Monday 3 May 2021

Las Campinuelas

One sleepy Little owl!

 Monday 3 May

A calm, cloudy and cooler day for my morning visit to nearby Las Campinuelas.  The Pallid Swift colony was active as ever as I passed through the Algarrobo Costa and on up towards the motorway then taking the country lane down towards the dry river bed that borders the site.  Once on the track alongside the river bed immediately seen were Goldfinches, Serin, House Sparrows and Blackbirds.  Turning up towards my usual parking area I also noted a number of both Barn Swallows and House Martins.

Crested Lark Galerida cristata

Once parked I took the track through the olive grove parallel to the road and immediately had a couple of Wood Pigeon fly past along with a few Crested Lark sightings and more Blackbirds.  Overhead a good number of Common Swifts were feeding low in the sky and once within sight of the old ruin on top of the hill I noticed the sentinel Little Owl.

Little Owl Athene noctua

Moving down to the spring and neighbouring green cover I could hear a couple of Reed Warblers and a Collared Dove was drinking from the spring.  The wire over the road held a Great Tit as I crossed to take my circular walk around the main dehesa.  Almost immediately a Booted Eagle was not that high above the ruin in front of me and a couple of Spotless Starlings few my way.  At the bottom of the slope I stopped to observe a bird below a dense tree with bare branches at the bottom near the ground.  Such a bright yellow upper breast above the white and the whole bird had a glossy look about it in addition to the vivid face markings; my first Wood Warbler of the year.  Continuing on a constant calling of the local Chaffinches and in a rough area to my right a very large charm of feeding Goldfinches plus a few Serin and Crested Larks as I took notice of the gathering Bee-eaters

A small selection of the Bee-eaters Merops apiaster

To my right a couple of Sardinian Warblers and a first Woodchat Shrike of the morning.  Once down the bank and making my way round the model aeroplane runway, lots more Crested Larks and passing Bee-eaters but also a another handful of Woodchat Shrike.  Finally, across the road and along the last stretch over the relatively open field where I saw my last species of the morning, three squawking Monk Parakeets, and more Barn Swallows, House Martins and Common Swifts.

Woodchat Shrikes Lanius senator

Birds seen:

Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Little Owl, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Bee-eater, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Wood Warbler, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch.

Could this possibly be a pair of newly-fledged House Sparrows Passer domesticus?

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

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