Saturday, 31 March 2012

Saturday 31st March 2012



Calblanque
Weather: Sky totally overcast, no wind, temp.15ºC. 10:00 – 13:00.

Today was meant to be the 3rd ringing day at Calblanque, but it had to be postponed until next Monday, so I thought I’d go down to the ringing area to see what we may have had.  On the way there from Los Belones via Las Jordanas, I had first 2, then two single birds fly over in front of me.  I thought they looked a bit like crows, and was surprised to see when I finally got the bins on the last one, that they were in fact Chough.  I have seen them once before in this area, but it must have been at least 5 years ago.
The ringing area itself was pretty quiet, just a lot of Greenfinches, Linnets and Serins and a single Chiff/Willow which was calling.  However, getting back into my car I scanned around and saw a large raptor a long way off which was gradually spiraling in my direction.  As it got nearer, I could see it was a sub-adult Golden Eagle (showing white flashes in the wings and white in the tail).  I managed to get a couple of record photos of it.  Another species I’ve not seen in theseparts for many a year.

 One of many finches in the area, a very red male Linnet

 Record shot of a surprise bird flying over, an immature Golden Eagle 

I then went over to the Rasall Salinas to check on Audouin’s Gulls, but there were only 12 there (surprisingly 2 with colour rings on, one of which continues to break the longevity record for this species, having been ringed in the Delta del Ebro (Tarragona) as a pullus on the 19th June 1988).  I walked the southern fence and came across quite a mix of waders, 2 Redshank, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Kentish Plover and a single Wood Sandpiper.  I also had a Stone Curlew fly over the lagoons and could hear several others in the distance (together with a Quail), and managed to take a photo of a lark that I’m still not convinced as to what it is (but think it's probably Thekla).

  
 Even when they're close they're not easy - a Thekla Lark (I think!)
Species seen
Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
Serin (Serinus serinus)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
Rock Dove/Domestic Pigeon (Columba livia)
Swift/Pallid Swift (Apus apus/Apus pallidus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
Chiffchaff/Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus collybita/trochilus)
House Martin (Delichon urbica)
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa)
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Redshank (Tringa tetanus)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Blue-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
Quail (Coturnix coturnix)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristatus)
Crested/Thekla Lark (Galerida cristata/theklae)

Marchamalo salinas
Weather: Sky totally overcast,  wind SE F1 , temp.21ºC. 13:15 – 15:00.

Coming out of Calblanque, I arranged to meet a birdwatching friend, Mick Brewer, to have a look at the Salinas at Marchamalo.  On his way walking to meet me he had a male Pied Flycatcher on the fence alongside the Salinas.  As there was nothing new on the Salinas themselves, we decided to walk the fence and see if we could find anything else.  We did see a minimum of 10 Chiff/Willows (which were of both species, as we heard the song of both), and refound the Pied Flycatcher briefly, and lots of Corn Buntings singing (they seem to be everywhere these last few days).  Then, on the way back to my car, I saw a raptor soaring fairly high up.  I got my bins on it, and at first glance it seemed like a Common Buzzard.  But with a pale head, and red tail?  I thought it needed further investigation, and managed to get a few photos of it.
I checked the Dick Forsman book ‘Raptors of Europe and the Middle East’, but still couldn’t satisfy myself as to what it was (I was in the realms of Common Buzzard/Steppe Buzzard/Long-legged Buzzard).  In the end I sent the photos off to people who I knew would be able to identify it – and felt very red-faced when I got their reply, which was unanimous, an immature Marsh Harrier!   My only (weak) defense is that I don’t often see them soaring overhead – normally they’ve got the ‘V’ shaped wings and are quartering fields or reedbeds.  Just goes to show, doesn’t matter how long you’re in this game, there are always new things to learn!

One of at least haf a dozen Corn Buntings seen

 The 'mystery' raptor, in fact a Marsh Harrier

Species seen
Avocet (Recurvostra avosetta)
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Chiffchaff/Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus collybita/trochilus)
Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)
Blue-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
Swift/Pallid Swift (Apus apus/Apus pallidus)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)


Friday 30th March 2012


Rambla de Albujon
Weather: Sky 2/8 cloud, no wind, temp. 21ºC.  15:30 – 17:45.

