Whilst I was making my way east towards Cabo de Gata to take in those peculiar birding sites at Las Norias and Roquetas de Mar (see next blog), John and Jenny Wanwright had already arrived and made an early tour of the site to see what was about. Fortunately, they managed to make a good start before the strong winds set in for the afternoon.
Cabo de Gata: Friday 15th February
A bright, warm day with a blustery wind now and then.
We arrived at the Hotel Blanco Brisa at about 11.00am, we had called in at the no1 hide just down from here and found Slender-billed Gulls, Little Egret, Greater Flamingos, Black Godwits and as we left for the lighthouse area a Common Kestrel was logged.
As we approached the lighthouse we turned up towards the Aula del Mar, where we found three Trumpeter Finches sitting on the wall just below the transmitter station aerials. Also about were House Sparrows, Black and Northern Wheatears, Goldfinches, Sardinian Warblers, small flocks of Meadow Pipits, two Thekla Larks, a solitary Common Chiffchaff, Spotless Starlings and several Yellow-legged Gulls. As we headed back down the road another Trumpeter Finch was spotted as were a few Blackbirds.
At the bottom of the hill we turned off onto the back track which runs (more or less) parallel to the main road back to Cabo de Gata. The wind had picked up by now and the small passerines were nowhere to be seen (or heard). At the hide we spotted at least a two hundred Avocets and a large number of Greater Flamingos, seven Shelduck were noted as well as Auduoin's Gulls, Redshanks, Dunlins, Little Stints, a White Wagtail and two Kentish Plovers. Two Sand Martins were gratefully logged here and further down the track a small flock of Crag Martins. As we headed across country to the BP station to fill-up, Greenfinches, Spotless Starlings, Collared Doves and another Sardinian Warbler were added to the list. We then headed for the camp site area track that headed for the beach and on the estuary we spotted five Wigeon (four males and one female), Shovelers, Mallard, three White-headed Ducks, a Common Coot and a single Barn Swallow. Out on the sea an adult Gannet and several Yellow-legged Gulls were noted.
Back to the hotel for Menu del Dia; not a bad first day.
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