Sunday, 20 September 2020

Charca de Suarez, Motril

 Sunday 20 September

Still suffering from the pulled leg muscle picked up down in Tarifa last Wednesday morning but the sun was shining and it promised to be a lovely morning so I took the chance and drove over to the Charca de Suarez on the western outskirts of Motril.  Arriving at "Turtle Dove Alley" (I suspect all these birds have now left the area in preparation for their winter quarters) I was welcomed by a lonely Collared Dove and no sooner entered than I encountered a mixed feeding flock of finches, including very many Serin plus a few Greenfinches, House Sparrows and even a trio of Red Avadavats.  More Serins at the far end before continuing on to the main entrance passing a good number of Spotless Starlings.

As usual my first stop was at the Laguna del Taraja where all appeared to be relatively quiet with just a quartet of Mallard and a single Purple Swamphen.  However, with the restrictions due to the on-going Coronavirus situation still in place the scene was set for both here and the two main hides with full occupancy by photographers.  Not a great help to birders who want to visit the site as a whole as most, if not all, of these photographers spend the whole of the open hours ensconced so depriving birding opportunities to many others.  And, as on previous occasions, not a single pair of binoculars to be seen nevermind a telescope.  Moan completed so onwards to the far end where this hide, as usual, was completely discarded but there was a single Red-knobbed Coot feeding out in the open immediately in front of the hide.

Red-knobbed Coots Focha Moruna Fulica cristata

As described above, no chance of spending any time tin the hide overlooking the Laguna del Alamo Blanco but I did note the White Stork along with a couple of juvenile Flamingos and a small number of Mallard.  No point handing around so hobbled on to the Laguna de las Aneas passing a couple of Blackbirds on the way.  On the other hand, I did actually revisit the previous hide on the way and there were now also a couple of Moorhens on the water along with a pair of Gadwall.

Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta Garzetta

Once in the main hide I was able to find a single spare seat albeit at least here birders moved on so I was able to rotate my viewing area.  Lots of Common and the occasional Red-knobbed Coots.  Mainly Mallards but I did find a pair of both Shovler and Gadwall as well as a single male Common Pochard.  Just three Little Grebe and a single Cormorant and a plentiful supply of Moorhen.  On the island and just beyond a single Heron, three Little Egret and five more juvenile Flamingos.  Perhaps the best sighting was the Kingfisher that dashed across the water in front of the hide and then returned to pose within sight of the hide.

Kingfisher Martin Pescador Comun Alcedo atthis

Nothing knew at the Laguna de Trebol apart form close Red-knobbed Coots but as I walked back down the path I was able to watch the feeding Spotted Flycatcher.  Viewed from the far end of this water nothing to add apart from a second Kingfisher but smiled to note the Little Grebe resting among the sunbathing terrapins.  It was as I approached the rear hide that I met up with my great friend Mick Richardson who I had not seen this year.  Time for a chat and take a look at the three Chameleon that were feeding in the bushes at the side of the path.

Mediterranean Chameleon Chamaeleo chamaeleon

Similarly, the Laguna del Lirio only held a pair of Red-knobbed Coots with well-grown youngster plus a couple of Moorhens and a visiting Blackbird.  But the Kingfisher also paid a visit to this pool.

So an early departure for home returning once again via Turtle Dove Alley. This time greeted by about a score of Common Waxbill and a single Spotted Flycatcher at the far end to see me on my way.  Small numbers but a most enjoyable couple of hours.

Spotted Flycatcher Papamoscas  Gris Muscicapa striata

Birds seen:

Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, White Stork, Flamingo, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Common Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Blackbird, Spotted Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Red Avadavat, Greenfinch, Serin.

Little Grebe Zampullin Comun Tachybaptus ruficollis preening amongst the Terrapins

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