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)

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