Monday 13 November 2017

Charca de Suarez, Motril

Sunday 12 November

A beautiful day with warm sunshine in clear blue skies as I set of for a morning's visit to the Charca de Suarez with visiting Australian birders Bob and Noreen Ashford and, on arriving, was joined by Steve and Elena Powell.  Following a lovely morning we all returned back to Mezquitilla with we original three taking the scenic coastal road rather than the motorway.  There were numerous Cattle Egret as we approached the site and immediately on entrance were greeted by Blackbirds and then on round to the Laguna del Taraje where we soon found, Mallard, Coot and Moorhen along with a Purple Swamphen.  A few Chiffchaffs and the occasional Goldfinch were busty feeding in the trees at the back of the water but no Little Bittern nor Little Grebe on this occasion.

Purple Swamphen Calamon Porphyrio porphyrio
Round to the Lagna Del Alamo Blano where we found both single Heron and White Stork on sentinel duty at the back.
The White Stork Ciguena Blanca Ciconia ciconia Stork still remains on site, on its own

A few Moorhens but basically quiet initially and then the sight of a pair of Grey Wagtails towards the back which led our sight to a single Water Pipit.  No sooner had we found another movement and (the other) Bob saw a rapidly departing Snipe and I found the skulking Bluethroat.  Even better, a second bird put in an appearance right in front of the hide.  Cetti's Warblers were calling and Steve had the best view of the male Marsh Harrier which had been actually standing n the water whereas we had the flight away.  Lots of Stonechats about, a couple of Collared Doves and many feeding Crag Martins in the sky above.  Finally, a White Wagtail put in an appearance.

Record shot of Water Pipit Bisbita Alpino Anthus spinoletta

Then it was off the main hide but, winder of wonders, much ground work had been undertaken since my last visit and it was now actually possible to see the Laguna de la Cana de Azucar form the open green hide.  What a lovely muddy mess with mall streams at the side and rewarded with both Goldfinches and Serin along with another pair of Grey Wagtail, a male Black Redstart and even a Robin.

Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta
The Laguna de las Aneas was beginning to build up in numbers with a good supply of Common Coots and a range of duck species, mainly Mallard but also a pair of Shoveler, a handful of Teal, maybe a dozen Pochard and a single Ferruginous Duck.  Not many Little Grebes but we did had some basking Cormorants which were joined on the island in front of the hide by a pair of juvenile Flamingos and a couple of Little Egret.  No sooner had a pair of Yellow-legged Gulls put in an appearance when a female Red Avadavat paid a very short visit to the island.  Lots of Moorhens around the edges and a Purple Swamphen put in a brief appearance.  And right at the very back we found the resident, collar-wearing, Red-knobbed Coot.

Juvenile Flamingo Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus with the first signs of pink beginning to show
So to the Laguna del Trebol where I had promised Bob a close view of an unfettered Red-knobbed Coot and, sure enough, there was an individual right in front of the hide.  At least three other individuals plus a couple wearing numbered collars so we were all very pleased.  In addition to more Mallards and Moorhens we even had a third Purple Swapmhen

Red-knobbed Coot Focha Moruna Fulica cristata
Continuing our clockwise circuit we were greeted by the most vociferous-calling Cetti's Warbler letting every girl within miles know that he was looking forward to spring ad all the pleasures to come (should have told him that he had another couple of months to wait and stop getting excited by all the continuing warm sunshine!).  A walk to the other side of the hedge actually found the bird singing away about a metre of the ground as he fluttered his wings in excitement.

The very vocal Cetti's Warbler Ruisenor Bastardo Cettia cetti

More views of Red-knobbed Coots for the far hide overlooking the Trebol water including the "famous" number 290!  A Robin came to perch nearby and gave us the once over and there was certainly no shortage of Terrapins.  Continuing on we stopped to look at the Chameleon in his usual bush and the, overhead, another view of a passing Marsh Harrier.

The passing Marsh Harrier guilucho Lagunero Circus aeruginosus
And that was just abut it.  Time for a few minutes in the hide overlooking the remaining water, the Laguna del Lirio, where another pair of Red-knobbed Coots and a feeding Purple Swaphen were recorded whilst numerous Chiffchaffs and Stonechats fed on the insects like demented Spotted Flycatchers.  Having said that, Steve arrived at this water about fifteen minutes ahead of us and actually found a very late Spotted Flycatcher which even chased off a Kingfisher.  A Kestrel overhead as we left and also managed to find both Chaffinch and Zitting Cisticola as we drove slowly down "Turtle Dove Alley" to make our way home.  Great morning in great company.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, White Stork, Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Crag Martin, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, House Sparrow, Red Avadavat, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch.

Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinerea keeping an eye on the White Stork (see above)

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