Saturday, 7 November 2009

RAM and Charca de Suárez, Motril, Granada Province.

Blown inside out, but it was worth it.

After missing the last two RAM visits it was good to meet Juan and set off down to the coast. We arrived a little early and walked out on to the headland in what can only be described as a bracing wind. Once we were set up it was obvious that there were a lot of birds passing, most heading west. immediately we started to pick up large numbers of Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) moving through in large groups, along with 3 Mediterranean Shearwaters (Pardela Mediterránea / Puffinus yelkouan), Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) and 100s of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus). Several Razorbills (Alca Común / Alca torda) were also seen in small groups of two or three birds and a couple of Great Skuas (Págalo Grande / Catharacta skua) also passed through but much further out to sea. Other birds recorded included Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser-black backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).We then moved on to the fish docks at Motril where the security set up had change but Juan soon sorted that out and we gained access to some areas which were normally out of bounds to us. Here we picked up much the same species that we had on the sea watch plus Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falcotinnunculus). The last stop was at Charca de Suárez, we were a bit later than normal so we moved quickly around to the main hide where Juan soon found me a Southern Tree Frog (Ranita Meridional / Hyda meridionalis) sitting in the sun on some vegetation near the hide, by the time we had move on we had found about 15. There were also many Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys caspica) sunning out on the edges and in the weeds. A single immature Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) was probably the most interesting bird, along with several Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus) they we both new species for me at this site. Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) X10+, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser-black backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a single female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) were all also seen. Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) and Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava) were both heard. Several Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) and Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta) were still on the wing, as were a few Small Whites (Blanquita de la Col / Artogeia rapae) and Speckled Woods (Pararge aegeria).
Photographs from the top: First two, Gulls at Motril Docks, Southern Tree Frog (Ranita meridional / Hyda meridional) and Charca de Suárez from the main hide.

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