Monday, 28 September 2009

Charca de Suarez Reserve, Motril

28 September 2009 Last Fridays visit to Charca was really enjoyable to say the least. 18 members of the Axarquia Bird Group attended the special visit of the reserve and were all waiting eagerly as Manolo opened the gates to us. 48 species were recorded. To read a detailed account of the visit please go to Bob Wrights Blog:

Birds seen:
Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Bittern, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, White Stork, Flamingo, Mallard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Snipe, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Whinchat, Stonechat, Bluethroat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Red Avadavat, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow and Spotless Starling.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Tarifa and La Janda

23 September 2009

Had a meeting to attend in Gibraltar so we decided to leave the day before and get a day's birding in near Tarifa and La Janda. We set off early at 6am and was at Tarifa by 9am, even with a stop for desayuno. We started to see the mass exodus from Europe of the migratory birds as we left Algerciras. We stopped first at El Algarrobo and could see many Booted eagles. In the thickets were the familiar sight of male and female Stonechats. We left this spot as the we had heard that good sightings were to be held at the other view point toward Tarifa. Here there were many birding folk all equipped with scopes and camera. There were a Dutch group taking detailed notes on the migration. Flocks of Alpine Swifts would come and go along with a few common swift. The mains raptures were the Booted Eagles and Short-toed Eagles, along with the occasional Sparrowhawk. A Kestrel perched on a post across the main road certainly caught the attention of many, until a Ruppel's Vulture stole the limelight. After a quick cup of tea made from our camping stove, we nearly missed the Osprey as it flew over us heading South. It was amazing to see just how high the Black Stork's soar far higher than the eagles on this occasion. The Egyptian Vulture is easily ID by his tail, think it was a juvenile we saw. Along with the Black Kites and Red kites, nothing else seemed to be in the skies. As we were about to leave for La Janda, everyone got excited as a Goshawk flew across and down the valley. This was a big bird...alot bigger than the Sparrowhawk seen earlier! So it was on to La Janda. This is a beautiful area of green rice fields with a majestic mountain backdrop. Flocks of Glossy Ibis flew to and fro over the fields. Little Egrets and White Storks stood motionless in the fields. Here we had lunch, fried eggs and beans, made from our stove. After lunch we drove slow along the canal to first hear a Kingfisher and then Luke spotted the splash of blue dart along the waters edge. A few Marsh Harriers were hunting in the distant field, but we really got excited when we saw our first definate ID Montagu's Harrier! The little white patch on the top of his tail. In one of the drainage ditches we saw through the scope a Snipe with his long beak. This was a first sighting for Luke. Lapwings, Purple and Grey heron occasionally flew past...yes this was a magical place at this time of year! Birdlist: Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Glossy Ibis, White Stork, Black Stork, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Ruppell's Vultutre, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Black Kite, Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Kestrel, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Swift, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Spotless Starling, Alpine Swift, Blackcap, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Snipe, Lapwing, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Purple Heron.