Wednesday, 27 March 2013

26th March 2013 – Local area roundup

 Hi all,

Normally by this time in the year, the Spring passage is in full swing, but presumably due to the persistent winds from the NW and fronts crossing the Iberian peninsula, although some migrants are coming in, they are not in anything like their normal numbers for the time of year.

On Wednesday 20th March, I took a morning look at the lighthouse gardens at Cabo de Palos, more than anything to see if the Hoopoes I’d seen the previous evening were still there.  However, I only saw two of them, which may well have been new birds in, as there were a few other birds actually entering from the sea, such as a couple of Chiff/Willows (out of a total of 6 seen) and another couple of Swallows. Apart from these, there were no obvious migrants around, and calling in to the Marchamalo Salinas on the way back from Cabo de Palos, where the water levels are quite high at the moment, the only birds of note were a high-ish number (21) of Shelduck and a small group of 5 Little Stints.

In the morning of Thursday, 21st March, I had another go at the lighthouse garden.  This time there was a bit more movement, with a single Woodchat Shrike, a couple of Red-rumped Swallows, a female Blackcap and 3 Robins all being new.

 Woodchat Shrike - now that they're on the move, they should be seen frequently

 At this time of the year with the Audouins moving north, they're not infrequent either

In the afternoon, I called over to El Mojón to the north of the Salinas of San Pedro del Pinatar to check if the Short-billed Dowitcher was still there, which it was, but again in the far corner of the lagoon, so views were not particularly good.  Other birds of interest there were Ruff, Redshank, Spotted Redshank and Greenshank, Little Stint, Dunlin, Sanderling, Avocet, Black Winged Stilt and Kentish Plover.  I went from the lagoon to the beach pine area where of interest were a couple of Subalpine Warblers, and on my way back to the car a Rose-ringed Parakeet flew over, which according to my records is the first one I’ve ever seen in Spain – normally the parakeets I see commonly in Los Belones and around La Manga and Cartagena are Monk Parakeets.

Friday 22nd March, being a local holiday, I had the whole day for birdwatching, and I started the day at Calblanque.  On the way from Las Jordanas down to the information centre I had a single Woodchat Shrike (this is one of their favourite areas when they first come in), and in the arboretum next to the beach carpark down from the information centre, a male Common Redstart.  Calling round at the Salinas (de Rasall), I counted 208 Audouin’s Gulls on the walls of the lagoons and around 60 Yellow-legged Gulls, and a single adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.

The owl most likely to be seen at Calblanque, Little Owl

 Also commonly seen, Black Wheatear

From here I called into the Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden again, and today there was definitely more movement.  4 Swallows flying around, 4 Robins, 6 Hoopoes, singletons of Subalpine Warbler and Woodchat Shrike, a couple of stunning looking male Black-eared Wheatears, one with just the black mask and the other with a black chin, a male Blue Rock Thrush and a Whimbrel.

One of the migratory wheatears, male Black-eared Wheatear...

 ...this shot showing its black underwing coverts

 A bird that's been quite numerous over the last few days, Hoopoe

 Another bird that's been frequent over the last couple of weeks, Whimbrel...

 ... and the same bird in flight

The other variant of Black-eared Wheatear, this one having a black chin
Saturday 23rd March I had an early start as I’d arranged to go with some people to the Saladares del Guadalentín (the area between Alhama de Murcia, Totana and Mazarron).  We started off at the EDAR (sewage farm) of Alhama de Murcia, arriving there at 9 a.m.  I would have hoped for more birds there (for all the clouds of midges flying around there wasn’t a single hirundine or swift to be seen), but birds of interest were 10 noisy Black Winged Stilts, a single Little Ringed Plover, a Cetti’s Warbler actually seen (plus various others singing from the reeds), a couple of Reed Warblers singing one of which could actually be seen intermittently in the reeds - the first I’ve seen this year, and good numbers of Shoveler, Pochard and White-headed Ducks.

