Wednesday 26 April 2023

Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa

Wednesday 26 April

Numbers may have lower than usual but some great birds seen by Dave and his Arboleas Birding Group during their visit to the Rambla de Almanzora and Vera Playa.  The many small waders my seem "everyday" out in southern Spain but so common back here in the UK.  Looking forward to catching up with such delightfuls as Red-rumped Swallow, Little Stint, Nightingale, Serin, Iberian and Woodchat Shrikes and many more.

Rambla de Almanzora & Vera Playa: Wednesday 26th April

Having to drop a friend off at the Overa hotel to pick up the airport shuttle bus, I delayed birdwatching by a quarter of an hour.  I picked up Juda at the Ballabona services and headed straight to the "ford" parking area above the Almanzora rambla.  Alan's & Trevor's cars were already parked there, but no sign of them. We assumed correctly they'd walked up to the sewage works.  Juda and I hung around the vehicles in case anyone else turned up.  ( Albert was due to come, but I later got a message from him to say he was on the way but didn't feel well so turned around.  Hope he's feeling better now!)  Whilst we were waiting we birdwatched a flight of Cattle Egret, Spotless Starlings, a Moorhen, Goldfinch, House Sparrow and a Chiffchaff.  We listened to a Nightingale.

Alan and Trevor returned having seen Common Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Red-rumped and Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, White Wagtail, Magpie and Woodpigeon.  There were Common Pochard, Mallard and Little Grebe on the large pool.

Black-winged Stilt (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We made our way to the beach where we struggled to find anything.  Juda eventually spotted 2 Cormorants fishing in the harbour entrance.  A Yellow-legged Gull flew over.

We moved onto the embankment overlooking the estuary.  Birding was not helped by a cyclist and walker near the waterside.  Alan spotted Ringed and Kentish Plovers, Redshank and Grey Plover. Also seen were Coot and Mallard.  We heard a Cetti's Warbler.

Little Ringed Plover (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

After a cup of coffee in the "Shark" cafe, Villaricos, where I added a Common Swift, we headed for the dual carriageway opposite the Consum supermarket behind Vera Playa.  We were joined by Jacky.  The usual Moorhen were in and around the shallow water by the first stop.  Also there were two Curlew Sandpipers asleep with two of the three Wood Sandpipers seen.  Alan added a Little Stint.  There were only a few Greater Flamingos and a similar number of Whiskered Terns.  Also seen were Little Grebes, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls and Little Egret.  Alan spotted an Avocet which was harassing a Yellow-legged Gull who dared to fly too close to its presumed nest site.  I spotted a Glossy Ibis flying away.  As we drove off a Kestrel flew across our path.

Curlew and Wood Sandpipers (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We next stopped at the 2nd viewing platform opposite the water park.  The water surface is beginning to be covered in duckweed.  We did see Coot with chicks, White-headed Ducks and a single Gadwall. Jacky later saw a Shelduck at the 1st viewing platform.

White-headed Duck (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We ended up with 42 species.  Good weather but a tad windy at the estuary.  A small group but good company.

The photos of the Black-winged Stilt and Little Ringed Plover were taken a couple of days ago in my local rambla.


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