Wednesday 25 May 2022

Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa


Wednesday 25 May

Whilst I was taking Jenny to Alicante Airport for her return flight to Bournemouth, Dave and his Arbloeas Birding Group exploring one of their well-known Almeria birding hotspots.  Great turn out and good number of species albeit visiting "disturbers" probably prevented more from being seen.  By the time Dave had written up his report (below) I had deposited Jenny at the airport and made my way to Elche.  Not immediately finding the overnight accommodation I had booked I carried on to El Fondo foe an enjoyable evening 45 minutes and impressed by the large number of both Marbled Duck and Glossy Ibis.   Now, instead of collapsing on the bed and dreaming a dram, I suppose I, too, had better get on and write my report.

Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa: Wednesday 25th May 2022

The threat of rain having dissipated, Juda and I headed for the Rambla de Almanzora.  As we drove slowly along the embankment towards the ford, we heard Nightingale and Cetti's Warbler and saw Moorhen and Magpie.  We saw the silhouette of a medium sized heron heading seawards.  Luckily Barrie who was waiting with Beryl, Frans and Marga on the opposite side identified it as a sub adult Night Heron.  They'd already seen Hoopoe, Common Swift, House Martin, Spotless Starling and a Woodpigeon.  We were joined by Abi and Jenni, Trevor, Peter, Jacky and her brother in law and his wife.  Also seen were Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

We travelled further up the rambla to where the road crosses it.  No water there so we carried further up. The first pool had some Black-winged Stilt on it.  We found a few distant Bee-eaters.  I spotted a pair of Corn Bunting.  Barrie added Cattle Egret and a Kestrel.  As we were leaving, a Glossy Ibis was seen flying away. 

We adjourned to a Villaricos cafe for coffee where we were joined by David and Myrtle.  Moving to the beach, where it was windy and the breakers were crashing over the harbour rocks, it took Barrie a bit of time to find a single Little Egret on one of the rocky islands.  A couple of Yellow-legged Gulls flew past.  We walked over to the estuary, scrambling up the sandy embankment.  Unfortunately there was an angler below us, but a scan by Barrie revealed Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover and a few Turnstone. There were Coot and Moorhen on the water, Jacky's brother in law found a Grey Heron near a Little Egret.  As well as some Yellow-legged Gulls on the beach, Barrie found a juvenile Audouin's Gull followed by a Slender-billed Gull.

Common Coot (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We then travelled to the dual carriageway behind Vera Playa which overlooks a wetland.  First on the list was a Common Pochard.  There were a number of Greater Flamingos.  Below us I found a couple of Redshank.  Barrie estimated there were about 30 pairs of nesting Black-headed Gulls.  Jacky found a Glossy Ibis.  We also found Black-necked and Little Grebes and White-headed Ducks.  Barrie found an Avocet on a nest.  On the point down the far end were numerous resting Greater Flamingos and a Shelduck.  I spotted a single Whiskered Tern.

Avocet on nest with Kentish Plovers (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We moved round to the elevated viewing platform opposite the Aquaparc.  The pool was overgrown with blanket weed.  We saw Coot, Moorhen and White-headed Ducks.

Blanket weed covered pool (PHOTP: David Elliott-Binns)

A disappointing ending to a good day birding in good company. We ended up with 42 species.

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