Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Homeward bound with John and Jenny Wainwright

Wednesday 15 April

All good things must come to an end, I suppose.  having endured the winds and rains of Almeria John and Jenny Wainwright made their way back home to Salar on Monday and travelled via Roquettas de mar.  never ones to miss a birding opportunity, our intrepid pair managed to find some lovely Red-crested Pochards and yet more Collared Pratincoles.  Meanwhile, some of us are still to see our first of the year so watch out Spain I shall soon be on my way back to rectify the situation!

Cabo de Gata  13th April 2015: Home Day 6

A bright but still a very windy day.

We decided that instead of returning via Guadix we would take the roundabout route via Motril, so that we could call in at the Roquet de Mar salinas.

Turnstone Arenaria interpres (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

As we entered the reserve, we found on the small saline pools to the left of the track, several Turnstones, a Ringed Plover, Black-winged Stilts, Kentish Plovers, Yellow Wagtails and as we started to drive off a pair of  Little Plovers flew in. Looking over the large salina we saw fifty plus Red-crested Pochard, a few Common Pochard, Mallard, Common Coot ( including an aberrational bird), Great Crested Grebe and some Greater Flamingos. Above us Gull-billed Terns were seen as well as Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls. Two Zitting Cisticolas were trying to out-sing each other and from the track a Thekla Lark rose up and joined in with his song.

Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

Moving round to another salina we came across good numbers of Collared Pratincoles and a few Shelduck, lots of Avocets about, which with a raft of gulls took off as a Peregrine Falcon flashed across the salina, down the side of the reed bed and disappeared. As we were finished watching the latter, a female Marsh Harrier was spotted resting in the grasses, and as she took flight so did a Whimbrel which we hadn´t noticed. A flock of Sanderlings passed overhead and landed out of sight in another pool and as they landed, more Collared Pratincoles lifted off  accompanied by three Shelduck. We parked on a concrete ford and in a side-stream we noted two Little Egrets while across on the other side three Spoonbills were huddled up in the reeds.

Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

A distant Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
As we criss-crossed the reserve we finally located a group of Lesser Short-toed Larks, more Kentish Plovers, two Jackdaws, Cattle Egrets, a White Wagtail and a Redshank.

Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

Total for the holiday 114 species

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
It would appear that, despite the inclement weather, that John and jenny had a fabulous trip with a magnificent tally of species seen including some very special individuals -even if they did dip on the Trumpeter Finch.  But that's birding and a great reason to return on a another occasion.

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

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