Las Norias & Roquetas de Mar: Thursday 17th May
When I checked the weather forecast for the Almeria area today, it stated sunny with clouds! It may have been at 20.000ft, but on the ground we were constantly harassed by showers, sometimes heavy! Here is my soggy report:-
I picked up Paul & Reyna from Arboleas and drove down to the Repsol Services at junction 420, just beyond the Roquetas de Mar turn-off. It had started to shower as we approached Almeria. We met up with John, Les & Barrie. After a cup of coffee we made our separate ways to the Las Norias lake. From the first causeway we saw a good selection of hirundines, but in small numbers. Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Red Rumped Swallow & House Martin. On the choppy water, as there was a bit of wind with the precipitation, we managed to see Great Crested Grebe and Red Crested Pochard, some with ducklings. A Turtle Dove perched briefly on the power line. A Gull Billed Tern flew over. We didn't linger as we were getting slightly drenched.
At the next stop, after clambering over the dumped rubbish, we found some Gadwall, Coot & Moorhen plus Blackbird, White Wagtail & Greenfinch.
On the smaller pool at the opposite end to the plastic recycling plant, Les spotted an adult Night Heron & a Kestrel. Moving along the road to the little bridge, John saw a Ringed Plover, Avocet, Black Winged Stilt & a Grey Heron.
It was decided a coffee in a dry cafe should be next on the agenda, so we stopped in San Augustin village on our way to the Roquetas salinas lake area. Suitably refreshed, but still damp, we convoyed along the tarmacked track towards the lighthouse. The causeway was littered with resting Black Winged Stilts. Greater Flamingos were feeding oblivious to the heavy downpour. A Whiskered Tern was seen. We heard a Great Reed Warbler as we used our vehicles as hides. Mosquitoes invaded through the open windows...oh joy! Paul spotted a Glossy Ibis and I found some Little Grebe. A Purple Swamphen showed briefly. Also seen were Redshank, Gull Billed & Little Tern.
Moving to the next causeway, we were treated to only a slight shower, but mud underfoot, but there were Kentish Plover & Black Winged Stilt on it. A Yellow Wagtail appeared. A Common Pochard flew over & I found some White Headed Duck. A Little Egret was seen. As we headed back to the vehicles we saw Zitting Cisticola and a pair of Sardinian Warblers.
We drove to the small pool near the hotels. A male Common Pochard was guarding the feeding area with some Mallard. We then drove up the main track. Collared Pratincoles were lining the edges of the track, reluctant to take to the wing. Posed well. but didn't look happy at all. There must've been at least 25 of them. Despite the rain we had had a reasonable day with over 40 species.
Mummy Red Crested Pochard & duckling
Male Common Pochard
One unhappy Collared Pratincole
And another one!
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