Sunday 27 December 2020

More from Alarrobo Costa

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

 Sunday 27 December

The three recent morning walks up the very dry Rio Algarrobo in bright sunshine and clear blue skies have continued to produce some lovely birds.  On Christmas Eve it was not only the resting Kestrel atop a pine tree that led my eyes to see the four Crossbills on the neighbouring trees but also the sighting of a Sardinian Warbler, whereas come Christmas Day morning I had three Sardinian Warblers and the same number of Blackcap as well as Hoopoes, Crag Martins and more Linnets.

Female Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros 

This morning, with the temperature down to a very cold 9C as I set off, I was to be deprived of my daily sighting of Meadow Pipit but, on the other hand, a new first for the site with a Song Thrush, surely my "Bird of the Day."

Entering the games area at the start of the walk lots of Monk Parakeets and Collared Doves along with a one male Blackbird followed by the first of a dozen Black Redstarts to be seen in the next hour.  As expected, the open tress produced not only more Black Redstarts but many Chiffchaffs with the marauding Monk Parakeets screaming their heads off above me.  Up in the bare, old tree just three Common Starlings and not a Spotless Starling to be seen for over twenty minutes.  Whilst watching the Common Starlings, a trio of Wood Pigeon made a rather hasty departure from the area.

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris

The first House Sparrows appeared as I reached the enclosed football ground and then making a swift flight down stream along the grassy river's edge, my first sighting of a Song Thrush in the area.  Lovely!  With a contented smile on my face I continued on up towards the motorway underpass and enjoyed not only the sighting of the few Spotless Starlings but both male and female Stonechat on the twigs below.

Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor

A number of Crag Martin and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were flying above the hidden water reservoir and a stop at the grassy enclosure at the far end duly turned up my first Greenfinch of the morning followed by a number of Serin.

Serin Serinus serinus

More Serins, Chiffchaff, Black Redstarts and Stonechat seen on the return walk which took me via the usual detour to pass the local sewage works where I found, once again, a trio of Cattle Egrets and the first White Wagtails of the morning.  Once back across the river on the main track a few more Greenfinch and in time to see the visit of a pair of Goldfinch to the top of my favourite bare tree.

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris

Walk finished and so along the front for a needed coffee when I saw the lone Cormorant flying eastwards just off the shore.  Whoops, forgot my mask having dropped bins and camera at the house, so back to fetch same and this time the Cormorant was making a return flight.  But at least the temperature was now up into the mid-teens, even if one could still feel the slight nip in the air.

Hoopoe Upupa epops with Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
 in background

Birds seen:

Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Crag Martin, White Wagtail,  Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

Crossbill Loxia curvirostra

More Monk Parakeets Myiopsitta monachus

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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