Monday, 26 April 2021

Las Campinuelas - Again!

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator

 Sunday 25 April

Bit of "Gilbert and Sullivan" this morning to report that the 'threatened cloud hath passed away' (almost) so although dull and overcast I took myself off to Las Campinuelas for a ninety minute circuit round the site.  By the time I had finished the cloud was beginning to break but the temperature was already in the increase and at approaching 20C the weather was becoming quite humid.

Pallid Swifts above the apartments as I left Algarrobo Costa and entering the Las Campinuelas area via the dry river bed a couple of Lesser black-backed Gulls above me, A Kestrel resting at the very top of a tall pine tree and Blackbirds galore, they were here, there and everywhere.  A single male Serin was posing on a wire fence and passing the sandy banks I could see the many resident, presumably a breeding colony, Bee-eaters.

Bee-eaters Merops apiaster

Walking from my parking spot towards the spring and its overflow pool I quickly encountered Sardinian, Bonelli's and Willow Warbler along with Great TitCollared Doves, Crested Larks and a couple of Hoopoe.  Once above the spring I could see a small number of passing Common Swifts and the nearby House Sparrows.  A Pied Flycatcher came up from below and rested in the base of an old tree and then, by way of curiosity, I made my way upstream before crossing to return towards the road.  It was at this far end that I found my first Woodchat Shrike of the morning and eventually a total of seven individuals plus a few House Martins as I walked back to the road.

Record shot of Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca

The area adjacent to the spring provided a number of Goldfinch and Greenfinch along with a single Meadow Pipit.  A number of active Spotless Starlings were moving around and even a lone raven passed across the road above my head.

Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis

The circuit of the main dehesa was uneventful apart from the continuous supply of Blackbirds, Hoopoes and Woodchat Shrike, along with a noisy dozen Monk Parakeets, until on the furthest side until I came across a female Common Redstart.  Once at the sandy area near the model aircraft runway and scrambling track I started to pick up numerous Crested Larks along with both Stonechat and Corn Bunting.

Juvenile Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

Then it was across the road with lots of Bee-eaters flying around the area and back up the hill to the car.  This last, short walk produced the Barn Swallows of the morning and once back in the car and on the way home the tunnel at the end of the site under the nearby motorway provided me with  couple of Red-rumped Swallows.  Last new bird of the day arriving back in Algarrobo Costa for a coffee and churros was a pair of White Wagtails.

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris

Birds seen:

Kestrel, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Pied Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.

Yet another Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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