Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Charca de Suarez, Motril, Granada Province.

A couple of hours birding down on the coast.

Jayne and I made our way up to Granada to get some building bit before going to Juan Perez and Beatriz's.  Juan and I went down to Charca birding, we arrived there a few minutes before 5:00 thinking that we would have an hour in the reserve but we found that the times in Feb are different and the gates were still locked. Whilst waiting we did se a nice Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). A few minutes later Manu turned up and we had two hours in the reserve, our main reason for coming down was to try and see the Little Crake ( Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva) that Steve Powell and the Axarquia bird group had seen last Sunday morning. We failed to see that bird but had a good selection of species as we went around the reserve. We first of all had a look from hide over looking Laguna del Lirio where the Crake had been seen, over the pool there were good numbers of both Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), along with lots of Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and at least 3 Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica). On the water we picked up Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and in the reeds at the far end of the pool there was a single Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio). On the margins we also saw a single Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and a single Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
We next made our way around to the second hide over looking Lagun del Trebol, on the way we stopped and scanned the willow scrub and found at least four adult Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) amongst the tangled branches and at the junction to the hide a chap pointed out to us a very smart Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) which was hanging on in the top of a tree.
From the hide we picked up a Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
After a while we continued on around to the main hide having another look at the Chameleon again on the way. From the hide we scanned the pool and found several new species for the trip including a number of Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and at least three Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia).
We moved on again making our way around to the hide on Laguna Tarajewhere we had nice views of one of the wintering Moustached Warblers (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon).
After a while here we decided to return to the first hide and give the Crake another try but again we did not have any luck and did not add any thing else to the list except for a single Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) Butterfly and heard several calling Stripe-less Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis) before heading home.

Photographs from the topNight Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Purple Swamp-hen  (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).


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