Sierra de Maria - Wednesday 2nd May 2018
After last evenings rain...and snow in the Sierra de Maria, this morning the sun was out, but with a chilly wind. I picked up two new members, Paul & Reyna, from outside Corivan in Arboleas and made our way to Maria town. On the way we saw an Iberian Green Woodpecker and a Woodchat Shrike. We watched the House Martins beginning to nest under the garage canopy as we swigged coffee in the cafe. We were joined by Adrian, Steve, John & Les and then made our way to the chapel area. As Paul has an injured leg and is on crutches I drove to the fuente as the others walked over from the car park. Les had seen a Rock Bunting as well as Chaffinch. I spotted some distant Griffon Vultures around and to the east of the telephone masts. Great Tits were in the taller trees. I drove Paul up to the Botanical Gardens whilst the others walked. They had good views of a pair of Booted Eagle, which Paul & I saw from a distance. Les spotted a Mistle Thrush. We heard a European Cuckoo. Leaving Les, Adrian & Paul in the garden the rest of us did the lower walk. We saw Blue & Coal Tit and young Crossbill with their father. Les & co had also seen Crested & Long Tailed Tit. On the journey down the group had good views of a pair of Stonechat, the male in particular showed well. I spotted a Subalpine Warbler beneath it in the shrub.
Moving on to the farm buildings, we saw Hoopoe, Rock Sparrow and both Barn & Red Rumped Swallows. Also seen were Serin, Greenfinch & Goldfinch. Next we stopped at the farm water trough where we saw more Rock Sparrow, Crested Lark, Linnet and a pair of Turtle Dove. I spotted a Northern Wheatear on the ridge. A Red Billed Chough showed briefly atop one of the barns.
I then lead the convoy along the plain. We saw more Northern Wheatear & a Hoopoe. Les, John & Mary spotted a Calandra Lark. At the hamlet we counted only three Lesser Kestrels. Heading back I spotted the Calandra Lark singing from a rock perch. A lifer for Paul.
As we ate our lunch at La Piza forest cafe, we watched Crested, Long Tailed, Blue, Great & Coal Tits feeding on the nuts. Chaffinch & Crossbill were seen as was a Jay & a Short Toed Treecreeper. It was also nice to see Sue Ruder there. Long time no see! We ended up with 37 species. Lovely weather & company! Regards, Dave
Long Tailed Tit
Long Tailed Tit
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