Wednesday 1 June 2022

Cabo de Gata & Rambla Morales

Wednesday 1 June 

Whilst Dave and his Arboleas Birding Group were enjoying the scenic beauty of Cabo de Gata along with some lovely sightings, I spent a couple of hours at Fuente de Piedra where I finally joined all the other local, and more distant, birders, by sighting a couple of Lesser Flamingos feeding alongside their local resident cousins.

Cabo de Gata & Rambla Morales; Wednesday 1st June

Can you believe half the year's gone already?  I picked Juda up from Los Gallardos and headed south on the A7/E15 coming off at junction 467 in the direction of Cabo de Gata.  We only saw a Jackdaw before we arrived at the first hide, being closely followed by Barrie and Beryl.  A vociferous flight of Black-winged Stilts flew over.  We were joined by Trevor, Frans, Marga, Peter, Ab, Jenni and Jacky. Apart from the usual Greater Flamingos, there was a resting group of Slender-billed Gulls on a sandbank by the rocky causeway as the water level was low.  With them were 9 Gull-billed Terns. Barrie spotted an Iberian Yellow Wagtail on a nearby fence.  In the water we found Avocets, Little Egrets, Black-tailed Godwit and more Black-winged Stilts.  Barrie added 7 Ringed Plover whilst I found 19 Spoonbill down the far end of the salina.  A flight of 5 Glossy Ibis flew over.  I was probably the only person to see the flying Hoopoe over the distant savannah.  There was a single Black-headed Gull standing in the shallow water.  Jacky added a Red-rumped Swallow quartering the left hand scrubland.  Barrie found a Grey Plover and some Kentish Plover down the left hand waters edge. 

Iberian Yellow Wagtail (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We adjourned for a coffee before making our way to the second hide.  Jacky had a birdless scan out to sea.  At the hide she did find a Yellow-legged Gull.  I found one with two fluffy chicks standing in the water on the far side.  Also there were 4 (more?) Spoonbill.  Peter spotted an Iberian Grey Shrike on the savannah.  It flew to a nearby copse.  Some Spotless Starlings flew by as did a pair of Red-rumped Swallows.  Numerous Gull-billed Terns flew by and eventually we saw a pair of Sandwich Terns.  A wader I found in a gap in the causeway turned out to be a Greenshank.

Moving on to the public hide we immediately saw a Shelduck in front of us.  A scan revealed 9 more. There were numerous Little Terns flying around.  Some Avocet were seen on the island opposite, obviously sitting on eggs.  Barrie added Dunlin and Sanderling.  We exited via the church track, seeing nothing on the fencing.

Shelduck (Photo: David Elliott-Binns)

Jacky left us at this point to walk the rear of the reserve.  The rest of us convoyed along the beachside track to Rambla Morales.  Some Audouin's Gulls flew over.  As we parked up, two Common Terns flew along the beach.  There was nothing at the estuary so we wandered down to the hump.  We only saw Black-winged Stilts and Greater Flamingos to start with.  Barrie spotted a male Common Pochard further along, so we walked the 100 metres to get a better view.  There were two males and a single female. a female Mallard with ducklings in tow.  Barrie heard some Goldfinches flying over.  He also saw a Barn Swallow.

We ended up with 33 species.  The weather was hot and sticky, but thankfully there was a sea breeze that got rid of any mosquitos.  A good day in good company.

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