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.


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