Thursday, 10 March 2016

Cabo de Gata Week-end

Thursday 10 March

This week-end there will be over thirty embers of the Andalucia Bird Society descending on Cabo de Gata with everyone hoping to find a Trumpeter Finch and even a rare sighting of a Shag would be great.  Most will set off on Friday morning but John and Jenny Wainwright got a head start on the rest of us by travelling down today and John's report follows.

Dry but a very, very strong wind.

Our journey down was uneventful, although roadworks at the Almeria/Murcia split were a bit of a hold-up. But, en route we did see Common Kestrel, Common Swift, Spotless Starlings, Collared Doves, Wood Pigeon, Rock Dove, Jackdaws, Blackbirds, Magpies and Crested Larks.

So after booking in we headed for the Rambla Morales, where we found Shovelers, Greater Flamingos, Avocets, White-headed Ducks, Grey Herons, Little Egrets and a few Barn Swallows.  While on the opposite side of the track in the dunes we found a small flock of twenty-one Golden Plovers and as much as we would have liked to we could not turn one of them into a Dotterel and then we did!!  Also about were Stonechats, a Chaffinch, Chiffchaffs, White Wagtails and Crested Larks. We then picked up the main road along to hide No. 1.
Dotterel Charadrius morinellus   (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Lots of waders here - albeit rather distant - but regardless we notched up Black-tailed Godwits, Kentish, Grey and Little Ringed Plovers, Sanderling, Redshanks, two Dunlin, lots of Shelducks, another Little Egret, Mallard, Greater Flamingos, Avocets and a single Blue-headed Wagtail.

We then drove down to the lighthouse, where I once again dipped out on the Trumpeter Finch - although a German birder/photographer said he had heard one call earlier in the day but he too hadn´t been able to track it down.  A few Cormorants here as well as Yellow-legged Gulls were noted on the cliffs and inland House Sparrows and Black Redstarts were all we could muster.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
On the return journey we turned first right off at the new roundabout - along the track that takes you too the rear of the salinas.  Here we saw Sardinian Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Thekla Larks, Black Redstarts and Greenfinches, while on the salinas we found huge numbers of Avocets, at least sixty Sandwich Terns, Greenshank, Redshanks, two Lesser Black-backed and a few Black-headed Gulls, Yellow-legged Gulls, Little Stints and Greater Flamingos.
Greenshanks Tringa nebularia  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Let us hope that the wind drops tomorrow, as it was the only thing keeping most of the small birds heads down, I think.
Greenfinches Carduelis carduelis  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Just a footnote.. as we entered the hotel the power went off and who was in the lift between floors when this happened????? All´s well tonight though...

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

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