A day around the two wetlands.
I set off from home and made my way down to the coast at Motril to spend the morning birding at Charca de Suarez, I was a little early so I checked out the wet areas to the north west of the main reserve. Once on the small back road I parked and scanned the nearby fields and soon started the day list off with a fine male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), several Red Avadavats (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and 2 Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops). I moved a little further along the road and again parked on the verge, as I got out of the car a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) flushed up from a small patch of water nearby, three more Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) were all in air and a cracking male Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) scolded me from the walls of a nerby ruin. At the Junction at the far end of the track I made a third stop before I headed in to the resever and added Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo). I headed around towards the entrance but I was still a bit early so I had a walk out on to the beach and checked the small channel that runs from Charca and had a look out to sea. In the channel I located a single Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and on the sea several Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and more Yellow-legged Gulls before returning to the gates where Pepe was just taking the padlock off. I went round the reserve in an anti-clockwisedirection checking the hides as I went, from the first I saw Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). I continued on around to the second hide which looks over Laguna Trebol and started to check through the birds, I soon added Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), three of the intrduction Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) to the growing day list. John and Jenny Wainwright then joined me in the hide and after a while we all had very nice views of a Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon) which was moving along the iris beds just above the water, a cracking bird. After a while I decided to move around to the hide over looking Laguna Taraje via the main hide where I had a very quick scan over the pool seeing Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and two more of the Red-Knobbed Coots. Once in the hide at Taraje I was lucky to have views of a second Moustached Warbler which was again moving along the reedbeds just above the water, along with a fine male Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina). After a while I picked up the warbler again but this time on the near shore just to the right of the hide, as I was watching it it stared to called and to my surprise it was answered by a second bird on the opposite side of the pool in the reeds, I scanned the reeds and soon found this bird as well. Whilst on the reserve I also heard lots of Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis) and saw a single Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) butterfly. A little later I was again joined by John and Jenny and then by Steve Powell and his wife Elena and we all had sightings of the two birds and I managed to get some OKish shots of the one. Time had rattled on and it was 13:00 and time for the reserve to shut so we all made our way back to the cars and Steve, Elena and I headed North to Padul, a site the they had not visited before. Just as we started to head towards Granada we had a Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) over the motorway and less nice were the roadkill bodies of both Red Fox (Vulpus vulpus) and Beech Martin (Martes foina). Unfortunutilly it was much windier at this site which kept the birds down and we did not see agreat deal but at least they found out where it was. On our quick tour we did see several Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) along the sticking Channel but little else new so Steve and Elena headed off and I went and sat on the edge of the reeds on the reserve with my camera and got some shots of the Water Pipits and a nice male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica). I also heard a couple of Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and saw Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) before leaving. On the way home I was delayed by an immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which was being heavily hasseled by dozens of Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula). Nearer to home I finished the day with some regular birds on the local patch including Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus).
Photographs from the top: Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and 2x Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).