Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Bermejales with John and Jenny Wainwright

Tuesday 10 February

Still very windy and cold in most of the Axarquia, even when the sun is shining, but yesterday John and Jenny Wainwright managed to get over to the Embalse de Bermejales just over the border into Granada province.  Having heard about the persistent night temperatures well below zero they were probably more than relieved to experience some warm(er) sunshine during the day!  At least the forecast for Friday's visit to the Charca de Suarez in Motril is sun all day; but it said that last Saturday and look what happened then!

Bermejales area  9th February

A chilly start but warmed up later.

After desayunos at La Crux at the Bermejales embalse, we parked up and I left Jenny (reading) to do my usual route walk.  The water is down but not much due to an influx of water from the Rio Cacin.  Not a soul about as I left the car and soon noticed a family of Long-tailed Tits as well as Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Common Magpies, Linnets and White Wagtails.  A bit further on and a Short-toed Treecreeper alighted on a tree trunk to the left of me, moved from tree to tree but never in a good photo position (when are they ever?).  

Among the shrubby bushes and on the shoreline itself good numbers of Linnets were about as well as a few White Wagtails and the inimitable Common Chiffchaff.  A burst of song from a Great Tit ended the fir-line walk. 

Robin Erithacus rubecula  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Looking over the embalse not a movement was seen, so I crossed the road into the small fir plantation.  On my arrival here, three Common Magpies took flight as did a huge flock of Woodpigeons; their wing-clapping making other residents move away, including Blackbirds and a single Mistle Thrush.  Walking further into the plantation Coal Tits, a Sardinian Warbler and a Robin were noted, and in the clearing ahead of me a family of Crested Larks took off.  The song of Crossbills was heard here but I could not locate the birds although I am sure it came from the Eucalyptus tree about 200 metres away.  Regardless, the appearance of a Robin in a bare tree it took my mind of off them.

On the second stage of my walk I headed towards the Ayuntamineto buildings by the dam.  I picked up a Common Sandpiper, two Rock Buntings, a Meadow Pipit, a family of Crested Larks and another flock of Linnets, all feeding on the shoreline.  In the trees I noticed Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches and a Short-toed Treecreeper and a Greater Cormorant was seen flying over the embalse.

On the way back we called in at the Cacin lake and he we spotted another Greater Cormorant, Mallard, Shovelers, Pochard and Common Coots.  The water here is still very high so there were no mud flats showing. Lots of Woodpigeons, Corn Buntings and Spotless Starlings about here also.  

Distant Golden Plovers Pluvialis apricaria (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

We then took a couple of small tracks into the "campo" and found a small flock of some sixteen Golden Plovers, Calandra Larks and a Southern Grey Shrike.

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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