Sunday 26 January 2014

Charca de Suarez, Motril

Sunday 26 January

left a very windy Malaga yesterday afternoon for a rocky flight where the toilet and moving around was off-limits more than it was on to arrive in a very wet East Midlands Airport.  Collected the rental car and greeted with the promise of heavy rain from tomorrow (it is now pouring down as we get ready to drive up to Sheffield to visit youngest son) and cold weather and snow arriving by Tuesday, even on low-lying ground.  As if that was not enough, I now hear from both Mick Richardson and John Wainwright that everybody seems to have been up at the Chatrca de Suarez yesterday and enjoying good views of not one but three Moustached Warblers!  I must pop over to Rutland Water on Wednesday morning to check if the Long-tailed Duck and two species of Divers are still about.

John's report of yesterday's visit follows including all photos taken by himself.

Charca de Suarez  25th January 2014

A very bright and warm day though very windy on drive down.

We arrived at 9am to find the gates open so we parked inside the reserve, this we found out is a cardinal sin and I was politely repremanded later on in the day.  We were greeted by a very raucous Cetti´s Warbler, followed by a flock of Serins and two Great Tits.  Lots of Chiffchaffs
on the path and in the bushes as we made our way in the reverse order of hides to try for the Moustached Warbler - as told by Bob Wright.  At the Laguna del Lirio we found Common Coot, Little Grebe, Blackbird, Gadwall and Mallard.  Along the track we saw a Cattle Egret, a pair of Blackcaps, Collared Doves, Spotless Starlings, Serins, several Crag Martins and one House Martin.  Just as we came to the workmen's hut on the right a Kingfisher flashed across the path.

Moustached Warbler Acrocephalis melanopogon  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
At the next hide we met up with Mick Richards and it was here we located a Moustached Warbler along with Common Chiffchaffs, White Wagtails, Stonechats, at least three Purple Swamphens, three Crested Coots (all nicely collared for us) , a male Teal, Moorhens, Great Tits, Cetti´s Warblers, Grey Heron and Cormorants.   Lots of Tree Frogs sounding off as we headed for the next hide - but we could not locate one of them.  Still, at the hide we saw Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls, Shovelers, Cormorants, Gery Herons, Mallard, Pochards, Black-winged Stilts, Coots and Moorhens, Purple Swamphens, Black-necked and Little Grebes, Common Kestrels and lots more Crag Martins.

Yellow-legged Gull  Larus cachinnans  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
At the last small bamboo screen we met up with Mick again and here we found another two Moustached Warblers - they were calling at times.  Also here a male Red-crested Pochard, Coots, Chiffchaffs by the score - with at least one singing, Little Grebes and another Purple Swamphen.  It was here I was "told off" about my vehicle, and as it was 1pm,  we left the reserve and headed for Padul.

At Padul the wind was really sweeping across the waters here and consequently the birding was very poor for the first hour, then the wind dropped and out came the birds.  Here we saw Crested Larks, a small flock of Spanish Sparrows, a lone Tree Sparrow, House Sparrows, Meadow Pipits, Corn Bunting, two male Common Kestrels, Mallard, Cormorant, Moorhen and an early - very skittish - Whinchat.  At the boardwalk we saw more Meadow Pipits, Stonechats, four Water Pipits,a single male Bluethroat and two Water Rails.

Stonechat   saxicola torquata (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
On the way home at km218 on the A92, a Black-winged Kite was seen on top of a telegraph pole and along further, a small group of Jackdaws and  some Wood Pigeons.

Speckled Wood Butterfly  Pararge aegeria  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Great report John and what a fabulous selection of birds.  And he even managed to pick up a Speckled Wood butterfly.  Always when I am not there!


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

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