Guadalentín Valley and Mountains of Mazarron

“River walk & Mountain lunch”

Leader: José Manuel Escarabajal
Participants: P.S., M.L.M., V.H, I. G., F. M., J.V.

CHECK LIST:
Roller, Swift, Yellow-legged Gull, Swallow, Crested Lark, Great Grey Shrike, Magpie, Stone Curlew, Wheatear, House Sparrow, Mallard, Bee-eater, Booted Eagle, Black-winged Stilt, Rock Dove, Jackdaw, Sardinian Warbler, Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Reed warbler, Moorhen, Night Heron, Tree Sparrow, Turtle Dove, Corn Bunting, Kestrel, Blackbird, Kentish Plover, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Nightingale, Short-toed Eagle, Spotless Starling, Woodchat Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow, Hoopoe, House Martin, Serin, Red-legged Partridge, Woodpigeon, Golden Oriole, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit,  Green Woodpecker, Great Tit, Dartford Warbler, Golden Eagle, Rock Bunting, Black-eared Wheatear, Crag Martin, Little Owl.

As normal we meet at a bar for a quick coffee and sort out who is going with who. We are not traveling far today but expect to see alot! On our way to the river we stop to admire a Roller sat ontop of a road sign, this is the same place we spotted it during the week with other clients. After snapping off a few photo’s we move on to the river, as we slowly walk along the path Bee-eaters fly above us feeding, Its not long before we see a Moorhen then some warblers and up out of the bank on the other side a Hen harrier takes off. On the other side from us is the wall of  the rambler full of holes, here nesting are Jackdaw’s and the odd Roller.
We move off the normal path and set up the scopes under some almonde trees to give us abit of shade, through the scopes we can see into some of the holes to see the nest of the Jackdaws, and get close ups of the warblers on the reeds in the river. We get a quick fly past from a Bittern, this is a lucky spot as they are very rare here. One of the group also spots a eagle coming our way high up, as time passes it comes closer and lower, now we can see it is a Booted Eagle with its big wings open wide we can see the  black edge to them.
Moving away from the river in the cars we drive through an area of scrub land, here there are Red-legged Partrige, Stone Curlew, Woodchat Shrike, and kestrel’s, we drive slowly to keep an eye out for anything moving. As we pass a bit of scrub the land changes to a strip of plouged soil, at it’s edge something catches my eye so we stop and out with camera’s, feeding on the ground is a Short-toed Eagle no more than 100 meters away, this bird is stunning with its brown mantle blending in with the terrain, she takes off with big swings of her broad wings when high enough she circles round for a while then fly’s off into the distance, amazing!!
A short distance down the road are two Golden Eagles flying high on the winds, but back on ground level a Hoopoe fly’s along side us and stops on a road sign. We make our way up the mountain track to the top where we stop for lunch, here the views are fantastic and the wind is welcome to cool us off. While tucking into our sandwiches someone see’s a Golden Oriole fly past, a few minutes later we see it again and get the scopes on it so we can all get a good look at this bright yellow bird. After lunch we move round the mountain and spot another Golden Eagle this time much closer, as we watch this massive bird above us it fly’s up to a peck close by and stops on the rocks, it must be 200 meters away but we can see it very clearly. A short break here and the eagle is off again, as are we. Back in the cars moving slowly down the mountain track a Partrigde with its chicks move’s quickly across the track, but for one chick not quick enough as a Kestrel comes out of now where and plucks it off the path, this is a real life tour and all the animals and birds have to eat, even if it is a bit sad and spectacular to see all at the same time. Just a bit futher down the track a fox cub climbs the bank, it must be very young as it is grey and no bigger than a small cat it finds it’s den in a group of rocks and disapears into a hole. This has cheered the group up and we move off to the bottom of the mountain.
Time has run out again so we make our way back to the meeting point and pick up our cars and move off to a nearby bar for a cold beer and talk about the days adventures.

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