Monday, 30 April 2012

Sunday, 29th April 2012

Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky 2/8 cloud, wind SW F2-3, temp.15ºC.  10:15 – 11:40.

A later start and a brighter day today, so I decided to make it a 'photographic' day - ambling around and trying to take photos of anything I could get close enough to.  Walking into the lighthouse garden there were 3 Spotted Flycatchers together, and a Woodchat on the fence.  Further into the garden, a female Common Whitethroat, but that was it.  In the ‘Sirio’ gardens next to the car park, there were a couple of Melodious Warblers, one very photogenic, and a couple more Woodchats, 2 Willow Warblers and a Robin.

The first bird I saw in the garden, this Spotted Flycatcher

 Followed by this Woodchat Shrike

Just to show I've nothing against the commoner residents, A House Sparrow!

 A rather photogenic Melodious Warbler

Another shot of the same bird, showing quite a large pale wing panel

And another - but this time showing a rounded head and brown legs - definitely Melodious!

Species seen/heard
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Robin (erythacus rubecula)
Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)
Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta)
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Marchamalo Salinas (La Manga)
Weather: Sky 2/8 cloud, wind SW F2 - 3, temp. 15 - 19ºC.  11:50 – 13:25.

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).  There were no waders, but over the mimosa grove there was a continuous passage of Pallid Swifts, Swallows and House Martins.  In the mimosas themselves, I flushed a Turtle Dove and had 3 Spotted Flycatchers, a single Woodchat Shrike and Willow Warbler. On the open fields beyond the mimosas, a Short-toed Lark was singing.
I found all the waders round at the ‘Playa Paraiso’ side of the Salinas.  In the westernmost lagoon, a group of 15 Curlew Sandpipers, many in breeding plumage, 6 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 13 Sanderling and in total 62 Little Stint.  In nearby lagoons were 45 Shelducks, 18 Slender-billed Gulls and 35 Avocets.  There was no sign of the Flamingos seen yesterday. 
Seen on every visit these days, one of several Kentish Plover

Not so common, Sanderling are normally only around for a few days

 The mixed group of waders are quite flighty - here seen Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Kentish and Little Stint

The Curlew Sandpipers are quite colourful at this time of year

The Little Stints aren't bad either
Species seen/heard
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus Himantopus)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Sanderling (Calidris alba)
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)
Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
Bee-eater (Merpos apiaster)
Monk Parakeet ((Myiopsitta monachus)
Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)
Blue-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava iberiae)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Fan-tailed Warbler (Cisticola juncidis)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)

Marchamalo Salinas (La Manga) & Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden.
Weather: Sky 3 - 7/8 cloud, rain later, wind SW F2, temp. 19ºC.  17:30 – 19:25.

In the afternoon I went back to the Salinas (the mimosas area), just to check if anything else had dropped in (and also, because there is a good group of Taray trees there which I have found to be the favorite habitat for Wood Warblers on migration, to see if they had arrived yet as they should be here any day now).  I drew a blank with the Wood Warblers, but new in were a male and female Pied Flycatcher.

As I was over that way, I decided to have another look at the lighthouse garden (even though it’s Sunday and the place likely to be overrun with tourists).  In the 5 or so minutes it took to get there, a menacing dark cloud came over, and many people were running for their cars.
In the garden itself, there obviously had been some movement, as I had in total 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatcher, a male Subalpine Warbler (the first for a couple of days), a Common Whitethroat, Nightingale, Woodchat Shrike, Willow Warbler and 2 Melodious Warblers.  I didn’t manage to cover the whole area as it started to rain (and didn’t look like it was likely to stop anytime soon) so I decided to get back to the car and home.

 Definitely a day for Spotted Flycatrchers today

 And in the afternoon, a few Pied Flycatchers as well

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