Sunday 17 January 2021

Back to the Rio Algarrobo

Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor

 Sunday 17 January

Municipality lockdown commenced once again today, so birding for the next fortnight or more looks like being confined to the either the local river or the beach paseo.  This morning in lovely sunny weather, not a cloud in the sky nor even a breeze after the strong winds of these past days as I set off  for my usual walk upriver, under the motorway and on to the ford before returning via a detour to take a look in at the local sewage works.

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris

All very quiet through the activity area but once into the more open trees a large flock of 25 Monk Parakeets along with 30+ Spotless Starlings.  The usual few Collared Doves but many, many more to be seen during the walk.  A pair of male Blackbirds were foraging  at the edge of the grass and, seeing the shape in the tree, I looked up to find a lovely Greenfinch.

Some of the resident Monk Parakeets Myiopsitta monachus

Walking towards the sports hall I eventually found my first Black Redstarts along with a handful of House Sparrows as a trio of Wood Pigeon flew overhead.  More House Sparrows, Collared Doves and Spotless Starlings as I passed under the motorway and on to the Experimental Station entrance.  A couple of White Wagtails on the lower grassy area and then the sight of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls that make use of the hidden pool along with the feeding Crag Martins.  A couple of Stonechat were recorded along with more Black Redstarts and White Wagtails and at the far end of the fence a half-dozen Meadow Pipits feeding on the ground followed by a lovely male Serin on the fence itself.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibus at the sewage works

Now just about able to cross the ford without worrying about only trainers on my feet but nothing extra to add.  Working my way back I had a male Blackcap in a riverside bush and then a Hoopoe in the tall, bare tree opposite the Experimental Station entrance.  The first of the Chiffchaffs put in an appearance and then it was on back down to take the concrete ford across the main river and on to the sewage works where I found four Cattle Egrets in residence.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba

Returning across the river at the lower weir my attention was drawn to the Grey Wagtail feeding at the edge slightly upstream of the weir and, at the same time, a second Hoopoe put in an appearance as it flew down river.  A good start to my river walks with 19 species recorded.

Birds seen:

Cattle Egret, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch.

Female Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
One of a handful of Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis
Male Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

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

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