On Wednesday I decided to go back to the Charca to see what we had missed the previous day when we found it unexpectedly closed. Well the answer was - very little! I don't recall ever seeing so few birds there before and chatting with Manu the Warden he confirmed that it has been a bad year. Anyway before going into the Reserve at its opening time of 18:30 we checked the picnic site on the Rio Guadalfeo where I had spotted the nesting Dippers on the previous day.
We were shocked to find the place was reminiscent of Skegness beach on a hot Summer's day. The kiosk was open selling ice creams and alchoholic drinks. People in party mode had ghetto blasters blaring, the river held dogs, bathers, even a chap operating a radio controlled speedboat! I immediately thought that this would have driven away every bird for miles around, but to my surprise and delight, there were the Dippers going about their business as if nothing was going on around them. In fact they had become so used to the disturbance that they didn't seem to notice me wading out into mid stream to get some decent close-up images. I was just another punter to be ignored!
I quite like the image below as it shows the white eyelid that these birds flash to each other as a means of communication, particularly during courtship. Their bobbing and dipping that gave them the name is also used as a means of communication, it certainly makes them easy to spot.
I gave up trying to get a decent shot of the calling Golden Orioles high up in the eucalyptus trees, We could see them moving around from time to time and I did manage to capture one very poor image (below) but getting anything worthwhile was really a hopeless task.
I did capture a decent image of a Common Pochard in the Charca, and Turtle Doves were calling gently so I photographed one in good light.
As usual at this time of year Spotted Flycatchers were everywhere, foraying out from their conspicuous perches to live up to their name.
Here are "Two that got away". The Golden Oriole I mentioned earlier, and a Little Bittern in the Charca, capturing a very large frog. Although 90% obscured by long grass but it was right in front of us and was very exciting to watch. Eventually the Bittern took off with its large prize and flew off out of sight across the pond.
Just past the Little owl in Turtle Dove Alley we came across considerable numbers of Monarch Butterflies. It is always a pleasure to see these big colourful insects.
Last entry in this post is that of a Goose I spotted on an isolated stretch of the Rio Guadalfeo. Now I now it must be a hybrid of some sort, probably wandered away from a captive situation somewhere, but we get very few geese of any kind in Andalucia, and this one living on a wild stretch of river seemed worthy of note, so here it is.
Retired seafarer living in Frigiliana, a white village in Malaga Province in southern Spain. Married to Elena. Keen bird and wildlife watchers.
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