I spent the afternoon at the west end of the Mar Menor, again attempting to photograph the Spotted Crake (assuming it’s still about) but had no luck.  In the rambla itself, there are still both Common and Jack Snipe hanging about, together with a single Water Pipit and I heard at least 2 Cetti’s Warblers.  In the Mar Menor, there were 2 adult Audouin’s Gulls (unusual here), a group of 7 Black-necked Grebes and a couple of Little Stint along the shoreline.  I also had a large group of an estimated 150 mixed Swifts fly over (Common and Pallids).
Later I called in at the club nautico Los Urrutias area, where I had not 1 but 2 Great White Egrets, one feeding in its usual area, the other flying over east.
On the way home to Los Belones, just outside Los Nietos I had a group of hirundines made up of at least 4 House Martins, and 4 Red-rumped Swallows, the first I’ve seen this year.

 My first attempt at digiscoping with a new camera, a Slender-billed Gull

Species seen
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cettia)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Swift (Apus apus)
Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sanvicensis)
Great White Egret (Egretta alba)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
House Martin (Delichon urbica)
Little Owl (Athene noctua)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Thursday 29th March 2012



Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky no cloud, wind NW F2, temp. 13ºC.  08:30 – 09:20.

Back to the morning sessions at the lighthouse garden, a bit of a surprise in the form of a Songthrush and 3 Robins heard, but apart from that nothing unusual.

 Record shot of the Songthrush seen this morning - a bit of a surprise this, as most have passed through by now

Species seen
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Rock Dove/Domestic Pigeon (Columba livia)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Songthrush (Turdus philomelos)
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)
Serin (Serinus serinus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Marchamalo Salinas, La Manga
Weather: Sky no cloud,  wind NW F1, temp. 14ºC.  09:30 – 09:40.

On the way back from Cabo de Palos, I called in just at the La Manga side of the Salinas.  Of note there was a group of 8 Grey Herons standing together in one of the pools, obviously newly arrived.
Also, a flock of 24 Little Stints feeding on the muddy fringes.  There were still a fair number (12) of Slender-billed Gulls about, but much more dispersed than yesterday.

Species seen
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Wednesday 28th March 2012



Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky no cloud, wind NE F3, temp. 19ºC.  14:15 – 15:10.

Today I tried the lighthouse garden early afternoon to see if there would be any change with regards to migrants.  There were a few more about, with a female Common Redstart, a couple of Black Redstarts, and 2 House Martins and a Swallow flying through.  Also 2 immature Shags close in on a rock.

Black Redstart typically showing itself on the rocks

Immature Shags showing themselves unusually close

Species seen
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sanvicensis)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin (Delichon urbica)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Marchamalo Salinas, La Manga
Weather: Sky no cloud,  wind NE F3, temp. 19ºC.  15:30 – 15:55.

On the way back from Cabo de Palos, I called in on both sides of the Salinas.  At the La Manga side, I came across a group of 28 Slender-billed Gulls resting on the mud at the side of the first lagoon.  They were mainly adults, now showing their breeding plumage of a pink tinge to their undersides, and deep red bills.
On the ‘Playa Paraiso’ side, there was little to see – just a pair of Kentish Plover, a Little Ringed Plover and a couple of Black Winged Stilts feeding.

Part of the group of Slender-billed Gulls, all adults

...and a first year bird
Species seen
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)

Calblanque
Weather: Sky no cloud, wind NE F3, temp. 20ºC.  16:05 – 16:30.

I then went for a short ride over to Calblanque from Los Belones via Las Jordanas, and struck lucky seeing my first Woodchat Shrike of the year on the edge of a carab tree.  I saw very little else though but could hear a Green Woodpecker calling continuously.

 
Record shot of my first Woodchat Shrike of the year
  
Species seen
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Tuesday 27th March 2012



Calblanque
Weather: Sky no cloud,  wind NE F2-3, temp.22ºC. 17:30 – 19:00.

A lazy day today, not going out birding till the afternoon!  I had a look around the area where the ringing takes place.   No sign of any quantity of birds, but I did come across my first Common Redstart of the year, and also heard a Chiff/Willow, and on the fossil dunes, there were a pair of Stone Curlew which took to flight as soon as they saw me.

My first Common Redstart of the year
 
I then went down to the Salinas, stopping on the way at a place where when there’s been a fall of any size, I normally see a few birds.  Here I had a second Common Redstart, and surprisingly a male Blue Rock Thrush on the roof of some abandoned farm buildings.  At the Salinas themselves, just the normal Audouin’s Gulls (103 today, with 5 rings read), and up to 6 Corn Buntings singing.

