A good Mornings birding at Charca with good friend Juan.
We then started to make our way over to the reserve to met the warden to be let in for the morning, on the way we picked up several Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and a couple of calling Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) but they remained well hidden. Whilst we were waiting in the car park we had a couple of fly-over Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), several House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and a couple of Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Once we were in the reserve we walked anti-clockwise to the first hide, once inside we started to see the usual species including Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and we could hear but did not see Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus). We sat for a while and picked up a very smart male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) which started off low down in the reeds on the right side of the pool and then showed very well after flying over to the left hand side where it caught an Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) and struggled for a while but eventually it went down whole. From this hide we also saw Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) and a fine male Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) which flicked around in a nearby Tamarisk Tree. We moved on passed the sluces seeing three adults and a couple immature Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) to the third hide as the second one is still closed. On the way we heard both Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and on the back of a small pool we picked up Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
We settled down in the third hide and soon picked up more Sedge Warblers, Yellow Wagtails, Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and a female Northern Pintail (Anade Rabudo / Anus acuta) which eventually woke up and showed its head. Our next stop was at the main hide where we bumped into the warden and his group that he was taking round the reserve, he was just leaving but he showed us a cracking female Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) which was in a tamarisk bush behind the hide. From the hide we saw Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla). We continued on around the main track to the last hide but we did not see anything new but Juan had nice views of the same or another male Little Bittern. During the visit we picked up Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii).
|Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra).|
|Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).|
On my way home I called in at the flooded fields just to the North of Huétor Tájar where I found 4 Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).