Up to the Sierra Nevada ski resort on Tuesday to find the mountain shrouded in thick cloud instead of the full sun that was forecast. Also, access to the top car park was blocked by snow, so we reluctantly headed back down again. This later gave me time to check out the bird life at the Charca de Suarez, and while waiting for the gate to open at 18:30 I photographed kite surfers on Motril Beach. The sky was blue with cirrus converging on an approaching weather system, which gave quite a dramatic effect.
Yellow Wagtail - motacilla flava flavissima
Sadly the birds in the Reserve were less exciting. A Purple Heron flew across the reed beds and this male Yellow Wagtail was nice, one of the "British" flavissima race. There are at least eight races of yellow wagtail in Europe, flavissima is more yellow & less blue-grey on the head than the Iberian race.
Grey Heron - ardea cinerea
There were of course the usual water birds present including Shoveler, Mallard, Little Grebe, Little and Cattle Egrets, Cormorant and the ubiquitous Coot and Moorhen. This Grey Heron made a nice picture as it posed in front of the main hide, and I tried snapping Barn Swallows as they flew across the pond, which is never easy.
Barn Swallow - hirundo rustica
It has generally been another up & down birding week. I would expect to see many more birds in April and can only ascribe it to the unseasonably dull, wet and windy weather. Hopefully things will change for the better quite soon.
On Wednesday we walked with Joan´s depleted walking group. In fact it was just Joan, Sue, Elena and I as most of the group are away. We parked in Alcaucin and did a circular route that skirted the edge of the Natural Park, a detailed map and description can be seen here;
The wild flowers along the way were spectacular, as can be seen from the photo below. They would have looked even better in full sunshine but unfortunately cloud cover increased and the temperature never rose enough to encourage many butterflies to fly.
Sardinian Warbler - sylvia melanocephala
I did not carry a heavy lens on the walk, so to get some bird shots to post I strolled along the riverside in Torrox next day. A nesting Sardinian Warbler showed nicely, Goldfinches and Woodchat Shrikes were abundant and a Kestrel wheeled overhead, so I grabbed a few shots. Unfortunately I still haven´t found the elusive Subalpine Warbler, but I have not given up hope yet.