A surprise in the form of a male Blue Rock Thrush

Species seen
Serin (Serinus serinus)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
Chiff/Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus collybita/trochilus)
Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
Fan-tailed Warbler (Cisticola juncidis)
Corn Bunting (Miliaris calandra)
Rock Dove/Domestic Pigeon (Columba livia)
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
Little Owl (Athene noctua)
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)
Crested Lark ((Galerida cristata)

Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky no cloud, wind NE F4, temp. 18ºC.  19:30 – 20:00.

A late visit to the lighthouse garden at Cabo de Palos, but again hardly anything in the way of migrants.  A single Black Redstart, and a group of a dozen swifts (either Common or Pallid) flew through high up.  I may have found the reason why there are no small birds though!


About half of the reception committee awaiting any small birds in the lighthouse garden

 Species seen
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
Swift/Pallid Swift (Apus apus/Pallidus)
 

  

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Monday 26th March 2012



Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky 2/8 cloud, wind NE F2-3, temp. 13ºC.  08:55 – 09:35.

Another slow morning in the lighthouse garden, with nothing at all out of the ordinary, and no sign of migration!

Species seen
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Marchamalo Salinas, La Manga
Weather: Sky 3-4/8 cloud,  wind NE F3-4, temp. 15ºC.  09:40 – 10:00.

On the way back from Cabo de Palos, a quick visit to the Salinas, but again, no great change.

Species seen
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)

EDAR Cabeza Beaza, Cartagena
Weather: Sky 2-3/8 cloud, wind NE F2, temp. 17ºC.  17:00 – 19:45.

This afternoon was the monthly count at the EDAR (sewage farm) at Cabeza Beaza, just outside Cartagena, which I do together with Antonio Fernandez-Caro Gomez, Diego Zamora Uran and Antonio S S.  This is the only location locally where such birds as White-headed Duck and Shoveler can be guaranteed, and there’s always the chance of something out of the ordinary.  The level of water in the two large lagoons today was particularly low, showing a lot of mud around the margins of the water, and there were a lot of waders taking advantage of this.  Notable amongst the ducks was a pair of Red Crested Pochard, while the number of Black-winged Stilts was particularly high.  Other birds of note seen, were a total of 8 first-year Greater Flamingos, a female-type Marsh Harrier hunting over the banks of the lagoons, and a Sparrowhawk flying around with a mixed group of Pallid and Common Swifts.

One of a few Little Ringed Plovers to be seen round the lagoons

 Common Swift flying over one of the lagoons

This Sparrowhawk caused some havoc amongst the Swifts

Species seen
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rudina)
Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Pochard (Aythra ferina)
Teal (Anas crecca)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala)
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa)
Coot (Fulica atra)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
Swift (Apus apus)
Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)


Monday, 26 March 2012

Sunday 25th March 2012



Arenal, Los Nietos
Weather: Sky 3/8 cloud hazy,  wind NE F1, temp.15ºC. 13:45 – 15:00.

As I’d not been along here for a while, I thought I’d check to see if the wintering Richard’s Pipit was still about.  Although a Sunday is not the best day to go here, I thought I’d be safe as it was lunchtime.  However, I’d forgotten that this is a favorite picnic area!
It took a while, but I did eventually find the Richard’s Pipit but as always it wouldn’t allow a close approach.  While wandering over the sand dunes, I also put up a couple of Short-toed Larks, the first I’ve seen this year, and identified my first definite Common Swift of the year, flying along the beach.

Species seen
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
Southern Grey Shrike  (Lanius meridionalis)
Crested Lark ((Galerida cristata)
Short-toed Lark  (Calandrella brachydactyla)
Richard’s Pipit (Anthus richardi)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
Swift (Apus apus)

Los Urrutias Club Nautico
Weather: Sky 3/8 cloud, wind NE F1, temp. 16ºC.  15:20 – 16:00.

From the arenal, I thought I’d call into the club nautico to see if I could get some photos of the Great White Egret (and bumped into another birder who was also taking photos, Isidro Bartolome).  It was still there, together with 8 Little Egrets now, and a dozen Slender-billed Gulls.  On the Mar Menor beyond the club nautico was a group of 3 Black-necked Grebes, all now in breeding plumage.

 The Great White Egret strutting about and a Little Egret landing

A Little Egret being totally ignored by a pair of Slender-billed Gulls
Species seen
Great White Egret (Egretta alba)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

Rambla de Albujon
Weather: Sky 3-5/8 cloud, wind NE F1-2, temp. 14ºC.  16:30 – 19:30.

I spent 3 hours of the latter part of the afternoon at the rambla sat on a seat with a pull-over camouflage hide in a (vain) attempt to photograph the Spotted Crake, and saw the usual suspects there, plus a Little Ringed Plover and Green Sandpiper.

