Monday, 26 August 2019

Charca de Suarez

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
Sunday 25 August

Not only back home in Spain but  barely a day later the opportunity to visit the Charca de Suarez in Motril for the morning, one of my favourite local sites, along with good friend Derek Etherton.  As soon as we arrived we were able to record the local Collared Doves and, at the Lagune del Taraje, a couple of Coots along with Mallard, Moorhen and, overhead, Red-rumped Swallow and House Martin.  The visit of a Turtle Dove was a pleasant sighting.  A noisy Cetti's Warbler eventually put in an appearance before we moved on to the new hide overlooking the Laguna del Alamo Blanco.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus

What a delight was this pool, now sadly reduced in water but an ever-present Green Sandpiper was a definite winner.  Not so much the Wood Sandpiper that later came to visit but the long-exposed Water Rail was really wonderful.  The resident White Stork seemed happy to rest at the back and the Mallards were resting on the banks whilst Moorhen paddled about the remaining water.  Both Barn Swallow and House Martin above the water and heron and Little Egret were also noted.  A couple of Red Avadavat flew over the site and a juvenile Grey Wagtail came to join the foraging White Wagtail.  next u a departing Great Tit before a Snipe wandered across to disappear into the long grass.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
The first Spotted Flycatcher was recorded as we moved to the main hide overlooking the Laguna de las Aneas along with a Hoopoe where we found copious numbers of Coot plus Mallard, a pair of Shoveler and a few Little Grebe.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

The large trees at the back on the left held resting Little Egrets and Heron and only when looking closer at the resulting photograph did I discover that the same tree also held a trio of juvenile Night Heron.

Three juvenile Night Herons Nycticorax nycticorax below the Little Egrets Egretta garzetta
Meanwhile, a Little Bittern shot out from the reeds low to my right and I was able to get conformation before the individual disappeared into the grasses on the far left-hand side.  Derek then managed to find a single Squacco Heron at the back of the water.  And all this achieved without the aid of a scope.  Immediately prior to this sighting Derek had also noted the Pallid Swift that flew over as he, too, approached the hide just after my entrance.  Also recorded was a single Red-knobbed Coot and a couple of Black-headed Gulls.

Very distant Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus

The Laguna del Trebol produced more Red-knobbed Coots plus a single Purple Swamphen and a couple of House Sparrows.  We had previously seen a handful of Goldfinch and then a trio of Common Waxbill as we made our way back towards the exit and a final Spotted Flycatcher at the Laguna del Lirio.

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata

All in all, a most enjoyable return to local birding with a final tally of 33 species.

And then the Herons and Little Egrets were off

Birds seen:
Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Little Bittern, Night Heron, Grey Heron, White Stork, Water Rail, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Red Avadavat, Goldfinch.

Juvenile Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus


Our resident White Stork Ciconia ciconia
A final look at the Water Rail Rallus aquaticus

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