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Friday, September 22, 2017

πŸ“– Diary Update #56πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ πŸ‚ ☀️ 25C Friday 22nd September 2017 ~ Today was my annual drive down to Cazalla migration observatory near Tarifa and then on to La Janda, further along the coast. We arrived just after 9.30am for a 90-minute watch and it wasn't long before the birds began to appear, ready to make that short trip across the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco and the African continent, unfortunately not visible early on due to sea fog.

Short-toed Snake Eagle ~ Passing over Cazalla
Booted Eagle
At first, the most prolific species seemed to be Short-toed Snake Eagle, at least 150 or so at different levels. But after a while, other species began to appear mingled in, Booted Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite and I'm always amazed at how many Sparrowhawks actually migrate, eleven during our stay. Peregrine and Kestrel were also noted.

Black Storks ~ Attempting to gain height!
As light cloud began to bubble up a large group heading in turned out to be about fifty or so Black Storks, struggling it seemed to gain height for the journey! Just a few Griffon Vultures today, as most apparently have already gone through and sadly for the first time in four years, no RΓΌppell's Vulture, for me during this visit πŸ˜•

Stonechat ~ Lots around at La Janda!
After Cazalla we took the 30-minute drive entering La Janda at the Zahara Atunes crossroads and after immediately turning onto the dust track came across a Corn Bunting and Stonechat perched close by on the wires. As per usual lots of White Storks were in the rice fields, along with Glossy Ibis, heads occasionally popping up above the tall rice. Crested Larks could be heard and occasionally seen and along the roadside ditches and sluices many House Sparrows, Cattle Egrets and Little Egrets. A steady stream of Swifts, including at least three Pallid, along with House Martins and both Barn and Red-rumped Swallows.

Glossy Ibis at La Janda...
Halfway around the dirt track, a large area has been cleared producing a pool which offers excellent opportunities to search for waders, wildfowl and indeed to view the many Glossy Ibis, White Storks and Greater Flamingo. Waders included Curlew Sandpiper, Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Green Sandpiper. Two Spoonbills were also recorded.

Montagu's Harrier at La Janda!
By the time we'd reached the Benalup side of La Janda and ready for home, we'd encountered a single Black-winged Kite, quartering a field at distance, several Marsh Harriers, Hen Harriers and at least two Montagu's Harrier.

More images of the day....

White Stork at La Janda

Spoonbill

Corn Bunting