 Here a pair of White-headed Ducks, female on left and male on right
For the breeding period the adult males bill turns this bright blue, and no prizes for guessing why it's part of the stifftail family of ducks
Arriving at the Saladares at around 10 a.m., although we saw some good birds, there were still fewer than I would have hoped (not a single Great Spotted Cuckoo, for example).  However, we did see Tree Sparrow, Lesser Short-toed and Calandra Larks, a couple (adult male and female) Marsh Harriers, adult male and female Hen Harrier, Little Owl, Booted Eagle, male Spectacled Warbler singing, Woodchat and Southern Grey Shrikes, plus a single mixed group of around 6 Swallows and 8+ Swifts.

Our last stop before lunch in Bolnuevo was the lake at the EDAR Mazarron (at the bottom of the rambla de las Moreras).  Here we had more of the same ducks, and a couple of Purple Gallinules, but no sign of the Garganey that I had hoped for.  Other interesting birds seen were a group of 4 Red-billed Chough, one of which appeared to be carrying nesting material to another on top of an electricity pylon.  Other birds seen and/or heard were Swallow, House and Sand Martins, Reed Warbler and Hoopoe.

After lunch, I left the group and carried on down to Cabo Cope (as I was already halfway there from home), where a Wallcreeper had been seen a few days ago.  I spent a couple of hours there looking for it, but there are a lot of cliffs there and Wallcreeper is a small bird to find on your own, so I wasn’t really surprised that I didn’t see it.  Still, it was worth a try.

I admitted defeat - too much cliffs to search for such a small bird on my own!
On Sunday, 24th March, I started off at the lighthouse garden at Cabo de Palos.  There had been rain overnight and when I got there it was still spitting – I hoped the rain might have forced something down but the only migrants today were 5 Chiff/Willows, a Blackcap, 2 Woodchat Shrikes, a Hoopoe and a couple of Swallows and ‘flava’ Wagtails over.

 Another Woodchat, this time a female
 And another Audouin's Gull

I went on to El Mojon (San Pedro del Pinatar) as I hadn’t heard any news on the Short-billed Dowitcher for a couple of days, but when I got there, there were a couple of people watching it in the same corner of the lagoon as in my last few sightings.  The wind had picked up quite strongly, so after a quick count of the other waders there (of which there were almost all the waders you could expect to see at this time of year – Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Sanderling, Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Little Stint, Ringed and Kentish Plovers, Common Sandpiper, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstone), I carried on to the beach pine area in the hope that there may have been some small birds around.  On the way there, in the lagoon were a quite big group of around 40 Slender-billed Gulls with a single Mediterranean Gull feeding along the edge and a couple of Sand Martins braving the wind, but when I got to the pine area there was absolutely nothing moving.

 The pristine adult breeding plumaged Mediterranean Gull...

 ... and another shot of it in flight

 Another flight shot - this time an adult Slender-billed Gull

 Another couple of Slender-billed Gulls - note the pink flush on the breast, ruby eyes and bill, denoting adults

 This photo tickled me - a Black-necked Grebe with the golden facial feathers being blown out by the wind
 Another photo of Slender-billed Gulls, with a bird of last year in the foreground.
Note the grey eye and orange/brown bill
 Finally, a couple of waders seen commonly at the moment - here a Turnstone...

 ... and here an Avocet

On my way home I called in briefly at the Rambla de Albujon and the Mar Menor opposite the Marina de Carmoli.  At the rambla de Albujon, there was nothing too stunning – best bird being a Water Pipit coming into breeding plumage, and at the Mar Menor, a Great White Egret, and a group of 6 Common Scoter still there, 2 males and 4 females.

And that’s it for now, so until my next report


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

20th March - Spring migration gathers pace

Hi all,

As you can imagine, the last week has been quite hectic with the dowitcher remaining at least until yesterday, and I've been able to renew old aquaintances with people I've not seen since the last 'mega' here in Murcia, the Belted Kingfisher (also a 1st for Spain) back in 2009/2010.  Although not on a level with the UK where number of birders would be in the 1,000's, I should imagine that a couple of hundred people have made the trip here to see the bird (including one person who set out from Barcelona on the Monday afternoon, called in at Lugo (Galicia) for Thayer's Gull and then went for American Herring Gull also in Galicia on Tuesday before getting to Murcia on the Wednesday morning for the Dowitcher.  He reckoned that he'd have done around 3,000 km by the time he got home).  That brings back memories of bygone years, birding in the UK!  There may not be the number of twitchers here in Spain as in the UK, but they've got the same mindset!  And with Moussier's Redstart and Red-flanked Bluetail having been seen over the last few days in Spain, I've been tempted - maybe I'll just try to find more out about a Wallcreeper in the south of Murcia seen a couple of days ago and have a look for that!

