The sea bird survey and a visit to Charca.
I met Juan Pérez Contreras near his home on the outskirts of Granada and we headed off down to the coast under an overcast dark sky. We arrived at our seawatch point near Torrenueva and walked up to the top of the sea cliff with a few spits of rain still falling but this soon cleared and we carried out the survey with out it being a problem. We were joined half way through and for the vist to Charca by Fran Espinosa Alemany a ringer from Padul. During the seawatch we recorded good numbers of Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), 2x Great Skuas (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Juan picked up 5x Shelducks (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) passing west but I did not manage to get on to them. Birds closer to hand included Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and on the rocks by the sea as we were leaving we saw a nce male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius).
We returned to our cars and made our way to the entrance of Charca de Suarez and walked around the reserve in an anti-clockwise direction, near the entrance we packed up Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
Once we were in the first hide we were seeing lots of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), a couple of calling Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a single Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata) from the introdution birds. Between here and the second hide we saw an adult and immature Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) having a fly round near there normal day time roost. From the next hidewe saw another three collared Red-knowbbed Coots and the uncollared youngster from this year along with Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus). We walked to the next hide picking up a dark phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) which was being mobbed by two Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) on the way.
From the hide we only added a fine female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) which was hunting the reedbeds. Our next stop was at the main hide, straight away Juan found a female Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) and its hybird youngster with a Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) in a small flock of Common Pochards along with a pair of Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera). Other birds seen in this area were Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Red Avadavats (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava).
We continued on and had a lookover the new pool adding Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and a Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which Juan saw but I missed it when it darted n to the reeds.
From the last hide on the way round we had great views of a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and fine wintering male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus).
1 o'clock came round quickly and we were soon on our way back up the motorway to Granada, I dropped Juan off and then made my way home via the fields on the local patch boosting the list with
Azure-winged (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) and Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua). During the visit we also heard lots of Stripe-less Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis) and saw a couple of Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae).
Photographs from the top: Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Kingfisher and Little Egret.