Today I collected the Haigh family from the coast at Casares beach, they had a mixed bag of interest between them which included Will's fascination with bugs!
I left Gaucin at 6:45am and along the way down to the coast I counted 15 Black Kites, a Common Buzzard and a couple Griffon Vultures.
It was windy at the coast at first, also overcast, humid and very warm but as we moved inland the sky cleared the humidity eased off and it got hot.
|the Haigh family - William Haigh on the left is looking for bugs|
We drove along the coast towards Algeciras making a quick stop to look at a colony of Monk Parakeets, unfortunately no birds were home so we ended just looking at bunches of twigs in the eucalyptus trees.
At San Enrique Woods we fared a little better our first bird in the scope was a Spotted Flycatcher, then as we moved into the woods we added Great Spotted Woodpecker, Short-toed Treecreeper, Bonelli's Warbler, Blue Tit, Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Another eight Black Kites flew over too.
|the river Guadiaro - viewed from the San Enrique Woods|
We viewed the Rio Guadiaro from the woods and enjoyed views of Common Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper and Yellow-legged Gull.
Moving onto Secadero we stopped a few times along the track to watch a number of interesting species, Will kept finding bugs, grasshoppers and wasp's nests, how nice. Meanwhile the rest of us, Richard, Ben and mother Phillipa found some nice birdies. Several Bee-eaters sat on the power cables as did Corn Buntings. There were Stonechats and a couple of Eurasian Hoopoes in the field and our first Woodchat Shrikes sat on the fence line.
|White Stork at the river|
A walk along the river on a raised bank produced a good number of birds, a pair of White Storks fed in the river as did a Grey Heron and up to Six Little Egrets. A Green Sandpiper fed nearby with Common Sandpiper and several Little Ringed Plovers. Many Goldfinches, Linnets and Corn Buntings were coming to drink and a Common Kingfisher whizzed by and perched upriver.
One of our main target species was the Olivaceous Warbler, we had several sightings of this light grey bird but nothing to write home about, however, in complete contrast the Sardinian Warbler was very obliging and showed very well. A few raptors appeared which included a Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, several Griffon Vultures and a distant Short-toed Eagle.
After a picnic stop further upriver where we had excellent close views of Booted Eagle and a sighting of many Bee-eaters on the power lines we drove to the bridge over the Rio Genal near Gaucin.
Our final walk was in the intense heat of the afternoon so we kept in the shelter of the trees. We found Grey Wagtail, Common Kingfisher, White Wagtail and not a lot more. Insect life sightings included several nice dragonflies and we saw a superb Swallowtail butterfly ovipositing on a fennel plant.
|look very carefully and see the Swallowtail egg - its actual size is that of a pin-head|