Apart from various visits to San Pedro del Pinatar, I have managed to get out to some of my more local spots, and as the title to the entry suggests, more and more migrants can be seen.  (It is the first day of Spring today, after all!).  It's rare now not to see Barn and Red-rumped Swallows and House and Sand Martins about, and all three species of swift have now been seen locally (Common, Palid and Alpine), although they're not yet common.  Also, many winter species seem to have gone (for example, I've not seen the Velvet Scoters since the 8th March).

Calling in to the Mar Menor at the Marina de Carmoli area on friday afternoon (15th March), 3 Common Scoter remained including a now obvious male, together with a fair group of Great Crested (27) and Black Necked Grebes (19), and in the mixed flock were a single female Pochard  and a pair of Red Crested Pochard.  It's not often you see Red Cresteds on the Mar Menor, nor do they breed around this area so I assume they were just resting up on their way further north.
I spent the rest of the afternoon at San Pedro, where in the canal surrounding the salinas I saw a single female Mallard with 13 ducklings - the first 'young of the year' I've seen.

 San Pedro is good for more than just one wader - here a group of Sanderling...

...on the Mediterranean side of the salinas

 A bit in the shadows, mother Mallard and ducklings

The following day I called in to the lighthouse garden at Cabo de Palos (this year I'm not going to be going there with the frequency of the previous 4 years, probably just a couple of times a week).  Here there were obvious signs of movement, with 9 Robins, 7 Black Redstarts and 6 Hoopoes flying around the base of the lighthouse, whilst out at sea I had Common Redshank fly past north and an adult Gannet go south.  Also, a pair of Kestrels mating on a rock ledge.

 Not voyeurism - with the noise they make, you can't help but look

A couple of male Sardinian Warlers trying to out-do each other

From here I called in at the Marina de Carmoli, more than anything to see if the R.C.Pochard were still about.  They weren't, but the group of Common Scoter was up to 9 birds (with 2 males) and over the Marina itself were 3 Marsh Harriers with a further 3 more distant raptors circling of which one was a Booted Eagle, and probably the other two as well.

Calling in next at the rambla de Albujon, there was a group of 10 noisy Black Winged Stilts, a pair of Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Redshank, 4 Common Snipe and a single Jack Snipe.
There were also a couple each of Sand and Crag Martins (the Crag Martins are getting scarce now while the other hirundines increase in numbers) and four Swallows, plus 4 Iberian Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails and a single Water Pipit now coming into breeding plumage with its pink breast and white supercillium.

From here I went on to San Pedro, but there was nothing new (how blasé - just a Short-billed Dowitcher, 1st for Spain!).

 On the beach, Audouin's Gull...
 And Slender-billed Gulls and Sanderlings...
 ... meanwhile in the canal, very showy Little Egrets

On the sunday I'd arranged to meet some people at San Pedro so went straight there and stayed all morning, seeing quite a reasonable list of waders (Avocet, Black Winged Stilt, Slender-billed Dowitcher, Common Sandpiper, Little Stint, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Sanderling, Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Ruff) plus Kingfisher and a very smart Penduline Tit, and a new bird for the year, Common Swift (I'd only had unidentified Common/Pallid up until then).

A Spanish twitch!

...and the object of the twitch

 There WERE other waders around - here Spotted Redshank beginning to moult into b.p...

 ...Common Redshank...
 ... and Black-tailed Godwit
On monday (18th March) with clear skies and hardly any wind, I had another early look around the lighthouse gardens at Cabo de Palos before going to work. I had Sand Martin and a group of four Alpine Swifts fly over, and migrants on the ground were 3 Black Redstart, 2 Chiffchaff, a single Hoopoe, 2 Northern Wheatears, 4 Chiff/Willows, and new for the year, my first Willow Warblers (3) and Common Redstart (1).  There were also Swallows and a single Red-rumped Swallow flying about, but I think these may have been local birds as they were singing.

