|Early morning Night Heron Martinete Comun Nycticorax nicticorax|
|Little Bittern Avetorillo Comun Ixobrychus minutus|
Before Chris had got off his 7.15 train at Plaza Mayor I had recorded very early Blackbird, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow and Sardinian Warbler and a soon as we all arrived at the Guadalhorce in Zapata we were inundated with calling Nightingales and Cetti's Warblers. The odd Crested Lark on the tracks along with the first of very many Goldfinches and, not so many, Serins. Obviously there had to be the odd Collared Dove about but approaching the ford we enjoyed the sight of an adult male Night Heron whilst his Grey Heron cousin took to the air. No shortage of Little Ringed Plovers here or, indeed, all over the site, but pride of place went not to the pair of nearby Black-winged Stilts but the two Little Bitterns that took off upstream and were later followed by another, female, happily resting in the thickness of a small tree at the far end of the site.
Other birds picked up at the site included a small number of Common Waxbill, lots of Zitting Cisticola, just the single Little and Cattle Egrets along with an Iberian sub-species of Wagtail. Overhead mainly Barn and Red-rumped Swallows but later on the Common Swifts did put in a welcome appearance. A single Turtle Dove was very welcome but perhaps not so the handful of screaming Monk Parakeets. Eventually the Reed Warblers began to sing and call but the single Short-toed Lark was very secretive and difficult to spot. Not unusual to find a pair of Mallard making the most of a large puddle left over from last week's heavy rains and then the arrival of both Bee-eaters and a good number of both Linnets and Greenfinches along with a Great Tit. Not to be left out we must mention the good number of Sardinian Warblers seen along with the first Jackdaws of the day.
|Bee-eater Abejaruco Europea Merops apiaster through the car window|
Moving on to the Rio Grande after a very brief stop to check out the local Bonelli's Eagle nest (have chicks now fully developed?) one of the adults was sen high above the rock face with more Jackdaws lower down on the grassy edges. On arrival at the river there were good numbers of Black-winged Stilts and a handful of Little Egrets. A single Cattle Egret flew over and nearby we had both Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Serins and Linnets to accompany the singing Blackcap. Chris managed to find the Great Reed Warbler and then it was up to the bridge to be rewarded with the sight of a couple of Golden Orioles. A distant Corn Bunting was seen on the wires and below us both White and a juvenile Grey Wagtail plus Moorhen. "Hooked beaks" made themselves know with both Common and Lesser Kestrels and a single Woodchat Shrike.
|Lovely to drive through fields of beautiful red poppies|
|Young Peregrine Falcon Halcon peregrino Falco peregrinus at cave entrance way up on the distant cliff face|
|Much closer and this Booted Eagle Aguililla Calzada Hieraaetus pennatus would have been in through the roof light!|
|One of very many Corn Buntings Triguero Emberiza calandra|
|Distant view of male Montagu's Harier AguiluchoCenizo Circus pygargus quartering the corn field|
Mallard, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Montagu's Harrier, Booted Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Rock Dove, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Little Owl, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Nightingale, Stonechat, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Golden Oriole, Woodchat Shrike, Chough, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Rock Bunting, Corn Bunting.
|A rather subdued Blue Rock Thrush Roquero Solitario Monticola solitarius|
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