Sunday 17 February 2019

Las Norias and Roquetas de Mar

Friday 15 February

Off by just after 9 with the first stop the mucky lake at Las Norias surrounded by plastic greenhouses and the very muck plastic recycling plant at the the eastern end.  Beautiful, warm sunny day with clear blue skies and calm arriving at the main road across the water.   Passing a Cattle Egret, Spotless Starlings and Collared Doves I had to the west (left) a good number of Cormorants, Black-headed and Lesser black-backed Gulls with loads of Crag Martins feeding overhead and both Chiffchaff and Meadow Pipits in the nearby bushes and rocks.

On the water itself a number of Coots along with a few pairs of Red-crested Pochard and at the very back of the water a handful of Little Egret and a solitary Heron.  A Moorhen drifted across the water before I found the diving Black-necked Grebe. On the other side of the road a Green sandpiper made a hasty retreat and then both Little and Great Crested Grebes recorded. I also found a pair of Teal skulking away to my right and, naturally, there were House Sparrows to be seen.  A few White Wagtails wandering around before i forced my way through the "jungle" that now blocked the back of the footpath to the lake disturbing both Blackbird and Cetti's Warbler in the process.  Before setting of for Roquestas de Mar I saw my first House Martin of the day along with Kestrel and the resident Rock Doves.

By now it was quite windy and getting worse by the minute.  The water either side of the causeway leading towards the lighthouse looked more like the choppy sea then a shallow salina.  A few Flamingos to my left and a single lapwing.  At the far side I picked up a distant Marsh Harrier and a Magie that was perched atop a large bush.  The waters themselves were virtually devoid of bird life and, apart from Crested Lark, very little was added, other than the adventure of driving through the deep puddles covering the track, when heading off to the small lake near the sea where I did find a Redshank and Black-winged Stilt.

Gadwall Anade friso Anas strepera

The large fresh-water lake held numerous Coot, Mallard, Teal and a small number of Gadwall.  Then working my way along the main salinas having first noted the Mallard, Pochard, Shoveler and Coot on the hidden pond, there were no waders to be seen.  A good number of Flamingo and hundreds of Coot but Shoveler numbers were much reduced.  A handful of Black-winged Stilts but then a couple of Reed Bunting.  Occasional sightings of Shelduck were pleasing and apart from the gulls already seen I finally found a trio of Slender-billed Gulls.  And right at the end before departing to Retamar and Cabo de Gata a pair of Stonechat.

Slender-billed Gull Gaviota Picofina Larus genei

Birds seen:
Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Lapwing, Snipe, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Magpie, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Reed Bunting.

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