Tuesday (19th March) is a holiday (Fathers Day) in Spain, so I had the whole day to go out.  As it was again cloud and wind free, I started off at the San Pedro salinas, in the hope that the rush might be over and I might get to see the Dowitcher close, as the last few sightings have all needed a telescope.  I had no luck here as it kept to the far edge of the lagoon, but I met up with a crowd of birders from Cartagena and we had a look around the rest of the salinas and reserve.  I should explain here for those that don't know the area, apart from being a working 'salinas', it is also part of a national park and there is a reasonable sized area of coastal pines growing in the sand dunes.  Walking around these, we had a very smart male Black-eared Wheatear, male Common Redstart, Bonelli's Warbler (1st for the year) and male Subalpine Warbler (also 1st for the year).

In the afternoon, as there had obviously been a fall of sorts, I called into Calblanque, which is close to my home.  On my way to the carpark area, I had my first Woodchat Shrike of the year, and in the trees at the side of the carpark, another male Subalpine Warbler and six Chiff/Willows.  I went over to the salinas (of Rasall) to have a hunt through the Audouin's Gulls for colour rings.  There were 203 gulls, and I managed to read 13 rings, and here I had another male Black-eared Wheatear.

Lastly, as I just about had time, I called into the lighthouse gardens (Cabo de Palos) staying until it was almost dark.  Here I had my 3rd Subalpine Warbler of the day, plus 3 more Black-eared Wheatears and a single Northern Wheatear, but the most interesting sighting was an actual 'flock' of 11 Hoopoes.  Presumably they'd come in late on during the day, as being a holiday there'd have been a fair bit of disturbance there and they wouldn't have stayed.  Fascinating to watch them flying around like giant butterflies as the light went.

And that's about it for the moment, apart from I've managed to sort out some short video I took of the Short-billed Dowitcher on the 10th March, which you can see here.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

14th March - It's official - It's a Short-billed Dowitcher, first for Spain!!

Hi all,

Just a quick update entry.

After some investigation work, the Dowitcher at San Pedro del Pinatar has finally been identified, as a winter plumage, probably female, Short-billed Dowitcher - first record for Spain!!

First, my congratulations to Francisco Javier Palacios Garcia (Javi) and Isabel Peñalver (Isa) on finding the bird.

I have made a short write-up as to how I got the identification, on a button on the right of this page.  For anyone interested in seeing the bird, which was still there as of yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 13th March), it can be found either in the canal that surrounds the San Pedro salinas in El Mojon (somewhere around the wooden footbridge that crosses the canal just before it empties into the Mediterranean), or in the corner of the nearby salinas lagoon.

Other, more mundane news - spring passage continues, with hirundines now being seen frequently, and the other early migrants also around, if you can get out of the wind to see them!  Birds seen of note during the first few days of this week have been a single Alpine Swift on Tuesday 12th at El Mojon, San Pedro del Pinatar (wonder what I was doing there!).

Yesterday, 13th March I had my first Pallid Swift over the skies at the old sewage works (EDAR) at El Algar, with another Pallid or Common Swift in the afternoon at the lighthouse at Cabo de Palos.  Also scrabbling around the rocks at the base of the lighthouse was a very nice male Blue Rock Thrush, and the first Northern Wheatear I've seen there this year.

 Distant, but still smart, male Blue Rock Thrush
Not so distant and very smart, this male Northern Wheatear

And that's about it, from a sunny but windy Murcia.


Monday, 11 March 2013

11th March - local roundup - migrants and a surprise

Hi all,

What with bad weather and commitments, I didn't manage to get out this last week until Thursday 7th, when with overcast skies and a south-easterly breeze blowing, I took an early morning look at the lighthouse garden at Cabo de Palos.

Here, apart from the usually expected birds, new in were a male Spectacled Warbler seen briefly, a female Blackcap, and on the rocks at the base of the lighthouse, a single Whimbrel.

On the rocks below the lighthouse itself, a Whimbrel

In the afternoon, I took a look around the western corner of the Mar Menor, stopping at Punta Brava, the Marina de Carmoli, and the 'desembocadura de la rambla de Albujon'.
The beach area at Punta Brava (from Los Urrutias, take the last right turn before leaving Punta Brava) occasionally has a few waders, especially around the pools that have formed next to the breakwater, and here I had a couple of Cormorants resting up, together with Turnstones, Dunlin and Ringed Plover, together with singles of Black-headed and Slender-billed Gulls, both adults and looking resplendent in their respective breeding plumages.  Out on the Mar Menor, a large group of Black-necked Grebes many of which are also now in their breeding plumage, and a single Great Crested Grebe.

