Friday 16 March 2018

Zapata with Derek and Barbara

Friday 17 March

This is what you do when you have to wait hours for a Windows 10 update, you go down to Zapata and check-out the Guadalhorce behind the airport!  But see the end for the final outcome!

Lots of the water had gone down the river but the ford is nowhere near passable yet.  Several Sand Martins, Barn Swallows and Pallid Swifts were feeding over the river.  Night Heron, Grey Heron and a couple of Little Egrets were about at the waterside.  4 Little Ringed Plovers and a solo Greenshank were on the gravel, Cetti's Warbler called and Chiffchaffs are still in good supply.  2 Common Buzzards and a Booted Eagle floated around and a Common Kestrel was very active.

We smirked (love that word, just like being at school) as either a fisherman, or an illicit liaison BMW car needed to be towed out of the soft gravel, this was the only grua (Crane) we saw today! 

Driving back to the still very muddy top track (only suitable for 4x4 vehicles at the moment) we noticed several more swifts.  Stopping for a better look we soon found several Alpine Swifts together with both Common and Pallid.  It's funny as Micky Smith had sent me a Whatsapp this morning to say Alpines were passing over his house on the coast.  Great Tit, House Sparrow, numerous Serins, Greenfinch, Crested Larks and 3 Hoopoe were either on the wire fence or on the dryer parts of the track.  2 more Common Buzzards were in front, the other 2 were still behind us, as we approached the top end of the reed bed.  To our right we were delighted to see that the vegetation in the fenced airport field had been cut - never have I seen feeding like it!  It was wagtails everywhere, and still they flew in.  If I estimate 200+ wagtails it is a conservative guess with a split roughly 65-35% toward the White species.  However the 35% Yellow Wagtails contained 3 sub-species easily visible - (flavissima - iberiae - cinereocapilla).  A couple of Iberian Hares loped around, now very visible, but hopefully safe in the fenced enclosure.  To our left in the reedbed Waxbills were noisy, as usual, as they flew in feeding groups.  The largely Spotless Starlings still formed a large group, being visibly disturbed when one of the Buzzards flew over.  Zitting Cisticolas, Goldfinches and Sardinian Warbler were in and out of the reeds.

The afternoon is not my normal time for visiting Zapata, but being slightly stir crazy I was glad I did to add Alpine and Common Swift, and 2 more sub-species of Yellow Wagtails to the year list.

So it was back home after 90 minutes to find the laptop needed a restart - if only it was that simple, the Windows update corrupted the machine meaning I had to go back to an original install.  So now I'm back on Windows 8 and have lost all my files, documents, photos etc.  Grrrrrrr!
 Derek Etherton

Probably explains why I have no photos to illustrate!  Nevermind Derek, we'll get a whole bunch of new birds up in Exremadura next week.
Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs  and additional information

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