Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Years Eve 2019

☀️17C ~ Wind ⇐ N@5mph  Tuesday 31st December 2019 ~ My final post of the year finds Dazza and me at Zapata, a cracking little habitat right next to Malaga Airport. We decided to stay local today and just enjoy a nice afternoon stroll in the peace and quiet before tonight's festivities.

Zapata ~ Site details can be found HERE
We began at the ford where the usual waders tend to hang out and today these included Green Sandpiper, Greenshank and Little-ringed Plover. A few Shoveler and Mallards were on the water but nothing too unusual.

White Wagtails ~ The most abundant species during our visit
A Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier passed by and the odd Cattle Egret passed through. By the time we reached the north-west fringes of the airport, we'd encountered numerous White Wagtails, Common Chiffchaff, Black Redstart, Crested Lark, Stonechat and Cetti's Warblers.

Bluethroat ~ A brief appearance 
The reedbeds which run for a good length along the peripheral of the site are always worth spending a little extra time scanning. Penduline Tit's winter here, although on this visit we didn't spot any but large groups of Common Waxbills that reside were constantly on the move, feeding mostly on the Bistort. There were a few Zitting Cisticola but the highlight at this point was a Bluethroat, which perched up briefly on some cut reed before disappearing once more.

Landing aircraft only yards above
As we headed back to the car it's impossible not to stop for a while and watch the planes coming in, especially for an enthusiast like me. They literally are only yards above your head and I'm always amazed how the local wildlife copes.

Blue Rock Thrush ~ The surprise of the day!
The walk back to the car is predominantly scrub and grassland and occasionally holds Stone Curlew and if your lucks in Wryneck. Unfortunately, not today but it wasn't long before we came across three Lesser Short-toed Larks, which are resident here but the birds are pretty flighty and difficult to photograph, so no shots I'm afraid. It was while watching these birds that the surprise of the day happened when a larger bird flew across the scrub landing on a nearby building structure. To our surprise, it was Blue Rock Thrush, a nice find for the final day of the year!