Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden
Weather: Sky totally overcast, wind NW F1-2, temp. 12ºC. 08:25 – 09:25. With Mick Brewer.
Back at the lighthouse area this morning, and a few migrants around. Out to sea both Sandwich (which winter here) and Common Terns seen. In the gardens area the usual birds plus in the way of migrants, 3 Northern Wheatear, 2 Robins (heard) one male Subalpine Warbler, a Woodchat Shrike and a flyover ‘flava’ Wagtail. While walking around the cliff area, we had the spectacle of a male Kestrel chasing a small passerine (I think it was another Subalpine Warbler) 'a la' Eleanora’s Falcon.
Kestrel, hunting over the cliffs
And the Woodchats just keep coming
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Rock Dove/Domestic Pigeon (Columba livia)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
‘flava’ Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Salinas de Rasall, Calblanque (Los Belones)
Weather: Sky totally overcast, wind S F1, temp. 17ºC. 14:45 – 15:05.
Later in the morning Mick phoned me to say that whilst driving on the way to the airport he’d seen a large bird flying over the motorway heading towards Los Belones (where I am), possibly a Crane. I went out of my office and kept an eye on the sky, and sure enough about 5 minutes later a large bird flew over going East, not a Crane as Mick had thought, but a White Stork. I had a few things to do, but about half an hour later I went off to chase after it. I thought it might have dropped into the Salinas at Rasall in Calblanque, so I went there, but no luck. Not many birds there either, but 4 Common Sandpipers together must mean that they’re on the move. Also a couple of Woodchat Shrikes and a single male Black-eared Wheater.
On leaving Calblanque I had to cross over the motorway to come back to Los Belones, and on doing so spotted the White Stork again, this time heading west. I screamed to a halt to get a few photos, and then followed it back home. I hoped to get it as a house-tick, but couldn’t re-locate it when I got home! On downloading the photos I noticed that it was colour-ringed, but couldn’t decipher the lettering. The sighting may not seem very exciting (White Stork, Spain, so what, they breed there don't they?), but for us in the east of the country it's pretty unusual, to the extent that I'm lucky to have one sighting per year in the region of Murcia. They neither breed here nor is there much water so they don't tend to pass through. It's only on days like yesterday, with heavy low cloud that they tend to get seen - there's not enough heat for them to drift on the thermals, and if one gets lost and heads east (as this one appeared to have done), when they get to the Mediterranean, the only option is to go back inland again.
White Stork, seen flying at the side of the La Manga autovia
Another shot of the White Stork, seen flying at the side of the La Manga autovia
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Black Winged Stork (Himantopus himantopus)
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)