Sunday 22 September 2013

Bermejales with John and Jenny Wainwright

Whilst Jenny and I were driving down to the deep south to take in the raptor observation points between Algeciras and Tarifa followed by a short stop at the Los Lances beach and a quick drive round La Janda before lodging in Barbate overnight, John and Jenny Wainwright were off birding to the Emblase Bermejales.  This is a large water that I always seem to find devoid of many birds but, obviously, judging from the following and previous reports to this site from John, I have been looking in the wrong place.  perhaps too much concentration on the water rather than the surrounding land.  I must speak to John and Jenny about remedying this situation.  Here follows John's report.

Bermejales 20th September
Cormorant Cormoran Grande Phalacrocorax carbo (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Cool for a start, then very hot & muggy.  We thought we would take our lunch out today so headed for the Embalse Bermejales.  We took the A92 then off at Morelada.  The journey was quite uneventful until we got to Buenavista then we saw a few Southern Grey Shrikes, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves, Spotless Starlings, Magpies and a Bonelli´s Eagle.

Short-toed Treecreeper  Agateador Comun Certhia brachydactyla (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
After getting Jenny settling in her chair I went on my walk, firstly seeing several Cormorants perched in their individual bare trees, a Grey Heron was heard but not seen, and two small flights of Crossbills passed overhead.  White Wagtails were feeding on the edge of the embalse as were a few Crested Larks.  As I approached the point a huge flock of Spotless Starlings and Wood Pigeons lifted off.

Common Sandpiper Andarrios Chico Actitis hypoleucos (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Crossing the road and heading up in the direction of the road bridge a group of at least seven Short-toed Treecreepers were flitting from tree to tree to my front also about here were Great Tits, Coal Tits, Magpies, and a Firecrest was spotted.  In the open areas here I saw Spotted and Pied Flycatchers - one male of the latter the rest females.  The odd Blackbird was noted as were House Sparrows.

Back to the car and a piece of cake before continuing in the direction of the dam, not before watching a Common Sandpiper coming into feed directly to our front.  On the next walk a family of Long-tailed Tits were about and I disturbed a lone Collared Dove that was feeding in the grasses.  A Grey Wagtail was seen in this area as well as Linnets, Great Tits, Goldfinches and more Crossbills.


About 3pm we packed up and drove down the rough road to the Cacin/Turro lake. En route we saw a Booted Eagle being mobbed by a Common Kestrel, a Sardinian Warbler and our first hirundines in the shape of House Martins.  At the lake we found another Common Kestrel perched on the pylons and in the fields below Magpies were feeding.  On the thistles just in front of the lake we found a male Stonechat and two female Whinchats.
Stonecat Tarabilla Comun Saxicola torquatus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
On the lake three Teal were seen as well as Mallard, Little Grebes, Shovelers, then a Red-rumped Swallow flew across our front and looking around we found - on the power lines - a huge mass of hirundines including Barn and Red-rumped Swallows and House Martins, a good proportion of these birds were juveniles. I kept hearing Bee-eaters but couldn´t locate them.

Down this track we saw countless Egyptian Grasshoppers, three Common Swallowtails, several Large Whites, Striped Graylings, Cardinals and Common Blues.

Another great report John with lots of fabulous birds recorded.  Look forward to meeting up soon and perhaps joining you at the Embalse Bermejales where I have not been birding for, probably, a couple of years now. 

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

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