Monday, 23 July 2012

Saturday 21st July 2012 – Mar Menor, Murcia

Weather: Sky mainly clear, wind F1 – 2 NE, temp. 25 - 29ºC.  08:20 – 11:40.

I decided to have another look around various locations around the Mar Menor, but this time starting with the Salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar and working back.

At the Salinas, things were very quiet – still no influx of waders that we normally have in the second half of July, and the numbers of Greater Flamingos appeared to have dropped – I estimated about 400, most of which were at the northern extreme of the Salinas.  The only other birds of note were a single Stone Curlew on the bank of one of the pools, and a single juvenile Little Bittern that sat on the top of a reed for the whole time that I was there.  Apart from these, I saw a single adult Mediterranean Gull and 9 Black Terns a long way off on some posts in the middle of another lagoon, plenty of Little Terns, a few Common and Gull Billed Terns, many Shelduck, Avocets and Black Winged Stilts, a few Kentish Plover and 4 Common Redshank.
 Record shot of the Stone Curlew on one of the 'motas' (dividing walls)

And a record shot of the Little Bittern
From the Salinas I came back to the track that runs parallel to the road joining the AP7 and the airport.  Here thing were much more animated, with around 25 Gull Billed Terns, another 9 Black Terns, 7 Cattle and a single Little Egret.  As I arrived I saw an immature Night Heron flying off, and later I saw another adult bird come off of one of the reservoirs.

Record shot of a couple of the Black Terns seen

 And a closer shot of another one

 Record shot of the adult Night Heron

One of the many Gull-billed Terns seen

My last call was at the Marchamalo Salinas, principally to see how they were filling up.  The water was still coming in strong, and there were now at least 8 lagoons with water in.  This may be a reason why I didn’t see too many waders, as the shallower ones are now in the middle of the Salinas.  I could see some waders (Black Winged Stilts, Redshank and Kentish Plover) around these but nothing else.
On the dividing wall of two of the lagoons there were a fair number of Sandwich and Common Terns, plus Slender-billed, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls.  All of the Black-headed and Meds. were adults, and 4 of the Meds flew off over me while I was there and I could see they were all in moult.
One of the adult Mediterranean Gulls that flew over
Species seen/heard
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Black Necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Night Heron (Nyctiocorax nyctiocorax)
Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Coot (Fulica atra)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)
Gull-billed Tern  (Sterna nilotica)
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Little Tern (Sterna albifrons)
Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)
Swift (Apus apus)
Iberian Wagtail (Motacilla flava iberiae)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
Fan-tailed Warbler (Cisticola juncidis)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

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