Wednesday 12 May 2021

Refugio de aves esteparias las Amoladeras, Punta Entinas near Roquetas de Mar, Torregarcía and Cabo de Gata, Almeria, Spain.

A Spanish Lifer on my second day down in Almeria.
I got up early and went for a look at the Esparto grass fields where in the passed there had been a small population of the rare Dupont's Lark (Alondra Ricotí / Chersophilus duponti) but as in Granada Province the very low numbers of remaining birds means it is unlike to come across one.
Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola).
I still had a walk and did find Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
I got a message from a local birder Garry Pearson to say that the Western Reef Heron (Garceta Dimorfa / Egretta gularis) I had been searching for yesterday had been seen but it was along a different track so I got back into the car and headed back to the Salinas's near to Roquetas de Mar.
Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).
I drove onto the reserve and made a quick stop to look at the Collared Pratincoles (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola) as they are just stunning birds and quickly checked through the waders and terns on the sallow track side pools finding Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Little (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Black (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger) and Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and the same immature Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) which had been there yesterday.
Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus).
Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola).
Just a bit further along the track I parked and walked another one of the tracks seeing loads more Greater Flamingo's,
Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), the first Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) of the trip, Avocets (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) on the pools.
Western Reef Heron (Garceta Dimorfa / Egretta gularis).
Western Reef Heron (Garceta Dimorfa / Egretta gularis).
Western Reef Heron (Garceta Dimorfa / Egretta gularis).
In the reed beds I could hear at least two reeling Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides), as well as Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Great Reed (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and more unexpected was a splendid male Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) which sat up on a reed head for a few seconds before flying off over the lake.
Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
I got to the pin location Garry had sent me and stood still for a while adding Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and then the target bird came flying in from my right, the Western Reef Heron did a flyby and then circled back and landed out of sight behind some small Tamarisk trees.
Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) and Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula).

After a short while the Heron took off again and flew right passed me and then landed briefly before flying on again and out of sight.
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
I was very happy with the views I had had so I walked back towards the car and then went a short way further into the reserve and walked the track that I was on yesterday and found Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Purple (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) and Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) and both Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Rambla Morales.
I returned to the car but just before I got there I had a couple of
Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
I got to the car and then headed back around to the Torregarcia area as I wanted a second go at the Common Tiger Blues (Tarucus theophrastus) and I was soon watching several of these smart Butterflies. 
Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines).
Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines).
Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines).
Before I moved on I also had Fagonia Cretica, Cynomorium (Cynomorium coccineum), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and several Spiny-footed Lizards (Acanthodactylus erythrurus).
Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon).
Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon).
My next stop was on the beach at Rambler Morales where there were several roosting Little Terns, feeding Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and more Ringed and Kentish Plovers.

The lake in the Rambler was generally quiet but I did add a Great Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) which was feeding in amongst 8 Grey Herons on the Left shore along with quite a few Black-winged Stilts
Other species seen before I moved on included Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochards, Gull-billed Tern, Slender-billed Gull, House Martin, Barn Swallow and Eurasian Coot and some plants that need names.
Yellow horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum) and Wavyleaf Sea Lavender (Limonium sinuatum).

Periploca laevigata.
I moved on passed the Salt Pans and down to the area around the Light House where I had a walk along the road heading East along the coast finding
Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon), Yellow horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum), Wavyleaf Sea Lavender (Limonium sinuatum), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Sweet Alison (Lobularia maritima), Yellow Sea Aster (Asteriscus maritimus), Silene littorea, Salsola opositifolia, Lycium intricatum and Periploca laevigata.
Bird wise I only added Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) to the day list before heading back to the hotel.

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