Monday, 13 April 2015

Cabo de Gata - Final Day

Still no Trumpeter Finch for John and Jenny Wainwright and the weather seems to remain very windy.  Shame, as having returned to the blustery, cold UK we have experienced nothing but warm sunshine and calm, clear sunny skies for most of the past week!  Let John tell you about his latest birding day:

Cabo de Gata  12 April:  Day 5

Another very bright but very blustery (another 40km/h blaster) day.

As this is our last full day before returning home we decided to tackle the Desierto de Tabernas, they do say that the desert has only 250mm of rain per year, Well, I think most of fell while we were here!

As we passed Tabernas itself the cloud base was seen to be dropping very quickly, but regardless of this we carried on (no fool like an old fool Eh!!) We turned off for Velefique and immediately a Woodchat Shrike was noted along with Spotless Starlings and Collared Doves, while a little further on a Hoopoe flew up from the side of the road.. We took a diversion into a small eucalyptus grove and beyond seeing Thekla Larks, Chaffinches and Great Tit. As we took a stroll across one of the fields a single Stone Curlew took off , nothing more in the fields, but as we drove back through the grove again a male Pied Flycatcher came out of the leaf litter, perched for a couple of seconds and was gone. 

Crossbill  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Back out on the road again Common Swifts, House Martins and Barn Swallows were noted,  Then on the wires at least seven Bee-eaters were seen.  The further up we climbed the heavier the mist became but we could still see down into some of the streams where we picked up Nightingales and more Great Tits, At the peak of the mountain (1800+metres) a Wood Pigeon took off from the firs, and as we approached Bacares (AL3102) a Common Kestrel was seen.  Passing through the village and onto Tijola we passed through several small conifer areas here we found Coal Tits, Crossbills, Great Tits, Serins and a very colourful Green Woodpecker nearly came to grief on the front of the car, then a lone Mistle Thrush took off from the wires.  As we dropped down into a valley we stopped at a small bridge and here we saw two Wrens and more Serins, just a pity the stream was so full of rubbish that its flow had been drastically reduced. Turning right towards Olula del Rio then right again towards Chercos, a juvenile Golden Eagle was spotted, also about were Jackdaws, Sardinian Warblers, Greenfinches and Goldfinches, more Woodchat Shrikes, Common Magpies and another Wood Pigeon.

Woodchat Shrike  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

Although the birding through this circuituos route was few and far between the scenery was really beautiful and well worth the extra diesel.

Homeward bound tomorrow (Monday 13th) but we are calling in at the Roquetas de Mar and perhaps pick up a couple of extra trip ticks!!!

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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