|Osprey Pandion haliaetus (PHOTO: David Eliott-Binns)|
Shame I could not accept the invitation to join Dave and his Arboleas Birding Group as I would very much like to have added Knot to the year's list. As it was I was having blood sucked of my arm, all red though mother had told me it should be blue, then round the corner to give water or, as known to we gentlemen of a certain age, to literally have the p**** taken! Not helped by being told my sample was insufficient and hang around to try again. So much for catching the bus into Malaga for the morning but, having dropped Jenny off at the bus station in Torre del Mar, I suddenly had the "urge" so had to rush back to the hospital and, eventually, manage to leave the car in Torre and arrive on the bus less than an hour behind Jenny. A walk round the indoor market was enjoyable as was the ride back along the coast in glorious sunny weather. Too much information I hear you say. So, on to Dave's report and those fabulous Ospreys in addition to the Knot.
Las Norias & Roquetas - Wednesday 4th October
For a change today we decided to head for Las Norias and Roquetas. Barrie and I met up at Jct 529 service station (eventually.......he was waiting at one end and me the other!) We headed south only to be delayed by a reported accident, but we got to Jct 420 Repsol garage cafe before the prescribed hour where we met a tired John, who'd been up late on an airport run! After a reviving coffee we headed to the first causeway on the Balsa de Sapo. A scan over the left hand lake produced many Great Crested Grebe. Down the far end we could see Grey Heron, Yellow Legged Gull, Cormorant, Little and Black-necked Grebe, Little Egret, Mallard and Common Pochard. We heard Cetti's and Sardinian Warblers. A Cattle Egret and a Black-headed Gull flew over. I spotted some Red-crested Pochard before John shouted "Osprey!"
|Female Pochard Aythya ferina (abobe) and male Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (PHOTO: David Eliott-Binns)|
We convoyed towards Roquetas seeing an adult Booted Eagle and some Magpies on the way. After an early tostada lunch we made our way to the lake. A kestrel was seen. On the lake were hundreds of Coot and Black-headed Gulls. On the far side were some Greater Flamingos. John found a raft of 60 odd Black-necked Grebes which dived en mass when a female Marsh Harrier flew over. Leaving John's car there we all got into my 4x4 to travel along the bumpy track. We found a Greenshank and a Little Egret at a shallow pool to the left. On sandy areas where water once was, we found Ringed and Kentish Plover, Dunlin and Sanderling. There was a small flock of Sand and Crag Martins. We also saw a Willow Warbler and some Stonechat. We ended up at the Salinas de Cerrillos. The water level was quite high. I counted 42 Sandwich Tern. I found a Glossy Ibis. Barrie spotted a Black-tailed Godwit. A discussion ensued regarding a couple of medium-sized waders. After checking the photos and Collins I deduced they were Knot.
There were Slender-billed and
Audouin's Gulls, an Avocet and a Redshank. We saw our first Barn
Swallow of the day and a Zitting Cisticola showed well.
On the way back
we stopped at a gull-covered causeway. They were mostly Audouin's Gulls
closest to us, then the odd Yellow-legged, followed by Lesser Black-backed
Gulls down the far end. We next stopped at the ex Red Knobbed Coot
pool. Still none there. Lots of Mallard, a few normal Coot and a single
female Common Pochard. Barrie spotted our final bird, a Kingfisher.
|Red Knot Calidris canutus (PHOTO: David Eliott-Binns)|
|Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis (PHOTO: David Eliott-Binns)|
|Slender-billed Gull Larus genei (PHOTO: David Eliott-Binns)|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information