Monday, 26 October 2020

Charca de Suarez, Motril

Snipe Agachasiza Comun Gallinago gallinago

 Sunday 25 October

Meeting up with my Swedish friend Hans Borjesson, who has just arrived in Nerja for a week's break, at the entrance to "Turtle Dove Alley" so that we could enjoy a morning at the Charca de Suarez reserve, Motril, Hans had already recorded Crested Lark, a Northern Starling and dashing Kingfisher which crossed the road immediately in front of him.  Leaving Hans's car safely parked we took my car for a slow return drive to the far end of the road before continuing on, in both cars, the reserve itself.  No sooner had we set off than a Blackbird quickly followed by the a couple of Red Avadavats then the first of very many Common Waxbill.  A couple of Stonechats at the far end and more Waxbills on the return journey.  A Collared Dove was sat watching us on the wires and then we made our departure the the Charca proper.

The very friendly Blackbird Mirlo Comun Turdus merula

Entering the reserve a couple of Collared Doves flew out of the large tree immediately in front of us and with a Robin on the anti-clockwise track we made our way to the Laguna del Taraje.  mainly Mallards and a family of Moorhen plus two Common Coots.  A Heron flew over and we even recorded passing Crag Martins, Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler and the first of the Goldfinches. A Water Rail was heard by Hans and then we made our way to the underused hide at the other end of the water recording Linnet and Serin on the way. Once arrived a few more Moorhen plus a couple of Shoveler before the two Red-knobbed Coots paddles into view and a Purple Swamphen flew across the water. A Grey Wagtail came to forage on the shingle in front of the hide.

Purple Swamphen  Calamon Comun Porphyrio porphyrio

Making our way to the Laguna del Alamo Blanco we had a lovely view of the circling Booted Eagle which remained in the area for almost five minutes.  A distant Kestrel was recorded and on the water we found the resident White Stork along with a few Mallards and another Purple Swamphen.  More Goldfinches and even a Chaffinch in the tall trees to the side of the main hide.

A very patient Kingfisher Martin Pescador Alcedo atthis
Even a coloured shadow on the water below

Before moving on the the main hide overlooking the Laguna de las Aneas we walked the full path to the back gate and managed to find more Goldfinches and Linnets along with both Greenfinch and Chaffinch and a solitary House Sparrow.  A couple of Spotless Starling few past and then a few Chiffchaffs feeding in the tall tamarisks.  Another Kestrel and then back to the main circuit through the reserve.

All the big boys: Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus, Heron Ardea cinerea and Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

Yellow-legged Gulls overhead and another Robin on the fence.  A pair of Meadow Pipits flying past overhead was somewhat unexpected, moreso that the singing Sky Larks earlier on.  Once at the hide lots of Common Coots but so many as my last visit.  Red-knobbed Coots to be seen along with very many Mallard, a few Shoveler and a handful of Gadwall.  Eventually Hans managed to track down the lone female Common Pochard resting amongst  a number of Common Coot.  At least five Herons along with a similar number of Cormorants and three juvenile Flamingo.  The resting Kingfisher was great but the Hans used his scope to enable a digi-scope shot of a lovely male Little Bittern.  In addition to Moorhens we also had Little Grebes, Black-headed Gulls and a family of Rats (Rattus norvegicus) feeding below the hide.

Male Little Bittern Avetotillo comun Ixobrychus minutus (Digiscoped: Hans Borjesson)

Whilst at the northern end of the Laguna del Trebol we had more Red-knobbed Coots, Little Grebe and a Grey Wagtail.  Nothing to add at the southern end other than another Robin and Grey Wagtail and we just too late to see the departing Bluethroat.  However, nearby we had very close views of both a number of Leaf Frogs and a Chameleon.  And just to put the icing on the cake, we looked up to watch four Alpine Swifts flying westwards.

Grey Wagtail Lavandera Cascadena Motacilla cinerea

So to the final hide overlooking the Laguna del Lirio where we found a couple of Moorhen, Mallard and Little Grebe but, on this occasion, no Red-knobbed Coots.  However, we did have a visiting Blackbird feeding below us which as joined the now awake Snipe that had been resting on the far side and a long-resting Kingfisher to our right.  Our last bird of site, and what a surprise, was a Spotted Flycatcher.  Finally, as we made our way back to the motorway, a dozen or more Cattle Egrets on the bank of the Rio Guadalfeo and yet another Kestrel resting on the wires opposite.  A great morning in great company and almost 50 species recorded.

Common Snipe Agachasiza Comun Gallinago gallinago below the hide

Birds seen:

Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Bittern, Cattle Egret, Heron, White Stork, Flamingo, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Water Rail, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Common Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove, Alpine Swift, Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Sky Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Red Avadavat, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.

Other wildlife on show at the Charca

Chameleon Chamaeleo chamaeleon (Digiscoped: Hans Borjesson)

Tree Frog Hyla molleri (Digiscoped: Hans Borjesson)

Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator (Digiscoped: Hans Borjesson)

Speckled Wood Butterfly Pararge aegeria (Digiscoped: Hans Borjesson)

Resting Terrapin Mauremys leprosa

Mother Rat Rattus norvegicus with two of her four kittens (pups)

A final look at our resting Kingfisher Martin Pescador Alcedo atthis

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

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