|Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocehala (PHOTO: Dave Jefferson)|
A beautiful sunny start to the day with clear blue skies and a temperature of 14C when I left home for the monthly field meeting of the Axarquia Bird Group at Fuente de Piedra. By the time I got to Antequera the temperature had dropped to 3 and just a little further on bottomed out at 1C. Could things get any worse? They certainly could as I then encountered a dense mist which had not really cleared by the time I reached Fuente. So much for arriving early to take a look at the flooded field on the left as all I could see was a damp grey field with a low-lying mist and dark shadows moving across the still waters. On the other hand, by the time we eventually moved of from the car park at about 10.15 the mist had started to lift and eighteen members had joined me for what proved to be a most enjoyable morning. Most birds were seen by most members and our combined total for the session reached 57 and, I have no doubt, somebody will email in to tell what I have missed from the list!
The Jackdaws seemed to be the first birds to recover from the early mist and closely followed by the resident House Sparrows and a few Spotless Starlings. Next up a couple of Collared Doves and then it was time to take a look over the scrape and main water to see what was resting and/or feeding below. Lots of Shovelers and a few Teal plus the ever-present Mallards along with a relatively small number of Coots and Moorhens. All the Flamingos, save one juvenile on the lagunetta at the back, were at the far end and probably totalled about a couple of thousand. No shortage of Gulls, mainly Lesser Black-backed and Black-headed but also some of the Yellow-legged variety but just the single wafer, a sole Ringed Plover, other than the wintering Lapwings.
|Female Black Redstart Colirrojo Tizon Phoenicurus ochruros|
|Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (PHOTO: Dave Jefferson)|
|Little Owl Athene noctua (PHOTO: Dave Jefferson)|
|Snipe Gallinego gallinago (PHOTO: Dave Jefferson)|
Gadwall and a Kingfisher that dashed over the road and disappeared never to be seen again.
|Hoopoe Abubilla Upupa epops|
|A small section of the feeding 220 Cranes Grulla Comun Grus grus|
|Stone Curlew Alcaravan Comun Burhinus oedicnemus|
Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Little Egret, Heron, Greater Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Crane, Stone Curlew, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler,Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Southern Grey Shrike, Jackdaw, Spotless Staling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Corn Bunting.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.