Obviously you are enjoying better weather in southern Spain than we are in southern Britain. Following a very wet week the sun finally put in appearance yesterday, but still managed to throw down a light shower, but today has started bright and sunny with clear skies. On the other hand, other than a single male Blackbird in the garden, not a bird to be seen. One more day in this Sceptred Isle, or should it be "sceptic isle." and then off down under in search of Wrybills and anything else that puts in an appearance.
Meanwhile, here is the latest report from our neighbouring Arboleas Bird Group with thanks to Dave and Gilly.
Sierra de Maria - Friday 31st January 2014
Since Matthew & Paul were only going to be holidaying for a short time I offered to take them to the Sierra de Maria on their last full day. We met up near Huercal Overa & I drove them to Maria. The weather forecast was clear & sunny.....wrong! It was overcast with some wind. The higher slopes had a sprinkling of snow on them. After a warming cuppa at the garage cafe we headed towards the plains to do a bit of in car birding till the weather warmed up. We first stopped at the old farm buildings and both Matthew & Paul were delighted to see their first Crossbills, closely followed by Cirl Buntings. We carried on to the trough & water deposit. Here a few Corn Bunting were seen with the many Rock Sparrow & Goldfinch. Also seen was a Linnet. Saw huge flock of 100+ Chaffinch feeding on field. Driving further we saw a Carrion Crow and the first of about 6 Calandra Lark. I spotted a Little Owl on rocks. At the hamlet we only added Crested Lark & a female Black Redstart.
|The entertaining Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus (PHOTO: Dave Elliott-Binns)|
On the way back we stopped off at the La Piza cafe, watching the bird feeder whilst drinking coffee. Great, Blue, Coal & Crested Tits entertained us. A small number of Crossbill were high in the trees.
It was then up to the chapel. Still quite chilly so not much around, just a few Serin. The sun was at last warming things up. We had great views of passing Griffon Vultures. We only added Mistle Thrush, Blackbird & an obliging Robin to the list.
|Robin Erithacus rubecula (PHOTO: Dave Elliott-Binns)|
Back to La Piza for lunch.., this time the Tits were joined by some Jays. We then went to check out the Vulture feeding station near Velez Blanco. As we approached the was a large flock of feeding Jackdaws & Red Billed Chough on the ploughed fields. In the feeding compound there were about 10 Griffons. In all we saw at least another 50 odd in various flights around us.
A good days birding. Paul & Matthew saw at least 6 firsts. 28 species total.