Monday, 23 April 2012

Thursday, 19th April 2012 - p.m.

Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden, afternoon session.
Weather: Sky 7/8 cloud spitting rain, wind SW F2, temp. 20ºC.  14:10 – 17:00.

Apologies for the delay in writing this entry – as you can imagine it’s been a busy time over the last few days, and I always prefer to be out in the field rather than in front of a computer screen!

As I mentioned before, I couldn’t resist coming back to the lighthouse garden, mainly because of the variety of birds that were about.  And I was quite amazed by the change of birds that had happened in just a few hours.  For example, whereas in the morning the majority of ‘sylvia’ warblers had been Blackcaps (and mainly males at that), now there were relatively few Blackcaps, but the place seemed to be overrun by Common Whitethroats.  Also, there were now both Spotted and Pied Flycatchers about.  (In fact I phoned Mark to see if he’d seen them, and he said that the Pied Flycatchers suddenly appeared about half an hour after I’d left this morning, (female birds), and then later male Pied Flycatchers and Spotted Flycatchers showed up).  He also said that he’d seen another group of Ortolan Buntings, and sure enough, when I got round to the rocky area at the base of the lighthouse, I had a group of about 25 (they’re very difficult to count accurately, a bit like Wheatears they flit around all over the place). Redstarts had also obviously been coming in strongly, as I saw about 30 of these, mainly males. Other birds of note were a female Golden Oriole, 2 Bee-eaters flying over, a Garden Warbler and the first Black Redstart for a few days (a BLACK Black Redstart, a proper male).

One of the 3 Spotted Flycatchers seen

 Female Pied Flycatcher

And a male

 And another

 Out on the rocky point, a Northern Wheatear

 One of the flock of about 25 Ortolan Buntings seen

And another

Species seen/heard (and numbers)
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) - 1
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) - 1
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis) – c20
Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) - 2
Hoopoe (Upupa epops) - 4
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) - 2
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) - 1
Blackbird (Turdus merula) - 12
Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) – 1
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) - 5
Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) – c 30
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus uchrurus) - 1
Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) – 5
Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) – 70+
Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) - 1
Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans) – 9
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - 12
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) - 8
Willow/Chiff (Phylloscopus trochilus/collybita) c 50
Pied Flycatcher – (Ficedula hypoleuca) - 7
Spotted Flycatcher – (Muscicapa striata) - 3
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator) - 4
Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana) – c 25

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