|White Stork Ciconia ciconia still on site
Looking forward all week to meeting up again with my old fried Dave Elliott-Binns of the Arboleas Birding Group up well beyond Almeria for a morning's birding at the Charca de Suarez in Motril. On this occasion I was also able to take newly-met birders Rob and Louise Scheffer from Torrox Costa with me. However, the forecast was not that brilliant with rain forecast between 11 and 1 o'clock but the journey was dry with calm and cloudy skies with the odd break.
A little time in hand before the 9 o'clock opening so we made the slight diversion to take in "Turtle Dove Alley" getting a sighting of a lone Cattle Egret on the wires as we approached. No sooner onto the concrete road than we had both Collared and Rock Dove along with a trio of Spotless Starlings. On for a hundred metres or so and we stopped to watch the smaller birds picking up grit/feeding on the road amongst some discarded brick rubble. Up first both House Sparrow and Serin and as the birds moved about they were joined by a few Greenfinch but ere long arrived the much smaller birds and Rob and Louise had their first sighting of a Red Avadavat. Looking at the House Sparrow I realised that at least one had a "split" bib and closer inspection revealed it to be a Spanish Sparrow. Then on to the end of the road with a couple of Blackbirds were recorded before making our way to the Charca entrance where Dave was awaiting us. Looking back, other than the noisy Cetti's Warblers and the "special" seen from the new hide these were to be our only small birds of the morning.
|Purple Swamphen Calamon Comun Porphyrio porpyrio
|Purple Swamphen Calamon Comun Porphyrio porpyrio off climbing
Next to the large hide overlooking the Laguna del Alamo Blanco which always seems to attract the photographers. Good levels of water and still clear weather. The single White Stork was resting on its usual pile of dead reeds and in front more Moorhens and a number of Teal. Also present were at least seven Common Snipe and then the arrival of a single Spoonbill showing a number of coloured rings.
|A multi-ringed Spoonbill Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia
|Look ou! Marsh Harrier Aguilucho Lagunero Circus aeruginosus overhead
Meanwhile, immediately in front of the hide, a juvenile Bluethroat wandered casually along feeding on the muddy ground and was followed by a second.
|Juvenile Bluthroat Ruisenor Pechiazul Luscinia svecica
At this point Dave waved me over to him, sitting at the far right-hand looking towards the water, as he was sure that he had seen a crake. Sure enough, with a little patience, the Spotted Crake put in a couple more brief visits out of the reeds before moving to the back of the water. Not only a Spotted Crake but one of the resident Water Rail also gave the briefest of glimpses to Dave in the same location. Next a White Wagtail posed for a minute or so on top of one of the planted perches and a Heron landed at the far end before we made our way to the next water.
|Spotted Crake Polluela Pintoja Porzana porzana on the Laguno del Alamo Blanco
|Pintail Anade Rabudo Anas acuta awaiting the coming rains!
|One of seven Common Snipe Agachadiza Comun Gallinago gallinago
|Shoveler Cuchara Comun Anas clypeata
Mallard, Shoveler, Pintail, Teal, Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, White Stork, Spoonbill, Marsh Harrier, Spotted Crake, Water Rail, Moorhen, Purle Swamphen, Common Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, White Wagtail, Bluethroat, Blackbird, Cetti's warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Red Avadavat, Serin, Greenfinch.
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