Wednesday 18 December 2013

Bermejales with John and Jenny Wainwright

Thursday 18 December

Immature Golden Eagle Aguila Real Aquila chrysaetos
Freshly back from our short cruise from Malaga taking in Barcelona, Casablanca (and, yes, we did go to "Rick's CafĂ©" and have a drink and, no, we did not always have Paris and Sam was not at the empty piano), Madeira and Lanzarote before returning yesterday morning to Malaga.  What did we see in birding terms?  Not a lot really once you discount the hordes of Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls at most ports along with resident House Sparrows, Spotless Starlings and Feral Pigeons.  We did record Kestrel, Zitting Cisticola and lots of Blackbirds and even had a good view of an adult Gannet at sea and a possible Great Skua but very little else.  On the other hand, the good news was that I managed to get within a metre of an immature Golden Eagle!  The bad news, in birding terms, was the individual was sitting on its handler's arm at the Madeira Christmas market!!  However, it does mean that I now have a close up of the bird.

So back home to see what has been happening in our absence; no rain that was for sure.  But then an email from John Wainwright cheered me up with all the birds that I could once again look forward to seeing - hopefully starting tomorrow at the Axarquia Bird Group's visit to Fuente de Piedra.

Bermejales  17th December 2013

A bright day but warm, clouding over fast in the afternoon.

Needing some exercise and bored of the doing my crossword puzzles, I thought a picnic at the nearby Embalse Bermejales (close to Alhama de Granada) wouldn´t be too strenuous.
As we were leaving our village a Buzzard was seen atop one of the pylons close to the petrol station, also in this area were Azure-winged Magpies, Crested Larks, Collared Doves, Spotless Starlings and House Sparrows.

Meadow Pipits Bisbita Pratense Anthus pratensis (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

The road to the embalse via Morelada gained us a Lesser Kestrel, Common Magpies, a Southern Grey Shrike, Jackdaws and a few Corn Buntings.
After parking up a small walk was had along the embalse water line, where I put up Serins, White Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and three Mistle Thrushes.
Further along where a strip of land juts into the embalse I watched a flock of Goldfinches and Greenfinches bathing at the edge of the water accompanied by the plentiful White Wagtails. In the small firs here I saw five Sardinian Warblers, two Robins, a Blackbird, several Woodpigeons, Great Tits and a small flock of Crossbills passed noisily overhead.

Dark-phase Red Squirrel (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Joining Jenny back at the car, where she was busy photographing a distant dark-phase Red Squirrel, she had seen Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Chiffchaff in the small orange coloured bushes lining the waters edge opposite her. also in this area we saw Black Redstarts, Blue Tit and a Great Tit.
Whilst we were having a cup of tea a Kingfisher flew into a bare bush at the waters edge, but disappeared as fast without a photo being taken.
A flash of white across the water and a Common Sandpiper came to rest on a branch just off shore some hundred metres away.


Mistle Thrush  Zorzal Charlo Turdus viscivorus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

We then decided to go back the Cacin valley route. Lots more Mistle Thrushes, Sardinian Warblers, Serins, Long-tailed Tits and more Goldfinches, were seen in the hedgerows and we had great views of a Bonelli´s Eagle as it came out of the gorge and disappeared amid the olive groves. At the Roman bridge a Blue Rock Thrush was spotted as were Chaffinches and a male Blackcap.

At the dam the waters were exceptionally high and all we found were Shovelers, Mallard, Common Coots and more White Wagtails.

Back at Morelada as we joined the A92 autovia, on the small laguna we saw Little Egrets and in the fields to the front were a few Lapwings.  As we pulled off the autovia for Salar and home a Common Kestrel sat on a telegraph pole at the T-junction.

Nothing out of the norm, bar possibly the Bonelli´s Eagle, but a good day in the fresh air all the same.

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

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