|Ruppell's Vulture Gyps rueppellii at Tarifa
Our ABS committee meeting near Estepona last Friday lasted rather longer than we had expected and that coupled with traffic delays near San Roque following a road accident meant that, along with Derek and Barbara Etherton, we did not arrive at the Cazalla mirador until mid-afternoon. Just a short stay here, having already noted both Sardinian Warbler, Sparrowhawk, White Wagtail and Spotted Flycatcher to observe Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Osprey and White Stork before we headed off for La Janda.
As might be expected, plenty of White Storks in La Janda and our drive down form the road to the canal produced Zitting Cisticola, Stonechat, Corn Bunting and House Sparrow whist ahead of us we were able to pick out both Montagu's and Marsh Harrier. A few Spotless Starlings and as we made our way along the canal-side track we had plenty of Barn Swallows, a few House Martins and a regular sighting of occasional Crested Larks.
A large pool in the rice paddy produced not just more White Storks but over an hundred Glossy Ibis. A couple of Black-winged Stilts were seen then we found Snipe, a Common Sandpiper and three Green Sandpipers. having found a few Lapwing at the far end of the water resting on the bank, a passing Collared Pratincole led us to at least a handful resting alongside the Lapwing. Meanwhile about 200 or more Cattle Egrets rested at the far end along with the occasional Little Egret and the odd Grey Heron. Immediately below us we had a couple of Blue-headed Wagtails, the Iberian sub-species of Yellow Wagtail. In addition, a handful of Coot and a couple of Flamingos were resting and feeding in the pool.
|Mixed Glossy Ibis Morito Comun Plegadis falcinelus and Catte Egret Garcilla Bueyera Bubulcus ibis
|Look carefully and find both Lapwing Avefria Europea Vanellus vanellus and Collared Pratincole Canastera Comun Glareola pratincola and a mystery wader in front of the Cattle Egrets!
|Green Sandpiper Andarrios Grande Tringa ochropus being seen off by the Snipe Agachadiza Comun Gallinago gallinago
|Three Little Egrets Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta
Breakfast and then up to Lidls, recording House Sparrow, Collared Dove, Black-winged Stilt, Cattle Egret, Spotless Starling, Stonechat, Corn Bunting, Buzzard and Short-toed Eagle on the way, in Tarifa to meet up with the rest of the attending members before heading off to the Cazalla mirador and the, hoped for, thousands of migrating raptors. A cooler and windier day than yesterday and this was to be reflected in the number of birds seen. It was also evident, and commented upon, that the weather conditions in the north of Europe had resulted in an earlier migration that normal. For instance, only one Honey Buzzard seen in the whole morning, there should have been thousands, but I had already received a message from Marieke in Belgium that their Honey Buzzards had had a bad breeding season and departed southwards by mid-August - and it only takes three days for a Honey Buzzard to reach Tarifa.
|Short-toed Eagle Culebrera Europea Circaetus gallicus
|And then the Ruppell's Vulture Buitre Moteado Gyps rueppellii flew immediately overhead
The next stop produced both Northern and Black-eared Wheatear along with a single followed by a quintet of Raven behind us. On the rocks the resting gulls were Yellow-legged but also a handful of Audouin's Gulls. Closer study also produced a number of Sandwich Terns, more Turnstone and a few Ringed Plovers. Little Owl and a Little Egret were added to the sightings along with a passing Peregrine Falcon, probable Lesser Kestrel and more Goldfinches.
|Part of the Flamingo Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus flock at Barbate
|Flamingos Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus on the move
Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Osprey, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Ruppell's Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Booted Eagle, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Peregrine falcon, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Dunlin, Snipe, Whimbrel, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Audouin's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Alpine Swift, Bee-eater, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Sky Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Goldfinch, Linnet, Corn Bunting.
|Always a Black-winged Stilt Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus somewhere!
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.