Sunday, 3 January 2016

Charca de Suarez, Motril

Robin Petirrojo Europeo Erithacus rubecula
Saturday 2 January 2016

The New Year has arrived and time to get up and about and, knowing my luck, I will probably see half-a-dozen birds I missed last year within the first week or so!

Off early to one of my three local sites at the Charca de Suarez on the western outskirts of Motril after first spending a few minutes on the high cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean just east of the town where I recorded mainly Yellow-legged and a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls plus the occasional passing Gannet, a small number of Cormorants and a handful of Crag Martins as I departed for the Charca.

House Sparrows and Collared Doves as I arrived and the site was quite quiet with very few birds about but that, I suspect, was mainly because I was enjoying the company of fellow-ABS member Jacinto Villalvilla from Malaga rather than concentrating on the birding.  Anyway, it was a very enjoyable morning for me made even better when Steve and Elena Powell arrived and informed me that they had been watching the wintering Black-shouldered Kite in nearby "Turtle Dove Alley."  But the bird was not to be seen on the way home though I did pick up a Hoopoe.

First to the Laguna del Taraje where I found a number of Mallards along with Coots and loads of Chiffchaff plus a pair of Stonechats, a skulking Purple Swmphen and single Moorhen and Little Grebe.  Just before departing for the relatively new Laguna del Alamo Blanco a very quiet Buzzard slipped in under the radar below the hide and up into the tree to the immediate left.  Just a few seconds respite and it was off as silently as it had appeared.  Very strange behaviour for a Buzzard, so much so that it might easily have been mistaken for a Sparrowhawk.  Good job there were two of us in the hide and both saw this brief, silent appearance.  At the new water there were a number of Teal and Coots along with Moorhens and Chiffchaffs.  A single White Wagtail had taken over the "Kingfisher perch" giving good photographic opportunities and a Little Egret put in a brief appearance a the far end of the water.  The two Snipe seen were well concealed and took some finding.

Chiffchaff Mosquitero Comun Phylloscopus colybita
On to the main hide overlooking the Lagunade las Aneas where most of the Mallards were congregated along with a few Pochard, many Coots and Moorhens plus Little Grebe , a small flock of Black-headed Gulls and a couple of Cormorants.  Another displaying White Wagtail and more Chiffchaffs as might be expected.  It was at the Laguna del Trebol that I met up with J  and we enjoyed a long discussion and reminiscences before also being joined by Steve and Elena and suitable introductions made.  We then all remained together until it was finally time to depart for our respective homes.  On the water itself mainly Common but also a handful of Red-knobbed Coots along with a single Purple Swamphen, Mallards and a small flock of Shoveler.  Still plenty of Chiffchaffs but also a couple of Stonechats.

Purple Swamphen Calamon Porphyrio porphyrio
Nothing different to add at either the Laguna del Lirio other than a couple of Robins or on the return visits to both the lagunas Taraje and Del Alamo Blanco.  However, at the last we were informed that since my departure an hour or so earlier a Jack Snipe had turned up to add to the three Common Snipe that were now visible along with a Kingfisher that made a very brief stop and a Water Pipit.

Record shot of distant Water Pipit Bisbita Alpino Anthus spinoletta
In addition to the Hoopoe mentioned above, the return journey towards and along Turtle Dove Alley also produced both a Black Redstart and a couple of Cattle Egrets.

Red-knobbed Coot  Focha Moruna Fulca cristala without a priest's collar!

Birds seen:
Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Little Grebe, Gannet, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Buzzard, Moorhen, Purple Swamhen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Chifchaff, House Sparrow.

White Wagtail Lavandera Blanca Motacilla alba

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


  1. Happy New Year Bob and thanks for the excellent postings throughout 2015 and looking forward to many more in 2016. Also wonderful photo of the Chiffchaff.

  2. Stunning photos you have shared in here. Looking forward to see more bird photos! :)