I always find these Cormorants in their breeding plumage quite comical

A look over the Mar Menor from the Marina de Carmoli (park at the lay-by at the km.8 road sign and walk down to the beach) produced 7 Common Scoter (a male and 6 female), a group of 12 Great Crested Grebes and another of 9 Black-necked Grebes.  Meanwhile, over the Marina itself, 3 Marsh Harriers were quartering, including a spectacular looking adult male - just black, white, light grey and brown, always a pleasure to watch.

As I parked up at the 'desembocadura' I noticed a group of ducks flying west into the bay area, black with flashes of white, so getting the 'scope out I got onto them - the group of 6 Velvet Scoter that have made this area their home for the past month or so now.  Also in the bay were more Great Crested Grebes (15 of them), Black-necked Grebes (25), and from the rambla the group of Coot (today only 6) that scuttle for the open water whenever anyone goes up the rambla. On the sandbar across the rambla mouth were 14 Cormorants which also made a mad dash for the water.

 Absolute panic sets in whenever Cormorants are caught out unawares

I walked up the rambla as far as the N-332 road bridge and had a look at the other side, but as they skies by now were looking threatening and I didn't want to get caught in a shower, I decided against walking the rambla.  From the bridge there were a couple of Water Pipits, a Grey Wagtail and a single ale Bluethroat amongst the smaller birds, and a group of 14 Black Winged Stilts, 2 Common Snipe and a Green Sandpiper made up the waders to be seen.

The following day, Friday the 8th March, as there had been showers overnight but it was beautifully cloudless morning, I again went to the lighthouse garden at Cabo de Palos.  If the floodgate for migrants hadn't opened, at least it had been cracked slightly.  There were birds everywhere - not necessarily what you might think of as migrants as many winter here - but they were migrants nonetheless.  My final tally after wandering around for an hour and a half was:  Robin - 3; Sardinian Warbler - 11; Hoopoe - 3; Black Redstart - 23; Blackbird - 8; Chiffchaff - 20; Greenfinch - 2; Songthrush - 11; Meadow Pipit - 2; Swallow - 1; Spectacled Warbler - 1; Serin - 5; Crag Martin - 2; Red-rumped Swallow - 1, plus out to sea, a single Gannet and Audouin's Gull.

 Not particularly common on passage, but a few Meadow Pipits are seen most years at the gardens
 I'm not the only one eager for spring passage to start!
The first decent passage day brought many Black Redstarts

On the way back to Los Belones, I called in briefly to the 'Marchamalo salinas' (saltpans of La Manga, behind the go-kart track). Here now, the water levels are very high, and the only birds of note were a group of 21 Greater Flamingos new in.

In the afternoon, as it was a bright, although by now breezy, afternoon I  called in to the rambla de Albujon again. At the desembocadura, a surprise bird was a Little Grebe - although common in the farm reservoirs, it's unusual to see them on the Mar Menor.  Also there, the Cormorants, Coots and Great Crested Grebes, and a Kingfisher.

 Once again, one of the 'punk' Cormorants

 Common over the last month or so, Great Crested Grebes...

 ... whereas much more unusual, this Little Grebe

 On passage at the moment, Black Winged Stilts...

 ... whereas Coots used to be much more common over the early part of the year

Always present over the winter, at least one Kingfisher

I walked the rambla de Albujon as far as the AP-7 motorway bridge, and sat down there for half an hour in the hope I might see a Spotted Crake (which I didn't).  However I did see my first Sand Martin of the year and a couple of House Martins and 4 Swallows in amongst the Crag Martins.  Other birds of note were 6 Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe, Water Pipit, 3 species of wagtail (White, Grey and Iberian) and Fan-tailed Warblers (or Zitting Cisticolas if you prefer) singing their hearts out in the breeze.

On Saturday 9th, I went inland around Fortuna but the only birds of note were a single Crested Tit, a couple of Dartford Warblers singing, Chiffchaff singing and various Crested/Thekla Larks (seen at the sides of the road, so I couldn't stop to i.d. them), and a large band of Jackdaws.

