Wednesday 12 June 2019

Wednesday 12 June

The sun is still shining, and much less windy today, so good to see that Dave and Arboleas Birding Group are out and about.  It certainly seems like an interesting time as can be seen from the following report.

Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa:Wednesday 12th June

So it was back to our local patch today.  I drove Richard in his car ad picked up Peter on our way to the Rambla de Almanzora, near Villaricos.  We came off the main road and slowly drove along the rambla's embankment checking for birdlife.  There were numerous House Martins and Barn Swallows hawking over the reeds.  Richard spotted a Moorhen.  We also added Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Magpie and Spotless Starling before we reached the ford.  We waited for the others to arrive, seeing Iberian Grey Shrike, Red Rumped Swallow and Common Swift.  We could hear a Stone Curlew screaming to our left.  Shortly after Jacky had arrived she found a Greenfinch in a nearby tree.  John saw a Bee-eater upon arrival and had seen a Kestrel near the Consum Supermarket.  We were joined by Trevor, Paul, Reyna and Mary.  Due to Richard's slow walking, he and Peter had already headed towards the sewage works.  We followed on, seeing Little Ringed Plover, Black Winged Stilt and Mallard.  Jacky confirmed John's possible sighting of a Turtle Dove.  She also spotted a Reed Warbler whilst the rest of us only heard them.  We also saw Hoopoe, White Wagtail, Blackbird and Goldfinch.  Richard and Paul had also seen a Sparrowhawk and Thekla Lark. The big pool only had Mallard, Little Ringed Plover and Black Winged Stilt around the edges. I spotted some distant Jackdaw before we returned to the vehicles and headed to Villaricos village for a coffee.
Iberian Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
As we arrived John checked into the harbour and saw a Sandwich Tern.   Suitably refreshed and having been joined by Kevin, we made for the beach.  What with a choppy sea and the start of "grockle" season; there were no birds on the harbour rocks, so we made our way to the estuary. Jacky, I think, spotted an Iberian Grey Shrike on a tree.  Two Grey Heron flew over the reeds.  Paul found some White-headed Duck, but Jacky spotted what appeared to be a white-knobbed, Red-knobbed Coot.  As you'll see in my photograph, the red outer skin appears to have peeled off.  For a change I managed to find the Purple Swamphen before anyone else.  John had an Audouin's Gull, Jacky,
a Zitting Cisticola and everybody saw the Common Pochard.  We made our way to the beach.  There were no birds on the shoreline or rocks again because of sunbathers and walkers.  Paul was scanning the sea and did well to find a Cory's Shearwater.  I think most people manged to get the odd glimpse as it rose above the horizon from the wave troughs.  As we were heading towards the vehicles, Richard found some flying Little Egrets.
Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata with "white-knobs" (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We convoyed our way to the dual carriageway opposite the Consum supermarket behind Vera Playa, seeing a Kestrel on the way.  There were numerous Black-winged Stilt, some with leggy chicks. Some Kentish Plover were seen.  I then found a Glossy Ibis, which, surprisingly was a first for Jacky. Near it were Little Egret and a Slender-billed Gull.  John spotted a tern, which turned out to be Gull-billed.  Also seen was a Black-headed Gull and a Little Grebe.  Moving further along, John added a Whiskered Tern.
Leggy young Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We then made our way to the platform opposite the AcuaPark car park.  As in the previous pools, much of the surface was covered in blanket weed.  Here we had Common Pochard with ducklings, Little Grebe, Little Egret, White Wagtail and a Great Crested Grebe seen by Richard.  The star was a flying Little Bittern, spotted by Paul, which disappeared rapidly into the reeds.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta atop the blanket weed (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
We ended up with 46 species. Good birding in good company!
Regards, Dave
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