|Water Rail Rascon Euopeo Rallus aquaticus|
What better way to enjoy what was forecasted as the last sunny day for a while than to take the relatively short drive along the eastern motorway to Motril and spend a few hours at the Charca de Suarez. No sooner under way and I realised that it was colder and more cloudy than had been forecast and, approaching Motril, realised that the locals had recently experienced a little rain. But not to worry the weather soon began to warm up and was very pleasant if you could keep out of the cool breeze.
But that was just the start of my problems. Having driven at the maximum permitted speed to arrive in time for the 9.30 opening knowing that the gates are only oped once now that we are in the breeding season, I then discovered that the actual opening time was 10 rather than the above. What to so for thirty minutes? In my case a quick drive round the corner to "Turtle Dove Alley" where I quickly found a pair of Red-rumped Swallows and a Woodchat Shrike. I had already passed a Kestrel on the wires and a couple of active Blackbirds along with the local House Sparrows and a handful of Spotless Starlings so the list was already started.
|Early morning Red-rumped Swallows Golondrina Daurica Hirundo daurica|
|Lots of activity from the Barn Swallows Golondrina Comun Hirundo rustica at the Laguna del alamo Blanco|
|Common Redshank Archibebe Comun Tringa totanus|
Leaving David and Ann behind I wandered off on a clockwise circuit of the site stopping first at the main hide overlooking the Laguna de las Aneas where there were many Moorhens and Coots along with Mallards and a couple of Pochard. Closer inspection soon found a number of Little Grebes and the far right a Little Egret rested at the water's edge with a roosting Night Heron about a metre above. Overhead dozens of Sand Martins were feeding and the occasional Yellow-legged Gull drifted by whilst the pair of Black-headed Gulls and a lone Cormorant took their rest on the water.
|Little Grebe Zampullin Comun Tachybaptus ruficollis|
|Check out the difference between Common Coot Fulica atra (above) and Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata (beleow)|
|Red-knobbed Coot Focha cristata Fulica cristata with one of two chicks|
|Four of the five Red-knobbed Coot chicks following Mum|
Circuit completed it was back to the hide overlooking the Laguna del Alamo Blanco with its many Barn Swallows for the final forty-five minutes. The Sedge Warbler put in another appearance but too quick and low to get another photograph. No sign of a Purple Swamphen this morning until fifteen minutes before closing tome when an individual casually walked out from behind a reed and up and over a pile of dead vegetation and away. But not before we had all managed to get a photograph. But just before the bird's appearance we had all dashed out of the hide as a Heron drifted over with a very high Bonelli's Eagle above it. The latter brought out a Common Kestrel which escorted the Bonelli's Eagle away from the site.
|Purple Swamphen Calamon Comun Porphyrio porphyrio|
|The very high Bobelli's Eagle Aguila-azor Perdicera Hieraaetus fasciatus over Charca de Suarez|
|The last minute arrival of the Water Rail Rascon Euopeo Rallus aquaticus|
Mallard, Pochard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Bonelli's Eagle, Kestrel, Water Rail, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Hoopoe, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Woodchat Shrike, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow.
|Black-winged Stilts Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus seem to be arriving everywhere at the moment|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.