 Not that they're particularly rare, but it's not that frequent that they're so photogenic...
 ... and Crested Tits aren't so easy to photograph either, as they're normally in the shade

Coming back in the afternoon, I decided to call in to the salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar, as I hadn't been there for quite a while.  Here I saw all the usual birds (Greater Flamingo, Shelduck, Mallard, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Little Stint, Sanderling, Black-necked Grebe, Little Egret), and a couple of distant Spoonbills.  I sat by the entrance to the salinas for a while and was rewarded with seeing a Kingfisher going to and fro across the road several times, and a group of four Penduline Tits which came to the reeds close to where I was sitting.

 Almost at the roadside was a Black-tailed Godwit feeding in the reeds
 The canal that surrounds the salinas is always worth a look - this time a Redshank

 Sitting quietly pays off - here a record shot of a Penduline Tit

I had intended to go home via the 'Marina de Carmoli' to see how the harrier roost was doing, but I bumped into someone who told me that at the beach end of the salinas, he had seen some wheatears, so I decided to take a look.  Sure enough, from the wooden boardwalk that runs from the car park where the never-open information centre is, I first saw one, then two wheatears, but they were male Black-eared, not what I had expected.  Then, while watching them, a male Northern Wheatear popped out of no-where!  I don't know what it is - probably has something to do with birding in the UK, but I always feel that spring migration is REALLY here when I see my first Wheatears, although they're rarely the first migrants I see nowadays.  Anyway, male Black-eared Wheatears - always nice to see in their spanking plumage!

 Down at the beach at last knockings - a record shot of male Northern and Black-eared Wheaters
 ... and here the Black-eared Wheatear joined by another...

 ... here a closer view of one of them

 Again, on my way back I bumped into some other birdwatchers that I'd seen earlier and who had told me they were going to do a loop along the canal to El Mojon and back.  I stopped to tell them about the wheatears and one of them (Javi) asked my opinion on a wader he had photographed.  What ran through my mind initially was that it was a winter plumage Spotted Redshank, except there were things that didn't fit - the bill was too thick and didn't droop at the tip; general coloration not contrasting enough and the leg colour was wrong - they were a greeny colour. Javi then showed me another photo of the bird with a Black Winged Stilt in the background, and I could see it was much too small for a 'shank.  Whatever it was, it wasn't a normal wader for around here, so after asking where he'd seen it, I told him I'd let him know, and I zoomed round to the place.  However by the time I got there it was getting dark, so I thought I'd have another look in the morning.  This had the advantage of allowing me to do some research overnight, when I came to the conclusion that it was a Dowitcher, but which flavour?

So guess where I was on Sunday morning!  I spent 2 hours there, taking over 1,000 photos and a couple of videos, (not all of them were of the Dowitcher) but I'm still not sure whether the bird's a Long-billed or Short-billed Dowitcher, although I do now err on the side of Short-billed.  (I've also sent photos to various people to comment, but am getting mixed replies).  So, if you know your waders, have a look at the photos and let me know!  (By the way, although I spent 2 hours with the bird yesterday morning, it didn't once call, which is a real shame!).

 Here the object of the exercise - the Dowitcher with a Sanderling to give an idea of size
 Not all my time was spent photographing the Dowitcher - here an adult, breeding plumage Mediterranean Gull
 ... and here a Turnstone...

 ... here the Med. Gull amongst a group of Slender-billed Gulls..

 ... and here, one of those Slender-billed Gulls in close-up

 Meanwhile, back at the subject of the exercise, the dowitcher with Sanderlings, showing it's marked breast...

 ... another of it, this time in flight...

 ... and this time, when it came close...

 ... together with some of the other waders...
 ... and another of it in flight

 Meanwhile in other parts of the salinas, this breeding plumage Black-tailed Godwit

After spending most of Sunday afternoon sorting out the photos taken in the morning, I took a quick look again at the Cabo de Palos lighthouse garden, spurred on by the appearance of the wheatears in the afternoon at San Pedro.  It was very quiet here though, although there were still quite a few (8) Black Redstarts about, and definitely more (7) Stonechats than normal.

And that's about all - the birds are coming in, still slowly at the moment, and the weather forecast for the rest of the week isn't brilliant, but what the hell it's springtime and anything could turn up!