Thursday, 14 February 2019

Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa

Wednesday 13 February

Looks like another good birding day for Dave and his Arboleas Birding Group as can be seen by the following report.



Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa:Wednesday 13th February

Today was bright and sunny, but a tad chilly to start with.  I drove down to the Rambla de Almanzora in Richard's car with him sitting beside me.  We checked what was around from the road bridge to the ford.  We saw Magpie, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, and Moorhen.  At the ford pool we added a Snipe and a female Shoveler. 

Snipe Gallinago gallinago (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We also saw Black Redstart, Woodpigeon, White Wagtail and Black-headed Gull.  We were joined by Charlie and then John and Alan who'd seen a Booted Eagle and Crag Martins near the Consum supermarket.  Next to arrive was Trevor together with daughter, Karen and son-in-law, Mark, the latter two being novices.  As we were about to commence the walk towards the sewage works we spotted Stonechat, Mallard, Great Tit, Carrion Crow and Hoopoe.  As we made our way along the rambla embankment a couple of Green Sandpipers flew up the channel, but the star bird was a female Sparrowhawk.  A Grey Heron took to the air.  On the large pool we had Common Pochard, Mallard and Teal.  On the opposite embankment Richard spotted the now regular female Blue Rock Thrush.  He also saw a Robin.  We were joined by Val as we were turning round to head for the vehicles.

Female Blue Rock Thrush Monticoloa solittarius  (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We added a Blackbird on our way to Villaricos village for a coffee.  John and Alan checked out the beach nearby and saw a Turnstone and Thekla Lark.  We all made our way to the harbour beach. There was nothing on the rocky islands as waves were splashing over the top.  I spotted a couple of Gannets out to sea and John found a Black-necked Grebe at the harbour entrance.  Karen the spied a Greenfinch on a nearby shrub.

Dunlin Calidris alpina (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We walked over to the estuary where the usual suspects were in evidence.  Cormorant, Coot, Moorhen and Grey Heron.  We made our way round to the beach.  About a dozen Dunlin were feeding on the shoreline.  Alan found a Sanderling on a rock and I found a single Audouin's Gull swimming on the lake.  John checked out the rocky outcrop and found the Whimbrel as it flew off. There was a small mixed group of Sandwich Terns and Audouin's Gull, two of which had visible rings, the details of which I'll send off.  Val found a Turnstone and Kentish Plover whilst John got a Kingfisher perched on a rock.  The final bird was a Grey Plover found by me.

Auduoin's Gulls Larus audouinii with Sandwich Terns at back Sterna sandvicensis (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We moved on to the dual carriageway opposite the Consum supermarket at the back of Vera Playa. The usual wildfowl were there.  Shoveler, Mallard and Teal, but Shelduck were also seen as they took to the air as a Marsh Harrier quartered over.  John pointed out one of many Mediterranean Gulls amongst the Black-headed ones.  Also seen were Black-winged Stilt and Little Grebe.  Over the far side John found a Black-tailed Godwit whilst Alan added Redshank, Common Sandpiper and Little Stint.  Also seen was a Jackdaw.  We made our way to the raised concrete platform near the Agua Park.  We only added some White-headed Ducks.  We also heard Cetti's Warbler.

Common Pochard Aythya ferina (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
A lovely days birding in good company. 55 species in all.
Regards, Dave

About a quarter of the gull flock (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

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