Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Charca and the "Motril Marshes"

 With a very busy week ahead and visitors to come, Wednesday seemed the obvious "last chance" to get in some birding on my own before the on-rush.  So, mid-afternoon, I took myself up to Motril to spend some time on the, what I call, "Motril Marshes" before entering the 'Charca de Suarez' Reserve for the evening session.  Pleasantly warm with a little cloud and a very light breeze but becoming quite humid so, I hoped, there might still be some summer visitors about before their autumn migration further south.

Approaching "Turtle Dove Alley" from the main road there were plenty of Cattle Egrets to be seen but, parking near the start of the lane I soon had both Kestrel and Blackbird.  Looking up I was greeted by a Booted Eagle immediately above which eventually passed right overhead.  A small silhouetted warbler drew my attention in a leafless fig tree but, as yet, the bird remains unidentified; I will need to work on the photograph to see what, if anything, might be revealed.

Red Avadavat Bengali Rojo Amandava amandava

Marsh Harrier  Aguilucho Lagunero  Circus aeruginosus

 Entering the reserve I took the clockwise circuit with a first stop at the Laguna del Taraje where five new birds were recorded; mainly Mallards and Coots but also Moorhen, Little Grebe and a single Purple Swamphen.  The main pool, Laguna de las Aneas, had its usual quota of both Mallards and Coots plus a good number of Little Grebe of varying ages.  Nine Little Egrets were resting on the nearby island along with one of the five Grey Herons present.  At the back of the water a Cormorant rested on the dead tree in the water and a small, restless, flock of about thirty Black-headed Gulls were unable to make up their minds whether to settle or move on.  Finally, wishing to be different from his fellows and keep his feet dry, a Common Sandpiper decided that sitting on the Kingfisher's fishing branch was better than standing in the water's edge below.  The Laguna del Trebol produced more Mallards, Coots and Little Grebes plus some darting-about dragonflies; the names of which I can only guess at.  No doubt they were all some type of "Darter". The walk back to the car, having only stayed just over the hour, produced a single Spotted Flycatcher.

Spotted Flycatcher  Papamoscus Gris  Muscicapa striata

No sooner had I re-entered Turtle Dove Alley than I had a Sedge Warbler  and, as I drove down, more Red Acadavats and Greenfinches plus a much larger flock of House Sparrows and the occasional Spotless Starling followed by a pair of Collared Doves at the far end - but no Turtle Doves today.  Perhaps the last have already disappeared to pastures south..

Male Violet Dropwing Trithemis annulata

What a fluffy Little Grebe  Zampullin Comun  Tachybaptus rulicollis

Purple Swamphen  Calamon Comun  Porphyrio porphyrio

Male Stonechat  Tarabilla Comun  Saxicola torquatus

Birds seen:
Mallard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Spoonbill, Marsh harrier, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Rock Dove, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Grey Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Red Avadavat, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

Female Red Avadavat Bengali Rojo Amandava amandava

 October 11 - 2012
 from 'Birding Axarquia'