Saturday, 5 June 2010

Cabo Sacratif, Charca del Suarez and Picnic area on the way home, Granada Province.

Ram and Charca del Suarez.

Juan and I met at 06:15 at the usual spot in Granada and we headed down to Cabo Sacratif for the RAM sea watching survey, I had missed the last two months so it was good to be there again. Just as we were starting the two hour stint Gerry Collins from Salobrena arrived and we spent an interesting but slow couple of hours. Good numbers of Balearic (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and several Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) were recorded mostly passing West. Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) were seen going both ways, all except one were immature birds. A single adult was seen sitting on the water, some of the immature birds were still in the full dark plumage of juveniles. Other birds seen in the morning included Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo) a single bird just before the counting started, Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos). This month we did not call at the port as Charca is on restricted opening and we needed to be at the entrance by 10:00. We arrived in time and we made our way in accompanied by a friend of Juan's, José María. The first hide was quiet, we just picked up a family of Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus). We moved on around to the photographic hide, Juan had managed to get the key for the morning, from here we had stunning views of a number of Little Bitterns (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus), some staying in view for a long time preening in the reed margins. Other birds on the main lagoon included Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Yellow-legged Gull, House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). Iberian Pond Frogs (Rana Perezi) were calling all over the wet areas and Spanish Terrapins (Galapago leproso / Mauremys leprosa) heads could be seen poking out of the surface weed. Dragon and Butterflies were much in evidence, Good numbers of Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) were seen in all parts of the reserve and out on the main pool Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii) and Red-veined Darters (Trithemis arteriosa) were all seen. Behind the hide several Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum) and Iberian Bluetails (Ischnura graellsii) sat long enough for me to get some shots. Speckled Woods (Pararge aegeria) were common, a single Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) did a fly pasted and a Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous) managed to keep out of camera range near the entrance. We then moved on around to the central hides but due to the ban on work in the breeding season the view was blanked out by vegetation. From the main hide we added nothing new to the list, for the time of year we were not to surprised. We slowly made our way around to the exit and started our journey to Granada. On the way we stopped at a picnic site along the river where Juan and Gerry had seen a breeding pair of Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), we did not see them but picked up Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), plus some well over with spikes of Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera).

Photographs from the top: Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Charca from photographic hide, Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) and Graphosoma italicum.

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