Weather: Sky no cloud, windNE F1-2, temp. 34ºC. 16:00 – 18:00. With Diego Zamora Urán, Antonio Fernández-Caro Goméz.
This afternoon was the monthly count at the EDAR (sewage farm) at Cabeza Beaza, just outside Cartagena,
The water levels of the two lagoons was higher than on the last few counts, leading to very few waders, apart from Black Winged Stilts (about 150) and Little Ringed Plovers (including a nest in the middle of the track surrounding the lagoons, with a single live chick in it). Also heard were Common and Green Sandpiper. Coot numbers were quite high (just short of 200 in total), and there were 8 Moorhen (which have been quite scarce in the past few months).
Part of the group of Black-winged Stilts
A babby Little Ringed Plover in its nest in the middle of a track
The heron family was represented by a group of 21 Cattle Egrets.
One of the Cattle Egrets searching for food at the edge of the second lagoon
The male ducks are now going into eclipse plumage, and numbers of ducks in general was quite low (for example, only 2 Shovelers, around 35 White-headed Ducks, a few Shelduck with young (some quite well grown now), Pochard, many Mallard, and what was presumably the same bird as last month, a male Garganey, but starting to look quite drab now). A surprise on the first lagoon was a Muscovy Duck which had obviously come from some nearby pond, as it was quite approachable.
Tame Muscovy Duck
There were large numbers of greenfly in the leylandii trees around the second lagoon, and presumably this is what was attracting a lot of Iberian Wagtails, mainly young of this year.
Species seen and numbers
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) - 15
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) - 131
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) – c 40
Pochard (Aythra ferina) - 34
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) – c 200
White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) – c 30
Garganey (Anas querquedula) - 1
Muscovy Duck - (Cairina moschata) - 1
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) – c40
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) – c 60
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii) – 1
Coot (Fulica atra) - 195
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) - 8
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) – c 150
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) - 24
Swift/Pallid Swift (Apus apus/pallidus) – c 250
Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) – 6
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) - 4
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) - 3
Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) - 12
Iberian Wagtail (Motacilla flava iberiae) - 25
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba) – 30
Swallow (Hirundo rustica) – 25
House Martin (Delichon urbicum) – 5