Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Nerja Bee-eaters

19 May 2009

Today I got up early at 6.00am as I was meeting up with Martin Hierck, a bird photographer from Holland.
We decided to try to get some decent shots of the Bee-eaters that have arrived over the last few weeks. Last year I had discovered a nest site of about 30 birds, and so we went to see if they had returned. As we approached by car we could see a few sitting on the electric power lines looking down at us. We parked the car and made a strategy. We both agreed that photos of birds on power lines was not too good, so we found an old branch and tied it to the small foot bridge crossing the road. We had also seen them on this bridge and so figured they might like our branch. The sound of the bee-eater is distinct and we got excited. We both took our positions underneath some advocado trees and waited....and did we wait! One bird nearly landed but had second thoughts. After nearly an hour I said to Martin I would go on a walk about to see if I could try and move them from off the power lines toward our branch, but this had not effect. In the end we gave up, and decided to take a run in the car through the campo. After being towed out of an unusual deep ditch we set about our way. Plenty of Goldfinch and Serin, a few Kestrels flying overhead. On the road ahead of us we saw a snake about a metre in length, guess it was a grass snake, then slithered into the long grass. As we turn the bend a Blue Rock Thrush was sitting on a brick wall, sadly we couldn't get the cameras into position fast enough before it flew away. As time was pushing on, Martin had to leave and head back to Rincon de La Victoria. I decided I would have one last look at the bee-eaters. There they were again on the power lines. I took position under the same tree and waited. This time it only took 5 minutes before the first bee-eater landed on the branch we had erected, then came another and started to share his meal. It was wonderful to see them exchange bees together. It was a shame Martin could not have been there to share my excitement, but I guess that is what birding is all about...we just never know when the moment will happen. Birdlist: Goldfinch, Serin, House sparrow, Kestrel, Blue rock thrush, Bee-eater, Hoopee, Stonechat.

1 comment:

  1. What a great way to return to Spanish bird-watching! Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures tomorrow.