Wednesday 4 April 2018

Wednesday 4 April

Sounds like another eventful day by the Arboleas Birding Group but so sad to read about the continuing disregard for the environment with all the cans having to be cleared away.  Well done you lot!  On the other hand, thanks to John who spotted the Eurasian Cuckoo so still a little hope that I might see one this year; definitely keep my eyes , and ears, open tomorrow when I am up in the Loja area.

Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa:Wednesday 4th April

As Gilly left early for work this morning, I was an early bird heading towards the Rambla de Almanzora.  I joined it just passed the entrance to the Desert Springs golf complex.  No water there but did see a lovely Iberian Grey Shrike on the power lines.  Heading seawards, the first bit of water gave me Moorhen, White Wagtail and a juvenile Night Heron.   Moving on to the pond next to the ford crossover, it was inundated with only Moorhen unfortunately.  However the water-filled channel on the opposite side, viewed from up on the embankment proved much better.  There were about 6 Little Ringed Plover, Mallard, Black Winged Stilt, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank and a Temminck's Stint. 
Iberiuan Grey Shrike Lanius meridionakis in the early morning sunlight (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
I retreated to the parking area to await the others.  Whilst there I saw some scumbag had dumped a whole load of cans.  I crushed them underfoot and put them in carrier bags.....98 of them to be put in a recycling bin!  John was first to arrive.  He also had seen the Night Heron, but also added Redshank and Kentish Plover to the list.  

Record shot of juvenile Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We were joined by Les with his friends, Colin and Helen and Kevin, Trevor and Ros.  We all checked out the channel again and added a Ringed Plover, found by Kevin. Overhead we saw Barn and Red-rumped Swallows, Spotless Starling, Collared Dove , Woodpigeon and Magpie.  Walking along the embankment towards the sewage works we found a Sardinian Warbler.  I heard a Red-legged Partridge and possible a few short chords from a Nightingale.  Les first spotted a Serin, then a Common Sandpiper. W e were just about to about-face when John spotted a bird perched on a tobacco plant on the far side.  A female Eurasian Cuckoo.  Was just about to take a photograph when it got harassed by a Magpie and headed for cover....drat!  We returned to the vehicles and went to look for the Night Heron, but it had gone.  I did see a Hoopoe though.

Greenshank Tringa ochropus and Little Ringed Plovers Charadrius dubius (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
After a coffee in Villaricos village we made for the beach.  Amazingly there were no birds resting on the harbour rocks and nothing out to sea.  We walked over to the estuary, disturbing a pair of Kentish Plover on the flattened area.  This end was quiet with only Coot, a couple of Cormorant, some Common Pochard and a pair of White-headed Duck, spotted by John.  The beach end was better. Numerous Kentish Plover and Sanderling, plus 3 Audouin's Gull.  Kevin was checking out the birds on the rocky peninsula and found Sandwich Tern, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls.  Also seen was a Little Egret, Dunlin and Turnstone.  Doing our bit for the environment, we collected a carrier bag full of plastic and other recyclable rubbish from the beach.
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis and juvenile Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We then convoyed down to the dual carriageway opposite the Consum Supermarket at the rear of Vera Playa.  Apart from the numerous noisy Black-winged Stilts we added Shelduck, Shoveler and Avocet.  A Crested Lark and a Zitting Cisticola both made an appearance.  There were 8 Greater Flamingos down the far end where the pipe works continues.  I spotted a pair of Black-necked Grebes, but John trumped me with a group of perched Whiskered Terns on the far side.  I left at this point, but John and the others added Little Grebe and Teal to the list.
In total we saw 53 species. A good days birding in good company and weather!
Regards, Dave

More Photos from Dave:

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

Temminck's Stint Calidris tmminckii (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

Serin Serinus serinus (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

​Detritus from beach(PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

​Dumped tins for recyling​ (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

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

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