Friday, 9th May. Following on from my last blog entry, I once again called into the salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar to check for anything new on the wader front (in particular, summer plumaged Knot), but no, the water level was better than my last visit, but wader numbers down. I did manage a few photos of the waders that were there though, and get to see TWO Spoonbills, both with white colour-rings.
Gull-billed Tern - flying over the salinas most of the time
Always present, but rarely still enough to photograph - Red-rumped Swallow
Photo to make UK birders green with envy - COMMON on the wires in our area, Turtle Doves
I was surprised this Woodpigeon stayed so still!
At the far end of the salinas, two young Stonechats recently fledged
Common and noisy! A pair of Black Winged Stilts
The other common breeding wader, Avocets
Having changed into its breeding plumage, this Sanderling looks good to go ...
... as does this breeding plumaged red necked Little Stint! ...
... and the same bird from the other side
No mistaking this one coming into its breeding plumage - Curlew Sndpiper
On one of the lagoons' walls, two late Spoonbills
These days, ever present - maybe due to the large colony established now at the salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar?
In contarst to the Audouin's, the Alpine Swift has been in short supply locally this year
After at least half an hour struggling in the water, this novice canoeist was rescued by someone who knew what he was doing - Summer's here, don't you just know!
Sunday, 11th May. Another trip to the lighthouse area at Cabo de Palos early morning, and another small fall of migrants, with a Woodchat Shrike, seven Common Redstarts, eight Northern Wheatears, six Willow Warblers, a female Whinchat, a Melodious Warbler singing, and overhead a single Alpine Swift and a couple of Bee-eaters.
On my way home, as there had been a bit of a fall at the lighthouse, I called into the wooded area at the Marchamalo salinas again, where I had a single Willow/Chiff calling, a Robin calling, two Short-toed Larks and a Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola) singing, and on the Salinas themselves, a small group of five Curlew Sandpipers (plus the usual Avocets, Black Winged Stilts, Greater Flamingos and Shelduck).
And in a quick call into the Los Urrutias sailing club later in the morning, on the green ‘mat’ of algae that’s developing there, 16 Ringed and a single male Kentish Plover. On the 12th, this group of waders had been increased by three with the inclusion of 3 summer plumaged Little Stints.
At Los Urrutias, the Ringed Plovers love the 'mat' of weed ...
... and the drifted in flotsum and jetsumTuesday 13th May. Another trip down to the lighthouse gardens at Cabo de Palos in the morning produced another small fall of birds, with three Northern Wheatear, a Melodious Warbler, a male and female Common Redstart, and what I took originally as a Reed Warbler singing (but not seen), but in retrospect, could well have been a Western Olivaceous Warbler (the two songs seem similar enough to me that I sometimes have difficulty separating the two). Very amusing also were the antics of the pair of Kestrels there, flying and soaring around the lighthouse itself.
The male of the Kestrel pair ...
... and here the pair, the male (lower) keeping an eye on the female
Wednesday 14th May, I took another trip over to the Salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar in the afternoon to see if there had been any change in the waders, but the only change I noted was that there were less of them.
More Little Stints, almost in complete breeding plumage ...
... and from the other side
A couple of Curlew Sandpipers, the nearest behind in the plumage stakes
And another Little Stint
Individual portraits of the two Curlew Sandpipers seen above
And to round off with, a breeding plumaged Turnstone
And that’s about it for the week – the spring migration tailing off, and now the time of the year for the Spring rarities – wonder what this Spring will bring?