Just had an email report from John Ross who managed to get over to the Charca de Suarez reserve at Motril with his wife, Carol yesterday morning. Managing to keep away from other visitors they were able to see some fine birds and even enjoyed that magical moment, as John reports, when looking at an "obvious" bird you suddenly realise that there is something a little more special standing right next to the bird in question. It would also appear that the new laguna is rapidly filling up following the recent rain so may be less inviting to any passing wader. Sounds like a great morning John and Carol.
Sunday 30 November
We started at Laguna Taraje with Coot and Moorhen and were pleased when a Little Egret dropped in. Even more so when we realised that there was a Little Bittern almost beside it.
We had a look outside the gate at the now very wet area with Teal and Wigeon - last time I was here, I saw Snipe and Black-winged Stilt (but far less water then). Moving on to Laguna Aneas we saw Shoveller and Mallard along with the usual Coot and Moorhen. Several Grey Herons and lots of Cormorants. A lone Reed Warbler close by and on the wooden perch, taking it in turns seemingly, White Wagtail and a female Stonechat. Last time here I had also seen Black-winged Stilt and a solitary Eurasian Spoonbill.
At Laguna Trebol we also found Purple Swamphen with the Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe. There seemed to be be a couple of Barn Swallows overhead. (Might they have been Crag Martins down off the hills for the winter?) Some Mallard and another Stonechat. A fleeting glimpse of Cetti's Warbler and a Kestrel seen overhead.
Walking south down the eastern pathway we stopped short in our tracks - ahead of us was a Grey Heron with a good-size snake in its bill. It must have been 40-50 cm long. We had obviously disturbed it and it flew off carrying the snake. A Monarch butterfly joined us. Revisiting Laguna Trebol from the south we saw several Greyhheron on the pathways. The hide was full with cameras - watching a pair of Purple Swamphens - so we moved on.
We pressed on to Laguna Lirio where a single Red-knobbed Coot was in charge chasing the other (Common) Coots about the place. Moorhens and Swamphen here too with a Grey Wagtail doing some posing. Lots of Chiffchaff everywhere and a pair of Greenfinch as we moved to the exit.
Certainly a good start to our day.
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