Saturday 9 May
I took my Belgian friend, Marieke over the to the Charca de Suarez reserve last Saturday morning where we met up with Steve and Elena Powell - and also came across mick Richards and friends during our relatively short walk around the reserve. A beautiful warm and sunny day but, sad to say, not all that many birds but we did get good views of all the resident water fowl (save Water Rail) in Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Common Coot and Red-knobbed Coot.
Greeted by both Blackbirds and House Sparrow we had hardly moved down the track when a Night Heron passed over on its way west and, at the first hide overlooking the Laguna del Lirio, we also had a Little Bustard along with Coot and Mallard. Just the briefest glimpse of a Purple Swamphen but the Nightingales were singing well and we had a reasonable view of an individual as we moved on to the Lagunadel Alamo Blaco. meanwhile, at least a pair of Turtle Doves were happily cooing away above and eventually showed for a very short period. Add on Serins and Goldfinches and then our only waders at the new laguna which was now well-covered in reeds and so restricting the view. A handful of Black-winged Stilts present along with a few Mallards and both Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers along with a single Common Sandpiper. The greater surprise was a pair of Dunlin coming into breeding plumage. Just the single Little Egret seen.
Next to the main hide overlooking the Laguna de las Aneas accompanied by Spotless Starlings and Cetti's Warblers but Steve was in time to see the Hobby fly over whilst speaking with Mick and friends. The main water held a very few Yellow-legged Gulls and only the occasional Barn Swallows and House Martins feeding overhead. Common Swifts put in an appearance and Elena managed to find a roosting Cormorant hiding in a nearby tree. On the water itself a number of Coots, Mallards, Pochards and Moorhens along with the occasional Yellow-legged Gull, a couple of Grey Herons and another Purple Swamphen. A single Willow Warbler was busy working the reeds immediately in front of the hide
The walk down to the hide overlooking the Laguna del Trebol produced my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year and then we managed to find at least a quartet of Red-knobbed Coots. Finally, in addition to good views of the Turtle Doves, we also managed to find both Collared Doves and Crested Larks as we made our way back to the gate having decided not to stay the additional ninety minutes with so few birds about.
Mallard, Pochard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Night Heron, Little Bittern, Little Egret, Heron, Hobby, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Nightingale, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.
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