Saturday 2 January
Here we are at the start of a new year and the first birding walk takes me once again up the nearby Rio Algarrobo. The sun may have been shining in a clear blue sky but the strong, cold wind certainly took the temperature down to around 6, or maybe, 7C. And all very quiet. A couple of Monk Parakeets as I entered the trail and a few Collared Doves but nothing else until I found the trio of Spotless Starlings in the large, bare tree opposite the enclosed barbecue area. Apart from the occasional Collared Dove, my next species was a single Linnet on the opposite bank near the football ground and I was through the motorway underpass before finding a dozen House Sparrows near the "Experimental Station" entrance. Where were all the birds?
|Linnet Pardillo Comun Carduelis cannabina|
Over the hidden reservoir a few Crag Martins and Lesser Black-backed Gulls before I noticed the Hoopoe alight on a wall on my far left. The grassy enclosure at the far end of the reservoir produced Serin, Stonechat and Black Redstart before I found a second Hoopoe near the dry riverbed. About to turn and start back when I saw a Blackbird dash for cover in a low bush and then the sight of a single Cattle Egret wandering along the far side up against a low, white wall.
Making my way back, a second stop at the grassy field produced another Black Redstart, more Serin and Stonechat along with a couple of Goldfinch. The bare tree now had three Common Starlings resting at the top and just before the motorway a couple more Linnet. Once thought the underpass I looked down to my right to find a Stonechat and male Sardinian Warbler sharing the same small, bare shrub whilst, above me, the movement of about a score of Spotless Starlings.
|Cattle Egret Garcilla Bueyera Bubulcus ibis|
The downstream walk with its detour past the sewage works produced more Black Redstarts and Serin and then six more Cattle Egrets. It was inside the sewage works that I was to see my only White Wagtail of the morning and, looking up, a quartet of Black-headed Gulls were making their leisurely way south towards the sea. Finally, as I approached the end of my walk, at last a couple of Chiffchaffs which, in the past few months, have been very common - but not so this morning.
Cattle Egret, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Back-backed Gull, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet.