Thursday 3 February 2022

Rambla de Almanzora with the Arboleas Birding Group

Iberian Grey Shrike (David Elliott-Binns)

 Wednesday 2 February

Looks very much as if Dave and his Arboleas Birding Group had a great birding day at the Ramble de Almanzora and Vera Playa with some good sightings in decent weather.  And I have to admit Dave and his groups seem to keep finding birds that I regularly miss, not least the Water Pipit.  I shall just have to keep trying albeit some will have to wait until my return to Spain in late April

Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa: Wednesday 2nd February

Normal service resumed today as I picked up Juda from the Ballabona services and headed towards the Rambla de Almanzora.  We joined at the Desert Springs golf complex end and stopped overlooking the first pool.  Not a lot in there.  Saw a couple of Moorhen and a Robin and a Water Pipit around the waters edge.  We drove slowly down. Juda spotted the first of about twenty Teal.  I then spotted some Snipe with a Wood Sandpiper.  We then had a Lapwing, Redshank and Green Sandpiper.  One White Wagtail was seen as well as a flock of Linnet.  Juda spotted a couple of Black Winged Stilt as 14 Mallard flew over.  I found a Black Redstart and Juda, an Iberian Grey Shrike.  Some Northern Starling were seen.  The ford only had a Mallard and a Coot.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We met up with Peter, Richard, Michael, Karen, Val, and Alan.  Alan saw a Snipe and Richard, a Grey Heron and Greenshank.  As we walked up towards the sewage plant, a number of Chiffchaff were seen. A Collared Dove and Woodpigeon flew over.  Alan heard a Serin before it flew over.  Peter saw a Black Redstart.  At the small pools we saw a pair of Black Winged Stilt and a Common Sandpiper.  The large pool had numerous Mallard swimming and amongst them I discovered some Gadwall.  There were four Grey Herons standing on the far side.  We'd been joined by Trevor and Kevin who added Spotless Starling to the days list.  There were at least 10 Magpies perched on a distant pylon.  On the way back to the vehicles we heard at least two Cetti's Warblers.

A pylon of Magpies Pica pica (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

After a refreshing cup of coffee, kindly paid for by Val to celebrate passing her French citizenship exams, (Well done!) we headed for the beach.  There were three Cormorants on the harbour rocks. A lan has taken over from John as our Gannet spotter.  There was only the one.  There was a 40 strong raft of gulls out to sea.  Alan identified some of them if not all to be Mediterranean Gulls. 

We drove round to the far estuary embankment.  The sun was not in a good place, but Alan identified Dunlin, Little Stint and Ringed Plover. I found a Kentish.  There was a large flock of 200+ what appeared to be more Mediterranean Gulls resting on the beach.  There were a couple of Black Headed Gulls closer to hand.  Kevin, who'd rejoined us after checking out the other side of the estuary, spotted half a dozen Audouin's Gulls on the beach as well.  Richard added a Blackbird.

We then convoyed down to the dual carriageway opposite the Consum supermarket.  As well as Mallard and teal, we saw Shoveler and Shelduck plus some Little Grebe.  Moving beyond the hump we added Black Winged Stilt and Yellow Legged Gull.  Karen was first to see one of the 8 Greater Flamingos. Kevin spotted a Common Pochard and a Stonechat.  I found a flying flock of Greenfinch whilst checking the housing estate behind us for Black Wheatear, (failed!).  We moved round to the smaller pool after saying goodbye to Val.  There were more Common Pochard.  Behind a pair of Shelduck I found a Purple Swamphen.  I counted 31 White Headed Duck.

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio behind a pair of Shelduck Tadorna tadorna (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We then said our goodbyes to the good company of friends.  Juda spotted a Kestrel near Puerto Rey as we headed home.  We saw 50 species today.  The weather was lovely and sunny.
3 Snipe and a Wood Sandpiper (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

Gadwall Anas strepera (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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