The monthly sea watch with Juan Pérez Contreras and John Ross.
I met Juan out side his place and we went down to the sea watch point in his motor and arrived a little early, so whilst I looked to see if John had arrived Juan checked out the beach and by the time I reached him he was rather excited and showed me an immature Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) on the rock breakwater which was a new bird for both of our Granada Province lists, a fine way to start the day. After a call from John to say he was going to be late we headed up to the watch point and got set up and started the count with a Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua), which was followed by Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis). Other species included Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Spotless (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Starlings (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
Juan had found a site near the Port at Motril which we went to check out before we went on to Charca, on the way down to the beach we checked the river and had nice views of Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros). On the beach there were lots of Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a very smart Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) as well as Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) and Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta).
From here Juan and I headed to Charca while John headed back home, we first went and checked the small hide over looking where we had Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) heard only, Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis). We moved around the reserve to the new hide over looking the new lake where we saw vary little but added Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Little Egret, Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and Monarch (Danaus plexippus). Around at the main hide Juan located the Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) and we also saw Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Great Cormorant, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) as well as Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Yellow-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta).
13.00 came around quickly and we made our way to the exit and then we had a quick look on the back road where we had more Red Avadavats, the wintering Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) and a fly over Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus).From here we drove back to Juan's and then I drove towards home, on the way I added Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Photographs from the top: 3x Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis), 2x white spotted Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).