|Shoot me if you dare Stonechat Tarabilla Comun Saxicola torquatus|
Up at 5 o'clock to get my brother-in-law to the airport and with the forecast set fine for the day what better excuse than to carry on down to La Janda for a day's birding. Duty one by 7 so round the corner to the nearby Plaza Mayor where I collected friends Derek Etherton and Mari de la Torre and we set off westwards in dark and windy conditions arriving at La Janda by 9.15 where we were greeted by clear blue skies and full sunshine but the temperature had dropped from an original 9 to zero degrees! Not to worry, the birds made up for the chill and the temperature soon started to warm leaving us shedding various outer garments. By the end of the day, arriving back in Malaga, once again in the dark, we had recorded 68 species including eight raptors and thirteen waders but, best of all, four early summer migrants (if you include Barn Swallow), Black Kite and with Northern Wheatear and Rufous Bushchat vying for "Bird of the day" along with Black-shouldered Kite.
|One of many Lapwing Avefria Europea Vanallus vanenllus to be seen|
|Record shot of the distant, solitary Black Stork Ciguena Negra Ciconia nigra|
Once at the canal time to stop and scan the area where, in addition to good numbers of White Wagtails, Little Egrets and Grey Herons, we found a solitary Black Stork and the first of a trio of Great White Egrets. The occasional Zitting Cisticola in the canal-side reeds and a calling Cetti's Warblers before the first of the Kingfishers flashed by. Crested Larks on the flooded fields and both Moorhens and a pair of Mallards on the water rapidly added to the growing species list. Then time to actually find the large Crane flock that we had heard for the previous five minutes or so and yet more Lapwings plus a small number of Spotless Starlings and the first of the many Jackdaws. A Black-headed Gull drifted over and a short distance down the track on a large wet area we came across a small number of Yellow-legged Gulls in the company of eleven resting Spoonbills.
|Not so much "Sleepy Lagoon" as sleep Spoonbills Espatua Comun Platalea leucorodia|
|Great White Egret Garceta Grande Egretta alba|
|Distant view of a male Linnet Pardillo Comun Carduelis cannabina|
The drive up through the "avenue" towards the "smelly farm" produced a Great Tit and huge charms of Goldfinches, there must have been literally hundreds. A few more Red-legged Partridges then a single Pheasant as we approached and passed the farm. Checking the bushes on the right just after the farm we had a single Dartford Warbler and two Black Kites overhead. A lot of Jackdaws in this area along with both Rock and Collared Doves plus a couple of Wood Pigeons. Nothing else until we started the return journey back to the bridge when we picked up a trio of soaring Buzzards, another resting on a very small bush to our immediate left and then an immature Golden Eagle.
|A Common Buzzard Basardo Ratonero Buteo buteo at rest and at work|
|Distant views of Black-shouldered Kite Elanio Comun Elanus caeruleus|
|The ugly Bald Ibis Ibis Eremita Geronticus eremita found at Barbate|
Driving towards the track leading to the waters at the rear of the road I happened to notice three Bald Ibis feeding in a paddock on the left. So, along the back track for a closer (and safer!) look at the birds where we actually found four individuals before they took flight. Then it was on to the flooded pits where we found a score or more of Black-winged Stilts along with at least 150 Dunlin, all in best winter uniforms. More Redshank and Greenshank along with a good number of Spoonbills and Little Egrets before realising that most of the resting gulls in front of us were actually Audouin's Gulls! To our right on the track and neighbouring grass we not only had Crested Larks and Meadow Pipits but a single Lesser Short-toed Lark. Finally, a last detailed study of the Dunlin flock also found a solitary Curlew Sandpiper in their midst.
|White Storks Ciguena Blanca Ciconia ciconia over La Janda|
Mallard, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Bald Ibis, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Spoonbill, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Marsh harrier, Hen Harrier, Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Crane, Oystercatcher, Back-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Snipe, Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Audouin's Gull, lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Rufous Bushchat, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Cetti's warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Dartford Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chafinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Corn Bunting.
|Lovely to see so many early Orchids|
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