Tuesday 30 July 2013

Embalse Bermejales with John and Jenny Wainwright

First it was up the mountain and now John and Jenny have been to one of our larger reservoirs near the Granada/Malaga provincial border.  All the photos were taken by John including one of an abandoned egg that they came across.  It appears to be House Sparrow size and shape but, perhaps, too regular a pattern and blue rather than cream.  Can any reader identify the egg so that I can post the result; could it be a pipit's or even a wagtail's egg?

Can you identify this egg?

Bermejales  29th July 2013

A hot day with a slight breeze coming off of the water.

We decided to take a picnic down to our nearest embalse just outside of Alhama de Granada and arrived there about 11am  -  after coffee break, of course.  En-route seeing a Buzzard, Magpies, Common Swifts, House Martins, Barn Swallows, Hoopoes, a single Crag Martin and House Sparrows.

The place was deserted except for an ayuntamiento worker perusing the embalse with a ´scope.  Here we saw more of the latter hirundines, a Common Sandpiper searched the waters edge for insects, a few White Wagtails, several flocks of House Sparrows and Long-tailed Tits.

Spotted Flycatcher  Papamosas Gris  Muscicapa striata
I went for a walk alongside the embalse and then up through the belt of pines - this area is very quiet and I have never seen anyone else here, anyhow, I did see Short-toed Treecreepers, Coal Tits, Great Tits, five Spotted Flycatchers, Crossbills, Serins, Wood Pigeons (by the dozens), Collared Doves, Goldfinches, Sardinian Warblers, Crested Larks, Blackbirds and Magpies.  I heard Wryneck, Hoopoes and Greenfinches.  I also found an egg lying on the ground under a tree, no visible sign of a nest and the egg was still whole, anyone ID it please?  It was about 35-40mm in length and very light blue with brown speckles (as per photo).

While I was away Jenny had seen a Grey Heron. The masses had turned up for swimming etc., so we moved round to another part of the embalse where very few people get due to the poor access to the water.   Here, Jenny had a snooze while I went on another walk.  More Spotted Flycatchers, House Martins, Blackcaps and a Common Coot - first I have seen here - was in the reeds.

Black-tailed Skimmer  Orthetrum cancellatum
All around were hundreds of dragonflies most of them were the vivid Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) with a few Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and two Black-tailed Skimmers (Orthetrum cancellatum).  Other butterflies were notably Scarce Swallowtails (more common than the Common, I find), Large Whites, Brown Argus and a few Mallow Skippers, also a very pretty Green Lacewing (Chrysopa pallens).

Green Lacewing  Chrysopa pallens
Not a terrific birding total - but the wife says the exercise is good for me !!

 All photos by and courtesy of John Wainwright

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