Saturday, 28 April 2012

Saturday, 28th April 2012

Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky totally overcast, no wind, temp.16ºC.  08:30 – 09:35.

Maybe it was the overcast conditions, but today seemed to be really hard work to find any birds apart from the residents.  Birds of note were a female Golden Oriole glimpsed for 4 seconds (at least it was with the bins); a single Willow Warbler, a couple each of Melodious Warblers and Robins; the rear-end of a Common Redstart as it dived into a bush, and I heard the sub-song of a Nightingale!  Other migrants seen were a dozen Swallows, 8 Swift/Pallid Swift (impossible to tell which with the cloud covered sky) and 2 Common Terns over the sea.

The only Willow Warbler seen today - the Spring passage's almost over

In the photo of the Melodious Warbler, note the insect it is eating – I think an ant or flying ant and I’m not sure it liked the taste of it (mind you, can’t be much fun having formic acid squeezed over your taste buds - presuming birds have taste buds - a bit like your first ever curry being a madras).

 Melodious Warbler - not so sure about what it's eating

Adult Audouin's Gull on one of the rocky islets in the Med.

Species seen/heard
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Rock Dove/Domestic Pigeon (Columba livia)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Swift/Pallid Swift (Apus apus/pallidus)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
Robin (erythacus rubecula)
Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta)
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Marchamalo Salinas (La Manga)
Weather: Sky 8/8 cloud, wind SW F0 - 1, temp. 18ºC.  09:45 – 11:10.

On the way back from Cabo de Palos I called in firstly at the La Manga side of the Salinas (below the go-kart track).  Waderwise, there was much the same species as on previous days although the number of Curlew Sandpipers had dropped a bit (to 15).  In the mimosa trees there wasn’t a lot to see, just a Spotted Flycatcher, Turtle Dove and a pair of Woodchats, and 3 Iberian Wagtails along the path.
I then went round to the ‘Playa Paraiso’ side of the Salinas.  Here there were much more waders (24 Black Winged Stilts; 44 Little Stints; 5 Sanderling; Greenshanks, Little Ringed and Kentish Plovers, Avocets), and quite surprisingly, a group of 8 adult Greater Flamingos, the first I’ve seen there for some time.

Male Kentish Plover - possibly on of a breeding pair 

Sanderling in a group of Little Stints

Black Winged Stilt waving hello!

Species seen/heard
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus Himantopus)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Sanderling (Calidris alba)
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Redshank (Tringa tetanus)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Swift/Pallid Swift (Apus apus/pallidus)
Blue-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava iberiae)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)

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