Might be general Election day back in the UK but my dear friend Dave Elliott-Binns was able to join me for a coffee at my overnight hotel in readiness for a good morning's birding around Cabo de Gata, a sort of follow-on from our respective day's birding of yesterday. And we both did better, finally passing 50 species for the morning!
|Raven Cuervo Corvus corax|
|A trio or more of the Dotterel Chorlito Carambolo Charadrius morinellus|
Working our way along the track we then added Sardinian Warbler, White Wagtail, more Black Redstarts and Thekla Larks and a Red-legged Partridge. A small number of Slender-billed Gulls on the next water and the first of a three Kestrels on the land side. By now we were regularly recording Little Egret and a Collared Dove and soon we were back on the main road and made our way to the first hide as we approached the village.
From the hide we had Iberian Grey Shrike both near the water and behind us along and, apart from the many Flamingos on view, we started to take our scopes to see what else might be identified. With a few Crag Martins flying around above us we managed to find both European Curlew and a Stone Curlew "hiding" in the shrubs to our front-right. On a far bank on the right Dave managed to track a group of four large waders. Much work completing the identification of what eventually turned out to be a single Whimbrel along with three Bar-tailed Godwit.
|Iberian Grey Shrike Alcaudon Real Lanius meridionalis|
As we approached the first hide leaving the village a couple of Cormorant flew in to the water and way to our left with the use of the scope we found another trio of Stone Curlew. On the water itself, in addition to the many Flamingo, we recorded Shoveler, Wigeon, Mallard and a sleeping flock of about 25 tightly packed Spoonbill.
|The sleeping flock of Spoonbill Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia|
|The most obliging Trumpeter Finch Camachuelo Trompetero Bucanetes githagineus|
Just as we were about to say nothing else was to be seen when I found a Kingfisher sitting on the low, sandy bank on the far side of the water. then it was a gentle walk to the "bump" where we saw a single Cattle Egret fly over and heard at least one Cetti's Warbler calling.
Back to the hotel to say our goodbyes and festive greetings to respective spouses before heading back, for Dave, to Arboleas 100 kilometres to the east and for me the almost 200 kilometre drive back to Mezquitilla. Seemed a shame that we had not seen a Blackbird so, as I approached the San Jose junction, decided to take the short drive down to the large camping site on the off-chance that I might find the bird. No such luck but carrying on down to the river, which was now a very large lake, I was delighted to find a lone feeding Common Sandpiper so topping the 50 species for the day. Excellent weather, birds and, of course, the special pleasure of Dave's company.
Shelduck, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Red-legged Partridge, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Stone Curlew, Dotterel, Sanderling, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Black Wheatear, Cetti's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Iberian Grey Shrike, Raven, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Trumpeter Finch.
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