Friday 23 June 2023

Cabo de Gata & Rambla Morales

Now if I'd known that Dave and his Arbloeas Birding Group were visiting Cabo de Gata I could have asked for them to look out for my bird Note book that I left in the public hide back in late May! On t other hand, pleased to see that they saw more than me on my hot, sunny day visit which proved to be almost devoid of bird life.

Cabo de Gata & Rambla Morales: Wednesday 21st June

Headed south on the A7/E15 in glorious sunshine. Nearing the exit to Cabo de Gata, traffic started to build as I approached some roadworks. The start of the contraflow on our side was just by a junction entrance so you had three lanes going into one. It was a nightmare. Eventually managed to cross onto the opposite carriageway. Traffic was all stop and start. We passed our exit. Found out as I approached the end that there was an accident on the opposing lane making matters so much worse. Had to go to the next junction and head back along the minor road. I eventually got to the first hide late, but first to arrive. The usual 1.25hr journey took nearly 2 hours!

Trevor arrived next followed by Peter (who'd seen a Kestrel) & Alan.

Sea Daffodil Pancratium maritimum (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

A scan of the waters and scrubland in front of us produced Black-winged Stilt, Greater Flamingos, Mallard and a Coot. Coots are not normally seen here. I found a Yellow Wagtail on top of a shrub. Peter spotted an Iberian Grey Shrike on the power line behind us. We found a single Black-tailed Godwit on the rocky causeway. A House Martin flew by. I found a pair of Shelduck as Alan spotted an Avocet. I found some Gull-billed Terns quartering over the far savannah. Alan added a Kentish Plover.
We adjourned for coffee in the village. We then headed to the 2nd hide. As we parked up a Raven flew along the beach.  Lots Of Sea Daffodils in flower. The hide itself only produced a Yellow-legged Gull to add to the list. A lizard sunbathed below us. Gull-billed Terns were in evidence.

Gull-billed Terns (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

The public hide was equally disappointing but I did find some Black-necked Grebes amongst the Greater Flamingos an Shelducks. Exiting via the church track I found a Kestrel on top of a pylon.
As we headed back towards Cabo village I added a Spotless Starling. Joining the beach track towards Rambla Morales I spotted a Greenfinch. Further along I disturbed a pale coloured finch which could've been a Trumpeter. 

An Audouin's Gull flew along the beach and a Cormorant was swimming nearby. We walked towards the mound, only adding a Thekla Lark. In the water we saw Greater Flamingos, 2 Avocet, 2 Black Winged Stilts and a Coot. We could hear Reed Warblers.  We were about to leave when Alan had a fleeting glimpse of a flying Little Bittern. We walked to where it had landed but never found it. We headed back to the vehicles. Trevor guessed correctly the number of species, 25. Sorry to disappoint you, Trevor, but I saw Barn Swallow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Bee-eater and Woodpigeon on the way back to the motorway!

Ended up with 30 species. Not the best day, but enjoyable in good company!

Sunbathing Lizard (PHOTP: David Elliott-Binns)

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