Water Pipit changing from winter to breeding plumage

Species seen
Moorhen (Gallinua chloropus)
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti)
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Great Tit (Parus major)





Sunday, 25 March 2012

Saturday 24th March 2012



Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky 8/8 cloud,  wind NE F3-4, temp.15ºC.  08:45 – 09:35.

Still nothing much to see (but maybe the wind was causing the birds to keep their heads down).  Best birds, a group of 5 White Wagtails heading out to sea, and a Chiff/Willow heard!

Species seen
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)
Chiff/Willow (Phylloscopus collybita/trochilus)
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Marchamalo Salinas, La Manga
Weather: Sky 1/8 cloud,  wind NE F2, temp. 11ºC.  09:10 – 09:45.

On the way back from Cabo de Palos, I called in at the La Manga side of the Marchamalo Salinas, where the group of Avocets remained, together with a good number of Shelduck, a couple of Grey Heron and a Greenshank.

 Part of the group of Avocets currently at the salinas
Species seen
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)


Rambla de Albujon
Weather: Sky 8/8 cloud, wind NE F1, temp. 13ºC.  18:00 – 19:15.

This afternoon I took a walk along the rambla, past the motorway bridge and as far as the next bridge (I don’t normally go this far when I’m at the rambla, but thought I’d check to see if there was anything further upstream).  At the mouth of the rambla, close to the Mar Menor I heard my first local Reed Warbler singing (although I didn’t see it), and just beyond the motorway bridge I saw a Purple Gallinule (Swamphen) out in the open for a few seconds.  Apart from that, thing were pretty much as normal, other birds of note being Common and Jack Snipes, the Spotted Crake, Water Pipit, Hoopoes ‘singing’ and a couple of pairs of Black Winged Stilt (presumably breeding pairs), and a group of 13 Turnstone on the small beach area where the rambla meets the Mar Menor.

The pair of Black-winged Stilts which have arrived at the rambla

Species seen
Moorhen (Gallinua chloropus)
Coot (Fulica atra)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Serin (Serinus serinus)
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)
Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana)
Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio porphyrio)
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) (heard only)
Hoopoe (Upupa epops) (heard only)
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Chiff/Willow (Phylloscopus collybita/trochilus) – heard only
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa)
Reed Warbler (Acrocephalusscirpaceus) – heard only
Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti)
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

Los Urrutias Club Nautico
Weather: Sky 8/8 cloud, wind NE F1, temp. 12ºC.  19:25 – 19:19:30.

On the way home from the rambla, I called in briefly at the club nautico area on the Mar Menor, as I’d heard that the Great White Egret which had spent most of January there, had returned.  And indeed, there it was, together with 4 Little Egrets and a group of 8 Greenshank.

And lastly, on the roof of an old abandoned farm building along the road to Los Nietos, I saw a pair of Little Owl as I returned home.

Species seen
Great White Egret (Egretta alba)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Little Owl (Athene noctua)




Saturday, 24 March 2012

Friday 23rd March 2012



Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky 1/8 cloud, hazy, wind NE F2, temp. 9ºC.  08:05 – 08:55.

Another early trip to the lighthouse garden, but not an awful lot to see, the most notable being a flock of 35 Slender-billed Gulls flying round the rocks at the base of the lighthouse, and going off south.

Species seen
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Serin (Serinus serinus)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Marchamalo Salinas, La Manga
Weather: Sky 1/8 cloud,  wind NE F2, temp. 11ºC.  09:10 – 09:45.

On the way back from Cabo de Palos, I called in at both sides of the Marchamalo Salinas.
On the La Manga side, there was a group of 42 Avocets in the centre of the first lagoon, birds resting and at least 1 pair mating.  Further down the same lagoon was a Spotted Redshank, but nothing else too notable.
Round at the ‘Playa Paraiso’ side, I counted a total of 35 Shelduck, and 3 Stone Curlews flew over low.

The hormones have kicked in – a pair of Avocet mating


And after those seconds of strenuous excercise, a quick kiss and back to feeding

 

A Spotted Redshank having a paddle around


Species seen
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Calblanque
Weather: Sky 1/8 cloud, wind NE F2-3, temp. 15ºC.  17:50 – 18:35.

This afternoon a quick visit to the Salinas at Calblanque to read more Audouin’s Gulls rings.  There were 174 there, and I managed to read 16 rings.  The only birds of note were Corn Bunting, of which I saw 3 all singing.

Species seen
Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)
Crested/Thekla Lark (Galerida cristata/theklae)
Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa)