Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Roquetas de Mar with the Arboleas Birding Group

 Wednesday 30 March

Dave an his Arboleas Birding Group seem to be certainly finding lots of summer visitors.  Great to read about returning Collared Pratincoles, Woodchat Shrike and Spectacled Warbler, never mind Mandarin and marbled Ducks.  Only a month to go and Roquetas de Mar is also my "to visit" agenda; just hope the track will have dried out sufficiently to enable my Citroen 4 x 2 to make the most of the site.

Roquetas   -   Wednesday 30th March

I had to do an airport run to Almeria to pick up Paul and Kath, the former being one of our visiting birders. They had a solicitors appointment at lunchtime so we had two hours free to check out the Roquetas pools and savannah.  We drove onto the very bumpy and wet track just past the large lake. I saw something fly across from right to left.  It perched on a bush.  My first Woodchat Shrike of the year.  
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

Moving on, not more than 50 metres, I heard the sound of Bee Eaters.  About half a dozen flew over the truck.  Further on, on the pools to the right there were numerous Red-crested Pochard and Coot.  There were a few Greater Flamingos and Black-headed Gulls.  Some Yellow-legged Gulls flew over.  I then had a brief glimpse of a pair of Marbled Duck coming into land before they disappeared below the shrub line.  A flurry of flying birds was caused by a passing Marsh Harrier.  Carrying on we were delighted to see a pair of flying Collared Pratincoles.  On a pool to our left I found a pair of Ruff and a Mallard.  On a sandbar we added Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt and Dunlin.  Also seen were Thekla Lark and Shoveler.  Turning right down the track to the old pump house we disturbed a Chiffchaff.  The water was quite high at the bottom, but we did see Little Egret, Redshank, Greenshank and Gadwall.  On the water there were at least three Great Crested Grebes.  Cormorants were resting on the rocky causeways.  Beside some Yellow-legged Gulls I spotted a couple of Whimbrel.

Ruff Philomacus pugnax (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We headed back, retracing our steps.  A Magpie flew over.  Paul spotted something on a bush.  A Spectacled Warbler!  He spotted something else.  I got out to have a look and found a male Northern Wheatear.  A Hoopoe flew over.  Paul spotted a Turnstone.  A squadron of Glossy Ibis was seen.  We saw a few Iberian Yellow Wagtails and Common Swifts.  As we approached the turning into the little "Red Knobbed Coot" pool as it's called, we were approached by a Spanish bird photographer.  He showed us a photo of a male Mandarin Duck in all his glory.  Apparently it was on the pool.  We scurried round but he eluded us.  But we did see a Marbled Duck, which, when I put the photo on my computer, was amazed to see it had a satellite tracker on it. 

Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

That completed our hour and 40 minute birdwatch.  We saw 34 species.  Be advised the track at the moment is only for 4x4 vehicles. Thanks to Kathy for being the secretary.
Regards, Dave

Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

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

No comments:

Post a Comment