Saturday, 26 April 2014

Bermejales and Salar areas with John and Jenny

According to John Wainwright it was "St Marcos Day" when he and Jenny took the car out for a round trip around the salar and Bermejales area, the hope being that they might avoid the masses making the most of the day out in the nearby campo.  It looks as if they made the right decision and I especially noted that they managed to trecord their first Quail of the year.

Embalse Bermejales and areas around Salar:  24 April

A warmish day but some strong breezes off the embalse.

The drive down to the embalse was fairly uneventful with just two Buzzards, Sardinian Warblers, Spotless Starlings and several Common Magpies seen.  As we passed over the dam at the embalse three White Wagtails flew of of the walls and Serins were heard as we pulled up for coffee.

Parking up at the embalse the local White Wagtail attack the car mirror and as we walked away from the car in the direction of the camp site we heard then saw a Red Squirrel .  As we neared the end of the copse a Common Sandpiper flew away from the shore line, back in the direction of the car.

Greenfinches, Coal Tits, and Great Tits were seen before we got to the small promontory, where we saw Sardinian Warblers, Long-tailed Tits, Serins, Mistle Thrushes and a Cuckoo was heard calling across the other side of the embalse.  A Yellow Wagtail was spotted heading towards the point and as we approached the point and a Green Sandpiper flew away (this is our first record of the latter being seen here), lots of Linnets about and Crossbills were heard over the trees but we never actually saw them today.

Woodchat Shrike Alcaudon Comun Lanius senator  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Across the main road and we put out a number of Wood Pigeons from the trees - as we passed under them - and a Collared Dove.  Blackbirds, Mistle Thrushes and another Red Squirrel were also seen here.   As we headed back to the car three Common Swifts and several Bee-eaters were spotted.

Down to the Cacin Gorge where we picked up our first Quail of the season.  Lots of Jackdaws in and over the gorge, another Cuckoo, Rock Sparrows, Common Kestrel, Cirl Bunting, Zitting Cisticola, Azure-winged Magpies, Serins, Sardinian Warblers, Barn Swallows, Bee-eaters, Great Tits and a couple of Blackcaps.

Cirl Bunting Escribano Soteno Emberiza cirlus  (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Moving on and across country to Salar we found two Little Owls, Green Woodpecker, Stonechats, Hoopoes, Crested Larks, Common Kestrels, and the now obligatory Corn Bunting.

Our first of the day House Martins and more Barn Swallows were noted and a pair of Booted Eagles sailed overhead followed by a Lesser Kestrel.  In the fields two Short-toed Larks were found and a small number of Calandra Larks, while in the hedgerows House Sparrows, Woodchat Shrikes, Chaffinches and Linnets were logged .

Booted Eagle Aguililla Calzada Hieraaetus pennatus  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
While we were having a cup of tea a male Subalpine Warbler surprised me by popping out of a bush but disappearing before I could get my camera out of my pocket.  More Jackdaws and Wood Pigeons and another Green Woodpecker was heard from across the fields.  While we were here I started lifting a few rocks and we came across two huge Megarian Banded Centipedes (Scolopendra Cingulata) the largest being just short of 10centimeters - dangerous little critters these are.  Lots of butterflies about today but only photographs of the Scarce Swallowtail were taken.

Megarian Banded Centipedes Scolopendra Cingulata (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Scarce Swallowtail butterfly Iphiclides podalirius (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
On the way home we saw two Southern Grey Shrikes, Lesser Kestrel, more Bee-eaters and Jackdaws.

Not a huge count but a very enjoyable drive round.

It certainly sounds better than joining the campo masses to celebrate San Marco -even if you missed out on the, presumably, free wine!

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

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