|Kestrel Falco tinnunculus|
Thursday 10 December
Working most of the morning and outside dull and cloudy with rain promised ere long. But, putting aside temptation, I decided I would venture to the nearby Rio Algarrobo but instead of walking would take the car up to the motorway and spend more time exploring north of the motorway towards Algarrobo Pueblo where, on recent visits, most of the birds have been found.
Collared Doves as I drove u[ the lane adjacent to the river and sports complex and a Blackbird as soon as I got out of the car which was parked on gravel between the enclosed football ground and the motorway underpass. Below me near the stream which was now flowing so, obviously, some overnight rain up in the hills, a female Black Redstart. As I walked under the motorway I noticed the female Kestrel resting atop one of the major supports, probably best place to be out of the wind and cold.
|Kestrel Falco tinnunculus below the motorway|
As I walked towards the Experimental Station and the hidden reservoir a number of Spotless Starlings and the first of many White Wagtails. Plenty of Crag Martins flying around and a constant stream of both Lesser Black-backed and Black-beaded Gulls above the unseen water. Behind the fence a Stonechat to add to the male seen below near the river. Next stop was my favourite little grass corner at the far end of the hidden reservoir and this time it was a number of Serins that were on show.
|Stonechat Saxicola torquatus|
Off on my walk once more and much care crossing the ford which now left only a few stepping stones to stay free of the liquid stuff. On the far side of the stream now flowing on my right I found first a White Wagtail then a single Grey Wagtail working the edges. The bird seemed happy enough to concentrate on feeding so I was able to walk along with it for five minutes or more.
|Grey Wagtail Motacilla cineria|
In front of me I found a quartet of Meadow Pipits on the grass along with more Serins and Stonechats.
|Record shot of Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis|
Nearer to me the first of the morning's Chiffchaffs. Back at my grassy corner for a last check I managed to add both Goldfinch and a Great Tit. Outside the Experimental Station I looked at the sunken grass patch and found four Common Starlings at the back.
|Common Starlings Sturnus vulgaris|
Rather than drive straight back I set off south to take a loop round the local sewage works duly recording the three Cattle Egrets. At the same time I took the opportunity to take a good number of landscapes for future reference when referring to specific places on my regular walks.
Finally, a stop at the bottom of the trail to take a few more landscapes and I picked up both Monk Parakeets and Mediterranean Gulls along with more Chiffchaff, Black Redstarts and White Wagtails. Only birding for about ninety minutes and that included stopping to take many landscapes but, nevertheless, managed to record 22 species.
|Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros|
Cattle Egret, Kestrel, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.
|White Wagtail Motacilla alba|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information