On Saturday Morning we shared cars & collected tickets from the bird fair for an afternoon whale watching trip out of Tarifa. Then we went looking for Little Swifts at a known site for this uncommon species near Zahara. Here we had a Sparrow Hawk and a flight of Spoonbills amongst others before a solitary Swift appeared, too high to definitively say it was "Little". Although it did not look as powerful in flight as a common swift I will have to wait to add Little Swift to my life list.
After the Swift search we moved on to Barbate again where the same birds as on the previous day were all present. The Collared Pratincoles showed well on the same rocks, and Subalpine Warblers were once again quite numerous. We also picked up Stone Curlew on one of the islets but too distant for worthwhile photography.
We did add Calandra Lark to our list, the one below stayed on the grass as we drove slowly past, allowing a reasonable shot. Another possible sighting was Spectacled Warbler but it was a fleeting glimpse and could not be confirmed. However this had proved to be an extremely productive location that we all enjoyed and which provided quite a few additions to our trip list.
After Barbate it was back to Tarifa for the Whale Watching boat trip. This turned out to be a highly entertaining three hour experience for most people, with plenty of close sightings of Pilot Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins. Elena though was badly seasick and it was a miserable time for her, I was therefore unable to enjoy the wildlife as it pained me to see her suffering so badly. I did grab a few quick photographs of the marine mammals though and here they are for the record.
There were not too many pelagic bird species to be seen apart from the usual Gulls. A Gannet or two, this Cory's Shearwater and a distant flight of Puffins being the only other birds of note. A few people picked up Storm Petrel but I was otherwise engaged fetching sick bags for Elena.
After the boat I took Elena back to the hotel to recover while the others went off to La Janda. After seeing Elena was comfortable I to went for a look around La Janda where I added my first Bee-eater of 2016. I also picked up Black Shouldered Kite, Marsh Harrier, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Great Egret, White Stork and last but by no means least, a Common Cuckoo by the main road. No chance for a photograph unfortunately.
All in all it had been a pretty good day, marred only by Elena's seasickness. We had been joined by our Canadian birder friends Judy and Giselle who had coincidentally checked into the hotel the previous night. I did take a lot of record photographs of a host of birds, but I prefer not to post too many repititions or poor quality records shots. I finish this day's report with a reasonable image of a Blue Headed Wagtail, one of so many we had seen at Barbate.
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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