Sunday, 17 April 2016

Charca de Suarez, Motril

Little Owl Athene noctua
Sunday 17 April

The sun was shining so I took myself off to the Charca de Suarez in Motril and, upon arriving, discovered that there was not only a strong breeze to accompany the mixture of sun and broken cloud but it was some sort of open day for members to purchase and have trees planted in remembrance of their new-born children,  As a result there was to be no access to the new lake, the Laguna del Alamo Blanco, home to Water Rails, Crakes and all other sorts of goodies.  Result?  I only stayed for the first session then returned home via a stop in Turtle Dove Alley where I picked up a resting Little Owl on top of the chimney that remained on the ruin along with Greenfinch, Crested Lark, Kestrel and Spotless Starlings.

Common Sandpiper Andarrios Chico Actitis hypoleucos

At the Charca I headed for the Laguna del Taraje where I hope to find a Little Bittern but such luck.  I simple managed Coot, Mallard, Little Grebe and Moorhen and a Blackbird flew across the water as I was about to leave.  On the other hand, sitting alone with a Nightingale singing away immediately next to me was most relaxing.  Walking to the main hide overlooking the Laguna de las Aneas I heard my first Turtle Doves of the year and then saw the first resting on a factory roof.

Little Grebe Zampullin Comun Tachybaptus ruficollis
Adult male Mallards Anade Azulon Anas platyrhynchos moving into eclipse plumage
The large water itself had a healthy population of Common Coots with a couple of Red-knobbed Coots at the rear.  For a change, lots of Grey Herons resting along with about a dozen Little Egrets. Closer inspection found a trio of Night Herons.  Meanwhile, numerous Mallards paddled the water along with a single Common Pochard and the occasional Little Grebe.  A pair of Common Sandpipers and a single juvenile Cormorant was a welcome change and above the water we had feeding Barn Swallows and House Martins.

Young Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinerea
A quick walk round to the Laguna del Trebol produced the usual Common and Red-knobbed Coots along with a single Yellow-legged Gull but pride of place went to the foraging Sedge Warbler immediately opposite the hide.  Naturally, a couple of Cetti's Warblers were utilising their loud calls.

Very distant Night Heron Martinete Comun Nycticorax nycticorax

Ans so, after a very brief stop at the Laguna del Lirio whilst waiting for Manu to unlock the gate where the resident pair of Red-knobbed Coots were seen with the remaining three of their original five chicks, I set off for the neighbouring Turtle Dove Alley as previously described.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Pochard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Night Heron, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Turtle Dove, Little Owl, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Nightingale, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Spotless Starling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

Still be watched by the Little Owl Mochuelo Comun Athene noctua

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

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