Thursday 15 October
Velez de Benaudalla in the late afternoon so able to follow on down to the Charca de Suarez to the west of Motril for ninety minutes on the way home. But first a short stop at the Rio Guadalfeo flow control as I left the village to see what might be taking advantage of the two main pools. The outlet pool held a pair of Mallards and a lone Grey Wagtail whereas the control pool held a trio of both Coot and Moorhen along with a single White Wagtail. Entering "Turtle Dove Alley" I was immediately greeted by a couple of Rock Doves then a small flock of feeding House Sparrows on the seeding Pampas Grass. A Blackbird flew over and almost immediately I was in amongst a large number of waxbill, mainly Common but also a good number of Black-rumped Waxbills. A handful of Goldfinch as I continued on down the lane followed by more Common Waxbill, a few Red Avadavat and a score or more Serin.
|Red-knobbed Coot Focha Moruna Fulica cristata with Shoveler Chuchara Comun Anas clypeata to rear|
Once the gate to the Charca reserve had been unlocked I headed straight for the Laguna del Taraje where I found sixteen Mallard along with a few Moorhen and a single Little Egret. A Cormorant was resting on a pile of reeds to my right and then the appearance of a trio of Gadwall. Moving to the hide at the far end of this water I passed a Pied Flycatcher and once at the hide had a couple of Red-knobbed Coot and a pair of Shoveler.
|Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta|
On to the Laguna del Alamo Blanco sighting another couple of Blackbird where another Little Egret and more Mallards plus a couple of Gadwall and a handful of Teal. A few more Shoveler here plus a couple of juvenile Flamingo with the lone White Stork hidden at the back.
|White Stork Ciguena Blanca Ciconia ciconia|
The main hide overlooking the Laguna de las Aneas was well occupied with bird life. Scores on Common Coot but only a handful of Red-knobbed Coot. Many more Mallard along with a pair of Gadwall and maybe a dozen Shoveler plus an adult and two juvenile Flamingo. Just the one Little Grebe but I also found a single Purple Swamphen away to my right feeding at the water's edge. On this occasion as many as thirty roosting Black-headed Gulls plus a few Grey Herons and a number of Moorhen. But only two Cormorant.
|Adult and juvenile Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinerea|
The Laguna del Trebol had been recently managed to remove much of the floating weed and, in addition to more Red-knobbed Coots at least four Little Grebe. At the back of the water a Mallard rested at the edge of a pile of dead reeds with a sleeping Snipe atop.
|The awakend Snipe Agachadiza Comun Gallinago gallinago|
Continuing on round the reserve to the hide at the opposite end of the water, not only had the reed still to be thinned out but another Little Grebe along with a couple of White Wagtail, Moorhens and Red-knobbed Coots. And as I watched a pair of Pintail dropped in to remain until after I had departed. Meanwhile, a Collared Dove came to rest on a branch right outside the hide.
|Male and female Pintail Anade Rabudo Anas acuta in eclipse plumage|
My final visit to the Laguna del Lirio not only produced more Red-knobbed Coot but a Kingfisher and Cetti's Warbler.
|Red-knobbed Coot Focha Moruna Fulica cristata with Purple Swamphen Calamon Comun Porphyrio porphyrio in reeds|
And so time to wander back home taking, once again, the concrete Turtle Dove Alley direction. Here, at the top (coast) end a large group of feeding Red Avadavats and as I progressed along the road more Common Waxbills and Serin plus a couple of Greenfinch. So ended a very pleasant hour or so in lovely birding weather and a final total of 32 species for my relatively short experience.
|Little Grebe Zampullin Comun Tachybaptus ruficollis|
Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Flamingo, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Common Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Black-rumped Waxbill, Red Avadavat, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
|The minute Tree Frog Hyla meridionalis|