Thursday 30 September 2021

Las Campinuelas

 Thursday 30 September

Message from my friend Chris this morning to inform me that a Dotterel and kettle of Black Stork had been recorded at nearby Las Campinuelas yesterday (late) afternoon so decided to get in the car and head off for same.  This time I did not park up and walk the circuit, rather I drove to the muck heap so that I could check out the barren, open land (plus the muck heap) by using the car as a hide. As I entered the area a quartet of Cattle Egrets on the wires watching the harrowing and a Blackbird crossed the road.  Once at the muck heap I watched as a number of Crested Larks made a hasty departure but there, on the top, a very patient juvenile Woodchat Shrike which was happy to pose and have its photograph taken.

Juvenile Woodchat Shrike

Whilst sitting quietly in the car at the muck heap I also recorded a nuber of Stonechat and a lone Whinchat along with a pair of Greenfinch.  Then it was off on a very slow, lots of stopping drive in the open along the various tracks. In addition to the numerous Crested Larks and many Stonechat I also found a good number of Northern Wheatear and, at the same time, there was a steady movement across the area of Barn Swallows.  A lone Hoopoe also flew over and then on to the top of hill and back down past the model aircraft runway.  This area produced a handful of House Sparrows and a charm in excess of 50 Goldfinch.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe

More Northern Wheatears before finding a close, long-resting Whinchat giving a better photo opportunity.  back to the muck heap which was now hosing a couple of Yellow Wagtails.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra

rather than return the same way I headed up along the Velez Malaga road to take the Algarrobo camino to check out the spring  that I normally visit soon after the start of a "normal" walk round the site.  More Blackbirds but the three pomegranate trees to the far side contained over-fresh fruit and sitting in the middle a young or female Spectacled Warbler.  Even better, concealed behind some dry twigs at the bottom of the tree, I found my first Wryneck of the year.  And returning to the car a Sardinian Warbler joined the others.

Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata

And so back home with a smile on my face to greeted by the ever-present Monk Parakeets.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava

Birds seen:

Cattle Egret, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Blackbird, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

Crested Lark Galerida cristata

Two more shots of same Whinchat Saxicola rubetra

Our juvenile Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator

It may be it's the early bird that catches the worm but this Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava did alright with a flying insect!

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

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