I am slowly recovering from a bout of gastric flu or something equally evil, but having finally received my camera from the repair service in Madrid today I could not resist a short walk along the Rio Velez to test it out.
Little Egret on the rocks - egretta garzetta
Parking under the old bridge was impossible as it had become a lake in all the recent rains. In fact the Rio itself was high and rapid as this photo of a Little Egret standing on a natural weir just below the bridge will testify. Those who know this site will appreciate from this photo just how much stronger the flow is than usual.
Hoopoe - upupa epops
Further downstream the devastation caused by high winds and rain became evident. Most of the cane stands and riverside meadows were gone, replaced by expanses of mud and debris swept down with the torrent. I managed to capture this Hoopoe standing on a dry patch, probably wondering what had happened to its natural green habitat.
Crag Martin - ptyonoprogne rupestris
Upon reaching the beach it was clear that storms had caused flooding of the adjacent growing fields, so a drainage dyke and a six foot high protective barrier of soil had been built up to prevent further damage. There were quite a few hirundines about, barn swallows, House Martins and I noted several Crag Martins scouring the top and sides of the soil ridge chasing flying insects. They are one of the most difficult birds to capture in flight but I had a few attempts and this is the best of a bad bunch
Fishing Boat & entourage coming home
The swollen state of the river meant there were very few birds to be seen. Cettis Warbler, Zitting Cisticola and Serin were around along with a few Crested Larks, but apart from the egret there were no waders at all barring a few small flocks of Sanderling flying out over the sea. Not a solitary duck in sight and just a few Moorhens had stayed on after the rains. The weather has not been good for birds or birding. Plenty of Gulls about however, many attracted by the returning fishing boats approaching Caletta Harbour. The gulls were mainly Mediterranean with their full black hoods, plus Yellow Legged, Lesser Black-backed and Black Headed varieties.
Goldfinch - carduelis carduelis
The only interesting sighting of the day was the unexpected Dartford Warbler flitting around the drainage ditches in the growing fields. Too quick and brief for a photograph so I had to content myself with this shot of a Goldfinch sitting on a pole studying his toenails.