Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spain Day 5 Sierra de la Plata, Barbate + La Janda

Trying to remember what happened now. That hot weather is already getting a distant memory.
The day kicked off with a Short-toed Eagle over the garden. We decided to have one more go for the White-rumped Swifts. Didnt see these but did see Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush and Lesser Kestrel, as well as seeing more of the local Griffons

Had to do a bit of rock climbing for this one

Headed on further up the coast towards Cadiz stopping at various places on the way. There was a 1st year male Montagu's hunting at Marismas de Barbate.
We went into Barbate for some reason which I cannot remember and managed to get lost. We were very hungry so just stopped in a large car park near the estuary in some sort of run down industrial area, nice. Anyway was munching away when noticed this Pallid Swift dart into a pipe hole in the wall of the building opposite, then swiftly out again. Didnt realise they nested this late anyway lunch was adjourned, and out came the camera. For about 20 minutes I had the camera trained on the hole waiting for the bird to arrive when Claire spotted another bird dart into a pipe hole a few holes along. I quickly got onto that hole and out popped this bird.

Still clicking the camera like mad as it dropped, I also was lucky enough to nail this shot.

After lunch we were off to the plains of La Janda. First up were 20 Calandra Lark flushed from the road, then our only Woodchat Shrike of the trip on the roadside fence. It didnt hang around but there was a rather forlorn looking Greenfinch there.

It was bit windy here but there were a few Honeys battling against the wind

A few passing Cattle Egret, well flushed to be more precise

A lovely marked juvenile Osprey was a nice surprise.

The other day we had bumped into John Cantelo who is a bit of a local expert and he mentioned that there was a Ruppells Vulture regularly visiting the rubbish tip at Los Barrios.
As this long road kind of ended up quite near we decided to have a look.
As we arrived we were greeted by this great view of Gibraltar

Lots of Vultures at the tip but couldnt see anything out of the ordinary. A flock of White Stork drifted south

Cattle and Egret in nearby field