another Coal Tit. Arriving back at the car Jenny had seen more Coal and Long-tailed Tits, a dark phase Red Squirrel and a Robin.
|Common Sandpiper Andarrios Chico Actitis hypoleucos (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
We continued along to the Cacin dam - where the water is still very high - here we added Teal, Crag Martins, Pochard, Shovelers, Common Coots, Woodpigeons, Collared Doves, Spotless Starlings, Song Thrush, Chiffchaffs, Goldfinches, another Robin, Black Redstart, Hoopoe, Cormorant, more Corn Buntings and a very striking Booted Eagle to our total.
As we left the tree line a Red Squirrel ran across the road in front of us, with a fir cone in its mouth, and just as we entered the village of Morelada a female Common Kestrel was seen perched on a pylon.
A great day John in spite of the prevailing weather. Just goes to show what keenness and enthusiasm can do for you and, looking at your list of birds, had I been with you I could have added another six species to my 2014 list!
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