Monday 8 January 2018

Charca de Suarez

Sunday 7 January

Torrential rain yesterday and a few light showers this afternoon with the promise of more heavy rain tomorrow and Tuesday and the possibility of local flooding.  But this morning lovely sunshine and clear blue skies as I travelled over to Charca de Suarez with Barbara ad Derek Etherton where we met up with Steve Powell.  After a most enjoyable morning recording over 40 species we retired to Steve and Elena's house for lunch and a relaxing afternoon.  Indeed, as we left the motorway a Hoopoe crossed in front of us and, parking literally outside Steve's home, a Bonelli's Eagle slowly drifted low overhead giving excellent views.  What an enjoyable day and just what the doctor ordered for getting over my recent illness.

Straight to the Laguna del Taraje where all was very quiet with just the single Mallard and the occasional Chifchaff.  Both single Heron and Cormorant flew over so we took ourselves off to the Laguna del Alamo Blano where, again, at first sight all was relatively quiet with just the single White Stork and a pair of Herons.  But at the back we picked up at least 8 Moorhens and then the appearance of a few Chiffchaffs, a single Serin and, seen by Derek and Barbara, a couple of Red Avadavats and a Great Tit. leaving the hide to head off towards the main Laguna de las Aneas we looked up to see a pair of Marsh Harriers with a couple of Crag Martins doing their best to harry them away.

Walking to the main hide we picked up Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blackcap, Black Redstart and Robin along with a couple of Common Waxbill and on arrival the sight of many basking Cormorant along with a handful of resting herons and a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls.  On the water itself a number of Mallard, Shoveler, Teal and Pochard along with a single Ferruginous Duck at the back.  Just the one Red-knobbed Coot noted along with its Common Coot cousins plus the occasional Moorhen and a Little GrebeCrag Martins were busy feeding over the water along with a pair of White Wagtails and more Chiffchaffs and a solitary Spotless Starling looked down on the scene from its advantage point on top of the neighbouring radio mast.

Distant Ferruginous Duck Porron Pardo Aythya nyroca

Once at the Laguna del Trebol we quickly picked up a number of very close, and unmarked, Red-knobbed Coots plus more Common Coot, Moorhen, Mallard and Chiffchaff.  A Stonechat came to see what was going on an a lone Grey Wagtail alighted on the nearby floating raft.  meanwhile, Steve had arrived before us and was able to photograph the feeding Bluethroat.  Once at the hide on the opposite side we had lots more Chiffchaffs and a close view of both Cetti's Warbler and Robin.  Needless to say we also picked up a handful of House Sparrows and then, almost out of nowhere, a dark morph Booted Eagle put in a short appearance.

So on to the Laguna del Lirio, recording a few Collared Doves and Blackbirds plus another Great Tit on the way, where not only more Red-knobbed Coots but two male and four female Wigeon had taken up residence.  And what stunning birds the male looked as the sun shone on their new plumage. A final look at both the Lagunas del Taraje and Alamo Blanco produced nothing new other than another Kestrel so we made our way back to the car, noticing that the local ringer had just retrieved yet another Goldfinch from his net, in time to see a couple of Cattle Egrets pass overhead.  Nothing of note to add from our exit journey via "Turtle Dove Alley" so all that was left was the sighting of both Hoopoe and Bonelli's Eagle reported in the opening paragraph.

Drake with two female Wigeon Silbon Europeo Anas penelope
Birds seen:
Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Heron, White Stork, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Waxbill, Red Avadavat, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

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

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