Wednesday 2 October 2013

Barbate, La Janda, Tarifa Pine Woods and Cazalla Watch Point, Cadiz Province.

Woke to the Eagle Owls still calling but what was a better day on the weather front, Day three of recce trip.

Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
I was up and out before dawn and made my way out to the beach and pools where I had been the night before and went into the bar there for some breakfast and a coffee. Once the dawn started to arrive I walked out on to the beach via the boardwalk and scanned the sea front which was totally bird less so I scanned the skies and picked up Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) all coming in off the sea and they were joined by a group of 8 Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia) which dropped down on to the disused saltpans. Back nearer the car I found several groups of the uncommon Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum) some in flower and some with well swollen seed pods. Also seen on the walk back along the boardwalk were a nice male Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
I decided to skip looking around the pools here and headed straight towards La Janda before the sun got above the horizon, once on the main track I started to pick up birds including several hundred White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) waiting on the fields for the sun to warm up and sort some thermals out for their crossing over to Morocco. On one of the small drainage channels there was a cracking Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) and on the wires along the roadside I picked up Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) male.
From here I moved up onto the ridge between the main Canal and the rice paddies and scanned the fields and the reed fringed channels, I soon added Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa). After quite a while I turned right on to the track across the canal and on up to the farm on the far side of the fields and then out into the wild olive woods, on the way across the fields I had cracking views of a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) which I watched for quite a while, after a few minutes it was joined by a second pale phase and a dark phase birds, all of which drifted off south along the main canal.
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Further along the track a very nice female Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) was sat on one of the track side pylons, a flock of Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), both Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows, Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra). Around the farm I located a singing  Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), plenty of Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and  Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
I parked on the roadside once I was out in the Olive woodlands but it was quite quiet and I only managed to pick up Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
I dropped down the far side of the ridge and turned onto one of the trackes out into the wilds and carried on along it for around 6 KM before turning around, in general it was quiet but I did get views of Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). On the rice paddies back near the junction where I had joined the track I had a large flock of Glossy Ibis and about a 100 or so White Storks fly over me, the Storks were low enough that I managed to get some good shots. From here I took the road toward the reservoir but after a few KM it is gated, I parked near the gates and had a search through the woods and heard but did not see a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla). I retraced me way back through to the main channel and then on back to the road down towards Tarifa, on the way picking up Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a fine female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Once I was back on the road I headed towards the Pine woods along side of the well known Los Lances beach where I found just a single spike of the rare Autumn Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) along with quite a few which needed a few days before they would bloom. In the woodland I only picked up Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
From here I continued on just a short distance to the hide over looking the beach pool on the beach proper and quickly added a couple of new species to the long trip list Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) and these were in the company of a single immature Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
 Again I moved just a short distance to the Cazalla watch point on the far side of Tarifa just off the main road down to Algeciras, I parked at the top of the track and went to the watch shelters and started to see birds straight away with good numbers of Raptors coming through even this late in the afternoon. There was a very very knowledgeable Spanish chap there how was carrying out count for Migrans and he very kindly point out some of the more distant birds for the group that were there. Species seen during the three hours I spent at the spot included Short-toed (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Booted and Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Ruppell's Vultures (Buitre Moteado / Gyps rueppellii), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus), Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) Peregrine Falcon and both Common (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra).
None Raptor species included both White and Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Late in the afternoon I started the drive home calling in at a couple of shopping places on the way back to collect a few bits whilst passing.

Finished the three days off with a bird list totalling 158 species, 155 seen and 3 heard only.

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