Saturday, 31 August 2019

Red-necked Nightjar at Zapata

Thursday 29 August

A wonderful 45 minutes at Zapata just upstream from Malaga Airport with friend Derek Etherton.  Arriving at 8.30 in the evening with both Collared Doves and Kestrel on the wires and still light we then passed both Sardinian Warbler and Crested Lark as we approached the ford.  Once there good sightings of both many Cattle Egrets and a handful of Night Herons.  A single Heron upstream and a pair of Moorhen on the far side.  At least five Common Sandpiper and a trio of Green Sandpiper before a pair of Little Ringed Plover on the rocks of the weir.  To complete the "water birds" a couple of Black-winged Stilts.

But the main target was to try and find one of the visiting Red-necked Nightjars.  A slow drive up and back along the top track and there was that pair of staring red eyes announcing a nightjar resting on the warm soil of the track.  And just 45 minutes after arriving to prove that there is no real twilight here in southern Spain; light upon arrival and now pitch dark.  But these local Red-necked Nighjars are loathe to move once settle enabling a slow, quiet approach to take a photograph.  The final shots take a bare five metres away from the car.  Wonderful fifteen minutes watching this special visitor to the country.

Red-necked Nighjar Chotacabras Pardo Caprimulgus ruficollis

Birds seen:
Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Red-necked Nightjar, Collared Dove, Crested Lark, Sardinian Warbler.

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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