Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Cabo de Gata with the Arboleas Birding Group

Wednesday 23 June

Lovely weather for the last Arboleas Bird Group visit of the season even if fewer species than Dave and company might have expected.  Even so, four species of tern in a grand total of 29 was no mean feat.  Also, I like the reference to the two Iberian Grey Shrikes.  Now time for a break and look forward to joining the group should they be returning to Cabo de Gata in September/October.  Thanks for the many reports Dave.

Cabo de Gata   -   Wednesday 23rd June

For our last organised trip before our two month summer break, I decided we'd go to Cabo de Gata.  I picked up Berni in the village and headed to Los Gallardos where we collected Juda.  I then drove down the A7/E15 to junction 467 where our bird list began.  We spotted Collared Dove, Spotless Starling and an Iberian Grey Shrike by the time we reached the first hide. Kevin, Trevor and Neville were already there. They had already logged Greater Flamingo, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Shelduck, Yellow-legged Gull and Barn Swallow.  As I was catching up on the paperwork, Kevin spotted a pair of Raven apparently scavenging the remains of a dead bird on the far bank.  Also seen were Common Swift and House Martin.  I found a Gull-billed Tern on the rocky causeway standing on a rock.  Kevin stated he was looking at a tern on a post.  Sure enough, not 5 metres to the right, was a Whiskered Tern.

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We had a refreshment break in Cabo village and made our way to the second hide.  A brief seawatch produced nothing!

We trudged our way to the hide.  A pair of Gull-billed Terns did a nice fly past.  I spotted some Little Terns quartering the water.  There was a small flock of feeding Slender-billed Gulls just in front of the causeway gap.  In the gap itself I spotted six sleeping Spoonbill.  Kevin, who was checking out the bay to the right, added another two Spoonbill who were feeding.  Also there were two Oystercatchers, a Grey Heron and a Little Egret.  I found a distant Iberian Grey Shrike on a bush.  We scanned the savannah for Stone Curlews without success.

Moving on to the public hide, we again saw an Iberian Grey Shrike, this time on a power line.  Kevin found a Shelduck and Juda a second.  I locked on to a tern flying towards us, our fourth tern species of the day, a Common Tern.

We then followed the track to the church, but only saw a couple of Thekla Larks.  A trip to the lighthouse produced Yellow-legged Gulls and lots of tourists!  On the way back, Berni spotted a Black Wheatear.
As it was getting quite hot we had an early lunch.  On the way back to the motorway we added a Jackdaw.
We saw 29 species.  A lovely days birding in good company.

We wish Richard Hiron's wife Pat a successful knee replacement surgery and everybody a good, safe and healthy summer.   Regards, Dave

Due to hazy conditions and the birds keeping their distance, only one photo today!

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