Calblanque, Los Belones
Weather: Sky No cloud, wind NE F0-1; temp.10ºC. 05:45 – 10:45. With Fran Garcia (ANSE), Ray Marsh.
Another attempt at ringing today, so the sky was obviously going to be clear! Still, at least the wind didn’t pick up as happened over the last few occasions, and to be perfectly honest, we caught more than we expected. Our first ‘baby’ Linnets and Greenfinches, fresh out of their nests with remiges and retrices still growing, Serin, a couple each of male Redstarts and female Pied Flycatchers, a Nightingale, Willow Warbler, Corn Bunting (what big birds they are in the hand), and (for me at least,) the best trapped bird of the day, Thekla Lark. In the hand they seem quite small (especially compared with Corn Bunting), and we could mull over all i.d. features. And for me at least, I now know that if I ever want to see a definite Thekla Lark, all I need to do is go to the camping area carpark at Calblanque, and look for the lark with a ring on! Brilliant! Seriously though, another i.d. point that I hadn’t known, is that the alula is only slightly shorter or up to 5 mm longer than the primary coverts – in Crested Lark it is always shorter, up to 8mm. I don’t know how practical this is in the field, but I’ll be looking out for it from now on when I see them in a car park. (Now my ambition is to see Thekla and Crested side by side in the hand).
Other birds were Woodpigeons displaying, and Bee-eaters calling from high up (we didn’t get on to them to see them), and a constant movement of both Common and Pallid Swifts..
Corn Bunting - a real handful of a bird
One of the local residents - male Linnet
And a visitor - male Redstart
Another vistor - Nightingale
For me, the bird of the day - Thekla Lark
Same bird, different angle
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)
Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
Swift (Apus apus)
Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
Serin (Serinus serinus)
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)
With reference to the ringed Slender-billed Gulls I saw on saturday, I now have the details of where and when they were ringed. 2 were ringed as pulli on the 15th June 2010 at the La Mata lagoon (Alicante), 1 at the 'Parque Nacional Punta Entitas, Punta Sabinar' on the south coast in Almeria province on the 22nd June 2009, also a pullus, and 1 as a pullus at Veta la Palma, Isla Mayor, Sevilla (Andalucia) on the 15th June 2010.