Ram and more.
After spending a couple of weeks of decorating it was a great relief to get out and do some birding. I had also missed the last three RAM survey days down on the coast at Motril, so it was good to meet Juan Pérez Contreas and Manu Santa-Cruz at Aki. We set off and were soon up on the usual headland Cabo Sacratif, setting up the scopes and rueing the fact that I had forgotten my chair. We started the survey and soon started to pick up good numbers Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo). Lesser numbers of Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis). Also seen were Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Once I had managed to straighten the legs out after sitting on the ground for the past two hours we moved on to our next stop which was at the fish port in Motril where we were looking for ringed gulls. The only bird seen was a Lesser Black-backed Gull with two colour rings, on the left leg it had a red ring with B36 and on the right a white one with a large E on it. We also saw more Yellow-legged Gulls, Sandwich Terns, a single Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) and loads of White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
We then moved on to Charca, which was generally quiet but we picked up a few nice species including a cracking male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which showed well in front of the main hide. From the main hide we also saw a late Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos). A hundred or more Migrant Hawkers ( Aeshna mixta) were seen along with a few Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum). From one of the smaller hides we picked up a couple of Purple Swamp-hens (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and also saw a Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterfly flying out over the water. thousands of Egyptian grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium) made the ground and low vegitation move as you walked.
Photographs from the top: Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica, Migrant Hawkers ( Aeshna mixta) x2 and Egyptian grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium).