Thursday, 30 April 2020

Scores of Swifts

Thursday 30 April

All shops shut tomorrow so a walk down to the newsagent to get the weekly paper and then Lidl via the beach promenade.  Immediately House Sparrows and Rock Doves but the biggest surprise was the number of male Blackbirds.  By the time I returned form my usual route I must have recorded well over a dozen individuals, and all males.  Yet again I notice that the dog walkers seem to include those who actually go out for a walk with a dog then relax on a bench whilst their "precious" runs around.  Even worse, arriving on the nearby footbridge I discover the other type of dog-walker whose idea of exercise is to stand on the beach and watch his animal chase the birds for want of pleasure and exercise - but only for the dog.  So not a single bird to be seen at the estuary.

Blackbird Mirlo Comun Turdus merula

Crossing the bridge I could see scores of Pallid Swifts above the apartment blocks swirling around the sky and visiting their respective nesting sites.  More Blackbirds and, of course, all the resident Monk Parakeets.  As I was walking to the newsagent with my shopping trolley, I passed my usual turn off for the direct route to Lidl's and no sooner done that a pair of moulting Black-headed Gulls on the beach followed by a single Mediterranean Gull.

Inland to the newsagent and then the walk back to the centre of Algarobbo Costa and Lidl's watching a score or more Common Swifts at their nest site plus at least a dozen House Martins who nest in properties behind the main street.  By way of variety on this occasion, I even recorded a couple of Spotless Starlings.  Yet more Blackbirds as I started on my return walk via the promenade along with the first Collared Dove of the morning.

Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Grande Charadrius hiaticula

And so back to my footbridge as I approached the urbanisation.  No intruders present so some of the birds had returned including double-figures of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a single Audouin's Gull.  Still lots of Pallid Swifts about and even a handful of Barn Swallows plus the occasional House Martin.  In the river itself below the bridge a White Wagtail made it usual undulating departure flight whilst a pair of Ringed Plovers foraged very close to the beach outlet to the sea.  But, best of all, my bird of the day must have been the Common Sandpiper which had turned up in time to be recorded on this month's list of species.

Common Sandpiper Andarrios Chico Actitis hypoleucos
Birds seen:Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Barn Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow.


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