Thursday, 31 December 2020

Last Birding Day of the Year

 Thursday 31 December

The last birding day of the year and once more the 3km return walk up the Rio Algarrobo and under the motorway to the ford and back.  However, on this occasion off by 8.30 to beat the dog walkers, which I did initially, but my word it was cold, especially with the sun not yet really up in the sky and masked by the trees to the east, and with the temperature down in single figures and still struggling to reach 10C when I returned home at 9.45.  Could it be that no matter what time I set out, be it 8.30 or 10.30, I am still likely to see the same birds at this time of the year?

White Wagtail followed by the first of many Collared Doves and then a female Black Redstart. Once into the open trees I noticed the five Wood Pigeon accompanied by a half-dozen Common Starlings at the top of the bare tree followed by the first of the Chiffchaffs.  Almost immediately I heard then saw the quintet of Goldfinch above me in the leafy tree.  A Hoopoe moved off in front of me to rest in a tree further along the path and then a quartet of Blackbirds, all males, below the trees in front of the sports hall.

Hoopoe Abubilla Upupa epops

More House Sparrows than usual this morning and then the first of the Spotless Starlings.  Again, very few initially but on the return walk I seem to have found the major flock approaching 200 individuals.  Looking up there were one or two Lesser Black-backed Gulls making their way north to the nearby hidden reservoir and once through the motorway underpass the large bare tree held no less than 15 Common Starlings and not a Spotless Starling in sight.

Common Starlings Estornino Pinto Sturnus vulgaris

Approaching the small grassy area just beyond the reservoir the first Stonechat of the morning along with a couple of Serin.  A Robin also put in an appearance and then, having noted the two Monk Parakeets in the above bare tree I made my way back by way of the sewage works detour.  Away to my far right I found six Cattle Egrets resting on the fence of a small paddock and a further individual flew over my head from the said works to join its compatriots. That left just the one (eighth in total) resting in the works itself.  A female Sardinian Warbler came through the opposite fence to feed near the ground and having returned to the main track alongside the fenced barbecue area the distinctive sound made me look up at the nearby trees and locate the four Crossbill.

Crossbill Piquituerto Comun Loxia curvirostra

Birds seen:

Cattle Egret, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Crossbill.

Monk Parakeet Cotorra Argentina Myiopsitta monachus

Crossbill Piquituerto Comun Loxia curvirostra

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

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