Saturday, 5 April 2014

Around Zafarraya with John and Jenny Wainwright

Italian Man Orchid  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Saturday 5 April

No sooner had John emailed me with his and Jenny's latest birding report than he was on the phone to let me know that a flock of forty Bee-eaters had just past over his head in his home town of Salar, his first sightings of the year.  Whilst I am yet to record either Bee-eater or Woodchat Shrike, less than an hour later whilst on the phone looking out of the studio window I had my first swift of the year as a Pallid Swift moved rapidly by less then twenty metres away.

Now for John's report:

Pink Butterfly Orchid (JW)

A round trip to Zafarraya, etc: 4th April

A sunny day but a blustery wind everywhere we went.

We went back today to photograph the Italian Man Orchid that we had found yesterday, as the light was so bright it bleached everything out.   Then from there we drove round to Zafaraya to our orchid area, here we found Fan-lipped, Toothed, Sombre Bee and Giant Orchids plus Yellow Ophrys.

Also on the trip we found Common Cuckoo at Zafarraya as well as Azure-winged Magpies, Stonechats, Serins, Linnets, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Blue Tits, Green Woodpecker and Little Ringed Plover at the sewage site along with Greenfinches and GoldfinchesCollared Doves, Spotless Starlings, House Sparrows, Crested Larks were seen on the way to the tunnel and at the tunnel Chough, Barn Swallows, Rock Bunting, Black Wheatears, Blue Rock Thrushes, Wrens, Wood Pigeons and a Short-toed Eagle

Not all grass and rocks as shown by the feeding Greenfinch Carduelis chloris and Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

As we came close to home two pairs of Montagu´s Harriers were spotted over the olive groves.

Male Montagu's Harrier  Circus pygargus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

It may have been a relatively short trip John but you certainly seem to have pcked in a good selection of birds as well as your orchids.  All promises well for Jenny and I tomorrow when we join Mick Richardson on the first of his three "Orchid Walks in Granada Provence." 

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

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