|Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Wednesday 7 June
On airport collection duties with Derek and Barbara Etherton so time for a short stop at Zapata whilst waiting the plane carrying Esa to arrive. Amazing what can be seen in very short time and, on this occasion, from the track on the airport side of the reedbed. Immediately a Night Heron on the wires over the road bridge as we approached and more seen once parked up opposite the gap in the reeds overlooking the little water that was available.
Sitting in the car we soon added Rock and Collared Doves along with Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Lots of calling Reed Warblers and a few Cetti's Warblers. A Cattle Egret flew upstream on the opposite side and then both Blackbird and Hoopoe in close succession. In front of us a Sardinian Warbler and then a small flock of Spotless Starlings.
|Juvenile Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
At the main river a juvenile Grey Wagtail was a lovey sighting. Slightly further away a Little Egret was foraging at the water's edge. Also present a couple of Little Ringed Plovers that were soon joined by a single Back-winged Stilt.
|Little Egret Egretta garzetta
As we were considering leaving, a couple of Jays in the trees in front of us and then the sight of both Linnets and Serins. A juvenile Grey Wagtail was a lovey sighting. A Mallard flew upstream quickly followed by a Heron and finally a Crested Lark as the message came through that Esa had landed and was awaiting our pleasure.
|Juvenile Linnets Carduelis cannabina drinking and bathing
Next came Esa's introduction to birding in Spain with a visit to the Rio Grande. As soon as we arrived we noted Cattle Egret, Chaffinch, Blue Tit and Blackbird having passed a resting Little Owl as drove through El Romeral. Moving through the trees and out at the other side by the confluence of the Guadalhorce and Rio Grande we added Blackcap, Raven, Heron, Bee-eater and Sardinian Warbler. Above us both Common and Pallid Swifts along with House Martin and Barn Swallow. A Jay was in the nearby trees and a few resident House Sparrows as we made our way back through the trees to follow the Rio Grande upstream.
Below us a pair of Little Ringed Plovers and a good number of Black-winged Stilts. Just a single pair of Mallard and a lone Heron as a Hoopoe crossed the track in front of us. Having noted the White Wagtail we once more came across one of the visiting Squacco Herons before pausing to watch the passing Sparrowhawk. Nearer the river crossing more Little Egrets and a Turtle Dove on the far side. These trees also produced a handful of Greenfinches.
|Little Egret with Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
At this point we watched a Purple Heron fly downstream and alight in the long grass which, in turn, also revealed the Iberian Yellow Wagtail. A Golden Oriole was singing on the opposite bank as we made our way upstream beyond both the road bridge and large, steel water supply pipe. Below us a pair of Waxbill with Woodpigeons to the side and a Booted Eagle overhead.
|Iberian Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava iberiae
By the time we had reached the far pool with its collection of Black-winged Stilts we had also recorded Serin, Collared Dove, Crested Lark, Cetti's Warbler, and a small charm of Goldfinches. All in all not a bad introduction to Spanish birding for Esa after his five hour light from Finland.
|Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
Mallard, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Booted Eagle, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Turtle Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barb Swallow, House Martin, Iberian Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Nightingale, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Golden Oriole, Jay, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Waxbill, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.
|Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
|Black-winged Stilt with Little Ringed Plovers