Saturday 16 March 2013

The weather is obviously picking up with many of us getting in some valuable birding before the next wet period descends upon us.  Foe John and Jenny Wainwright it was once more to one of their favourite sites, the Embalse de Bermejales as can be seen from the following report.

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris (Jenny)
Embalse de Bermejales: 15th March 2013

A beautiful sunny day with very little wind.

As we had only got back from the coast yesterday (Thursday) and having very little birding time there due to commitments, although we did get our first of the year Pallid and Common Swifts, we decided - as it was such a nice day - to take a picnic to the Embalse de Bermejales.  On the way there we saw Common Kestrel, Chaffinches, Spotless Starlings, Collared Doves, Common Magpies and White Wagtails
Siskin Lugano Carduelis spinus (John)
We parked in our normal spot and our friendly White Wagtail was around the car in seconds.  I went for my walk in the direction of the campsite and as I set off I put up a Little Ringed Plover from the waters edge.  Lots of Common Magpies about today as well as Crossbills, two Hoopoes, Goldfinches and Crested Larks.At the small promontory I heard first then located a male Cirl Bunting, then a couple of Greenfinches, a lone Long-tailed Tit and a good number of Serins.

I crossed the road and walked alongside the small stream, up the hill - which was running well today - and here I found another Cirl Bunting and three Mistle ThrushesWood Pigeons clattered out of the trees here, which in turn caused the Blackbirds to shriek their alarm calls of my approach. This didn´t seem to worry the family of Great Tits or the Robin that was feeding under an almond tree. Above me a few House Martins were about and two Barn Swallows were noted.  A Short-toed Treecreeper was heard but not seen and I then caught a quick glimpse of a Black Redstart

Coal Tit  Carbonero Garrapinos  Parus ater  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

I returned to the car where Jenny was busy photographing a pair of dark phase Red Squirrel as well as a Coal Tit, so I left her to it and headed in the direction of the dam.  As I walked through the trees I found Chaffinches, Chiffchaffs and Coal Tits, while along the waters edge I saw White Wagtails, Linnets, Serins and a few more Blackbirds.  At the Ayunemiento building I found a solitary Siskin, a Mistle Thrush, another Cirl Bunting and yet more Coal Tits.  While I was photographing the latter Jenny came through the walkie-talkie to say she had seen two Firecrests and, on my return, she had also seen a Common Sandpiper, Coal Tits, Robin, Song Thrush and Cormorant.
Bonelli's Eagle Aguila-azor Perdicera Hieraaetus fasciatus (John)
We then headed for the Cacin Gorge where we located the nest site of the Bonelli´s Eagle - one of the birds was sitting and the other flew in with food about five minutes after we arrived.  In the area we also saw Crag Martins, Blackcap, Jackdaws, Chough, a Sparrowhawk, Robin, Chaffinches, Chiffchaffs and a few more Barn Swallows.

On then to the lake at the dam where we saw on the power lines a Common Buzzard, Wood Pigeons, Common Magpies and Stonechats.  On the water were Pochard, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Coots, a Moorhen, a Grey Heron and some White Wagtails in amongst the waterlogged bushes.

As we were leaving the village of El Turro another Bonelli´s Eagle was seen - this is probably one of the pair from the gorge as it is only a stones throw away.  As we entered our own village of Salar we spotted a Short-toed Eagle - perched on a pylon just past the petrol station... nice finish to a lovely days birding !!!
Short-toed Eagle  Culebrera Europea  Circaetus gallicus  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Great report John with lots of great birds seen.  Lucky you to have Bonelli's and Short-toed eagles in addition to the Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.   Sham a Golden Eagle didn't also drop in whilst you were in the Cacin Valley!


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