Wednesday 7 February 2018

Cabo de Gata with the Arboleas Birding Group

Wednesday 7 February

One day of my own group, Dave and his merry band of followers of the Arboleas Birding Group spent the day at Cabo de Gata hoping to carry on from last Saturday's successful visit.  The good news is that Trumpeter Finches were recorded so, all being well, we will be equally rewarded come tomorrow.

Cabo de Gata & Rambla de Morales: Wednesday 7th February

Back down here again.  This time an Arboleas Birding Group jaunt. I picked up Richard and Dianne and headed south on the A7/E15 Autovia.  We started our bird log as we came off at junction 467 heading for Retamar.  We had a little detour via El Toyo so I could see where a particular hotel was. By the time we'd got to Pujaire we'd got 11 species including Hoopoe, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Kestrel, Iberian Grey Shrike, some flying Greater Flamingos and both Northern and Spotless Starling.  After a refreshing cup of coffee we made our way to the first hide.  Les spotted a Water Pipit and Alan a Redshank.  Water was still high so no little waders were seen.  I found an Eurasian Curlew on the rocky causeway.  Also seen were a few Black-tailed Godwit and Avocet.  Little birds included Crested Lark, Stonechat and passing Crag Martins.  I spotted a Dartford Warbler. Meanwhile, Dianne walked off over the road with her camera and came back with photos of Serin. Out to sea I found an adult Gannet.  Les spotted Linnet, Greenfinch and Chiffchaff.  Several Iberian Grey Shrikes were seen.

Iberian Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We then convoyed to the second hide. Out to sea we saw Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Cormorants. At the hide I spotted a single Stone Curlew sunbathing.  Alan identified a single Spoonbill over the causeway beyond the island.  Surprise, surprise it was asleep.  It's black legs gave it away.  It was joined by two others who landed on the island.  John then found a male Pintail and Greenshank near the island.  A Grey Heron was seen.

Moving to the public hide, John, Alan and Les, bringing up the rear found a pair of Trumpeter Finch on the track after the rest of us had passed.  Found a muddy shore to the right of the causeway, which attracted Dunlin, Little Stint, Black Winged Stilt and Redshank.  The rocky causeway was stacked with Lesser Black-backed Gulls, the odd Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls and a number of Sandwich Tern.  Nearby were some Shelduck.  As we drove back towards Cabo village I spotted a single flying Audouin's Gull.

We motored along to the Rambla de Morales.  Alan spotted what turned out to be a pair of Reed Bunting.  There were small stands of Greater Flamingo.  From the mound, Alan found some Wigeon, together with some Shoveler and Mallard.  I found a female Teal.  John saw some White-headed Duck as well as Common Pochard and Coot. We heard a Cetti's Warbler.  Amongst the Crag Martin, David found a Barn Swallow.

Wigeon Anas penelope (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
Backtracking to Cabo village for lunch whilst sea-watching, we added a Sanderling to complete the days list.  We ended up with 51 species. Thank you, Ann for being scribe for the day!  The weather was sunny, but chilly to start with.  Later we had to peel off layers of clothing as it warmed up!
Regards, Dave

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