Wednesday 3 March
Funny old sort of day when I started out on my usual walk up the river this morning. Warm and reaching 19C by late morning yet calm and overcast with the sun occasionally giving a hazy appearance. And where were all the birds? Rather like a case of all quiet on the Western Front with few species and birds in general. A Blackbird as soon as I entered the track and quickly followed by both Collared Dove and Monk Parakeet. Lots of Goldfinches around in the area and then off towards the more open area where, in addition to a small flock of Spotless Starlings I also had a single Wood Pigeon on the wires net to a couple of .Collared Doves.
|Female Black Redstart Colirrojo Tizon Phoenicurus ochruros
Making my way up towards the sports hall a male Black Redstart and a few Greenfinches before reaching the favoured spot of the resident House Sparrows. Once under the motorway and at the Experimental Station nothing on the grassy field but the tall tree opposite held a quartet of Common Starlings.
|Common Starling Estornino Pinto Sternus vulgaris
So not all returned north and the same was true of the single Chiffchaff that I found on the return journey. A White Wagtail working the river below which has risen since more overnight rain further up in the mountains but still able to use the large stone in the middle of the river a few metres upstream from the top ford. But apart from more Serin and Black Redstart nothing else to record.
|Serin Verddecillo Serinus serinus
Working my way back to the motorway the gulls were finally in the air with about a score each of Lesser Black-backed and Mediterranean Gulls. Finally a lone Stonechat on the top fence above the hidden reservoir then a quiet and uneventful return journey and the first time since September not a single Cattle Egret at the local sewage works. Another Wood Pigeon, a continuous supply of Blackbirds and a few more Black Redstarts, the last still not ready to return to their mountain breeding range.
|Wood Pigeon Paloma Torcaz Columba palumbus
Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information