Whilst I am away in Tenerife enjoying the sun, wind and snow on Mount Teide, John and Jenny Wainwright have been keeping the "Home birding front" alive and well as can be seen from John's report of their visit to Motril and the Charca de Suarez last Sunday.
Charca de Suarez 28th February
A very cold start with biting winds, though sunshine later.
We started off from gloomy Salar and headed what was forecast to be a sunny day in Salobreña, heading into Granada, it seemed that they had had a good helping of snow, this was apparent even as close as 15km from Salobreña.
Parking at the reserve we headed in an anti-clockwise direction; on entering the Lirio hide, the wind was blowing directly in here, we spotted two Red-knobbed Coots (collared) as was a Wigeon, a Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Little Grebes, Mallard and lots of Chiffchaffs. Moving on to the first Trebol lagoon hides we found Blue-headed Wagtail, Barn Swallows, House Martins, more Red-knobbed Coots (two collared, one without),Cetti´s Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Little Grebes and a Tree Frog. As we left this hide we put up a Kingfisher from out of the stream area, also another Blue-headed Wagtail, while above us a Cormorant, several Black-headed Gulls and a Common Kestrel were seen. At the second hide overlooking the Trebol lagoon a White Wagtail and Moorhen were the only extras from that lagoon.
On now to the main hide at the Aneas lagoon, here Grey Herons were in good numbers lining the banks as well as Cormorants, also about here we saw Little Egret, Purple Swamphen, Mallard, Teal, Shovelers, Pochard, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls. Sand Martins, House Martins and Barn Swallows were present, but no sign of Red-rumped Swallow here today.
The newish Caña de Azucar hide was reed bound and visibility - especially with this strong wind - was zero, so we moved on to the new hide - Anada Real, which overlooks the other end of the Taraje lagoon - here another wash-out - except for two Chiffchaffs.
Across the track to the Alamo Blanco lagoon - here again the wind was directly in our faces - but we did see Teal, Moorhens, Goldfinches and Black-headed Gulls.
Following the track back towards the entrance we headed for the cane hide that overlooks the other part of the Taraje lagoon, again nothing that we had not already logged. A Stonechat gave us another day-tick as we headed out of the reserve and across the road to the beach.
It really was a job keeping ones feet as we approached the small outflow, where we spotted Little Egret, White Wagtail, Black Redstart and more Chiffchaffs. A small watery scape gave us Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers and Meadow Pipits, while a sea watch produced an adult Gannet, a large flock of Shearwaters (couldn´t ID them, although I believe them to be Yelkouan), and as we turned to leave the beach a first winter Sandwich Tern flew over and round us.
On our way back down the A92 Jenny spotted a first winter Golden Eagle and then a perched Buzzard, as we approached Salar, Crag Martins, Azure-winged and Common Magpies were noted.
The weather certainly kept the passerines down in Suarez today, still the exercise done us good!!!
Looks like John and Jenny saw more birds in one day that we have in the whole week!
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