Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Wednesday 3 April

Sounds like a great, well-attended birding day from dave and his Arboleas Birding Group and a few species included that I am yet to see including Collared Pratincole, Black-eared Wheatear, Willow Warbler and Whiskered tern. Just wondering whether or not it's worth taking a trip up to Las Norias and Roquetas de Mar or sick with the Charc de Suarez on Sunday morning.

Rio Almanzora & Vera Playa   -   Wednesday 3rd April

After the recent rains, I was interested to see what effect they had had on the Rambla de Almanzora.  I joined it near to the Desert Springs golfing complex and drove on top of the embankment towards Villaricos.  There appeared to be no damage.  There were the occasional pools which contained Mallard, Black-winged Stilts and Moorhen.  I also saw Magpie, Blackbird, House Sparrow and Thekla Lark.  As I reached the ford, I saw John's car parked by the road bridge.  I joined him for a chat.  He'd seen Red-rumped Swallow and Wood Pigeon.  A small flock of Serin was in the reeds.  We made our way back to the ford to await the other group members to arrive.  There were 14 of us in all.  Albert reminded me it was three years since we'd last birded together....he has a better memory than me!  As we prepared to set off a Red-billed Chough flew over.  We began to walk towards the sewage works.  Over the far side there were more Black-winged Stilt and Little Ringed Plovers.  A Green Sandpiper and a Redshank took to the air.  Paul spotted a Willow Warbler and heard a Sardinian.  On the large pool John was first to spot the Common Pochard.  Paul then found a female Teal.  A large terrapin was sunbathing.  We walked back to the vehicles where we were met by Les.  He'd seen Water Pipit, Kestrel and Goldfinch.  A Grey Heron was seen by some on the way to the village where we had a coffee.

Terrapin (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
Before heading for the beach, some of us checked over the promenade wall.  We found a Cormorant, Sanderling and Sandwich Tern.  House Martins were also logged.  We had a snorkeler round the rocks, but still manged to see some Turnstone. 

Turnstone Arenaria interpres (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
At the estuary we saw Coot, Mallard and Moorhen.  Val spotted a Chiffchaff.  We walked to the beach where Cormorants and Black-winged Stilts were resting, as were Audouin's and Black-headed Gulls.  There was a Sandwich Tern.  It was joined by two Gull-billed Terns.  John found a pair of distant Kentish Plovers.  Alec found a Grey Heron.  On the rocky outcrop Les listed Kentish Plover, Dunlin and Sanderling.  Val the did very well to spot not one, but two Black-eared Wheatears on the pebbly beach.
Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We drove along to the dual carriageway opposite the Consum supermarket behind Vera Playa.  Paul spotted the first of three Shelduck.  There were huge numbers of vociferous Black-winged Stilt.  I found a Little Grebe.  John added a Little Stint and Shoveler and Les, some Ringed Plover.   Reyna spotted the first of two Booted Eagles.  Les then found our first Collared Pratincole of the year flying over the water and reeds.  Moving further down I spotted a single Whiskered Tern.  A Kestrel flew by.  Also seen were White-headed Duck a couple of Greater Flamingo.  Les then found a Black Wheatear on the hillside behind us. 
Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We made our way to the raised concrete platform opposite the AquaParc.  More White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Coot and Moorhen.  After I'd left, John had a Zitting Cisticola.  He went to the laguna near the Millionaire's Bar and completed the list with a Mediterranean Gull and a Crag Martin.
51 species in all.  Some first for the year, so a good days birding in great company!
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