We made another visit to the Charca de Suarez with Bob Wright on Sunday and Bob was impressed with the progress that has been made here, particularly the latest hide on the new "Wader" pond. We sighted Wood, Green and Common Sandpiper, Water Rail, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Black Winged Stilt, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Reed Warbler, Yellow and White Wagtail, Turtle Dove, Red Avadavat and most interesting of all, a Black Rumped Waxbill, shown to us by Juan ? a naturalist friend of Mick Richardson who had the bird in his scope.
It is similar to the Common Waxbill but without the cross barring on the plumage and it has a distinctive black tail with white edges. According to Juan this escaped cagebird from Southern Africa is now established and breeding in this area. The photograph above is an archive shot included here to illustrate the species.
Birding often happens in bursts. After being shown the Waxbill Juan said "There's a Squacco", but I what I saw was a Little Bittern which was confusing until I spotted the Squacco Heron a few meters to the right. As we watched these two a Water Rail emerged from the reeds and made a sudden dash across the mudflat at breakneck speed. It ran so fast back and forth across the mud that I quietly named it the Ussain Bolt of the bird world.
Being such a long stretch of mud, water and reedbed means that most of the birds on this pond are some way off, making good photography difficult. The only other shot worth posting from here is this nice Wood Sandpiper that came relatively close.
On a final note, we saw Kingfishers from five of the six hides visited today. The one below was using the conveniently placed sticks in front of the Main Hide, ideal for photographs.