|Just a small part of the hirundine roost; Barn Swallows Hirundo rustico and Sand Martins Riparia riparia|
Turning off the motorway towards Campillos I had a resting Kestrel on a pylon and just after crossing the railway a Raven drifted over the road. Arriving at the Laguna Dulce it was obvious that there were numerous hirundines about including a couple or so Common Swifts. Most seemed to be roosting in the nearby trees just inside the water tot he left of the hide. Mainly Barn Swallows but also very good numbers of Sand Martins along with the occasional House Martin. Even a couple of Red-rumped Swallows put in an appearance.
|Recently arrived Curlew Sandpipers Correlimos Zarapitin Calidris ferruginea|
|Juvenile Flamingo Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus|
Then the fun and games to try and find the waders. The water level had dropped slightly to give some very inviting wet mud to the left front of the hide and here I found three Little Ringed Plovers busy feeding. Coots seemed to be thinly spread all over the lagoon but I had to scope the very far right-hand bay to find something "special" with both a distant Snipe and Redshank feeding just in the water below the trees. Back to the "scrape" to my left and suddenly the Little Ringed Plovers had been joined by a dozen visitors; all Curlew Sandpipers save for a single Ruff. Even better, same bird or not I do not know, but a Snipe appeared on the water´s edge immediately in front of me and took no notice of the juvenile Flamingo that fed alongside or the Common Sandpiper that also dropped in.
|Common Snipe Agachadiza Comun Gallinago gallinago|
|The quartering Marsh Harrier Aguilucho Lagunero Circus aeruginosus at laguna Dulce|
The drive round to the laguna at Fuente de Piedra revealed a Stonechat near the farm junction followed by a small flock of Serins approaching the Mirador de Cantarannas. However, before reaching this point I had already seen the "water" from the far end and was amazed at the silver light shining up from below me. The pool was completely dry and without a bird as the salina glazed in the sunshine. Quite a paradox really; still plenty of water at the Dulce which should have been bone dry by now and yet no water where there is always something at the larger Fuente laguna. Moving on I stopped to watch and record a Northern Wheatear that was moving along the roadside bushes. No easy way to get a shot of a bird on the right but, fortunately, no traffic so was able to turn the car almost into the ditch to obtain a shot through the driver's window, first a record shot and then another with the engine disengaged.
|Norther Wheatear Collalba Gris Oenanthe oenanthe|
A small number of Mallards and Shovelers but also some Teal by way of variety. Plenty of Black-winged Stilts and a few Little Grebes alongside another forty Flamingos. A Green sandpiper patrolled the far bank with a Common Sandpiper not far away. A better sight was the pair of a Lapwings on the far bank to my left and, on the water, a small number of Black-headed Gulls with a single Mediterranean Gull for company. A few Barn Swallows feeding overhead but the hirundines here were mainly House Martins.
|Time to go home for this Shoveler Cuchara Comun Anas clypeata|
|Common Whitethroat Curruca Zarcera Sylvia communis|
|Juvenile Little Ronged Plover Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius|
More fun come this Wednesday when we restart our Axarquia Bird Group season with a visit to the Guadalhorce in Malaga.
Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Curlew Sandpiper, Snipe, Ruff, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Thekla Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Zitting Cisticoal, Great Reed Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Corn Bunting.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.