Sunday, 28 April 2013

Saturday 27th April 2013 – Saladares del Guadalentín (Guadalentín Valley)

Hi all,

I had intended to go out to the saladares last Saturday, but was put off by the weather forecast, so provisionally made arrangements to go this Saturday.  However, once again, the weather forecast was not good but as Mick Brewer had never been there and it was his last opportunity this trip and I enjoy going out there anyway, we set off from Los Belones at 8 am.  There had been rain again overnight and the sky was heavily cloudy as we set out.  We called by Los Urrutias just in case the Roller I’d seen there the previous evening was still around, but no luck.  It started spitting and then as we got closer to Alhama the rain started to come down quite heavily (to the extent that we did consider turning back but decided against it).  We decided that maybe it would be a good idea to go to the sewage farm (EDAR) at Alhama just to see what the weather was going to do, so we went into the industrial park and round to the EDAR.  The only way I know of entering the EDAR is through the hole in the fence (if you’ve been there before, you’ll know what I mean) and to do this you have to use a mud/clay track which is a bit bumpy to say the least!  This is where we had a problem – driving along this track, because of the rain, the car started sliding sideways.  I decided it wasn’t a good idea to drive there, but because of the state of the track and the fact that we only had sandals on we didn’t particularly want to walk there either.  (Plus one of the reasons for going there was to build up Mick’s Spanish year-list, and I knew of another pool where we could get much the same species).  So we turned round and crossed the motorway to the ‘saladares’.  We had already decided that we could only do the tarmac’d roads (the saladares are criss-crossed by tracks, the majority of which are just clay, and not the best things to be driving on after all the recent rain, as we’d already found out).  This was going to restrict some of the birds we could see, in particular Little Bustard and Black-bellied Sandgrouse, but hey, a good excuse for another trip out here later in the year!

So entering the saladares at around 9-20am, we spent about 5 hours there, and were very lucky in that the weather just kept improving, from almost totally overcast to almost totally clear and no further rain, no wind and quite pleasantly warm (with the heat-haze starting to be bothersome at around 1pm).

So with Short-toed Larks virtually running around our feet (until they see a camera), our first bird of note was a Peregrine dissecting some avian prey on top of an electricity pylon.  We saw it pulling the intestines of the bird out, and then strangely enough dropping them to the ground.  I had always thought that they eat just about everything apart from the bones and feathers, but in this case no.  Maybe there’s just a surfeit of food for them here.  Behind us, but too distant to see very well, was another raptor on the top of a pylon, this time a Golden Eagle, which hopefully would still be there when we came back.

 Peregrine with its prey

Having watched the Peregrine for a while, we then carried on along the road we had chosen, along which we had several more larks of both the Short-toed and Crested varieties, Corn Bunting and a Whinchat, Stone Curlew and several Red-legged Partridge appearing to be very confiding – not running off as soon as they saw us.  We soon found out why.  You know what it’s like when you’re wearing wellie boots and try walking through a freshly ploughed wet field – well they had pretty much the same problem – great big balls of clay attached to their feet which must have weighed (relatively) a ton!  You couldn’t help but feel sorry for them.

It's a hard life trudging around in all this mud!

We backtracked the road and set off towards the Guadalentín river itself, passing closer to the Golden Eagle which was still on its pylon, but still not close enough for a GOOD view.  On our way, I noticed another raptor sat in a distant tree.  We got out and ‘scoped it – white supercillium, yellow piercing eyes looking forward (almost owl-like), brown back and pale front with speckling and darker upper chest – a textbook Short-toed Eagle which we confirmed when it eventually flew, showing pale underwings.

Almost at the bank of the Guadalentín, we had a Pied Flycatcher (male) and at the road along the bank of the river, as always there were plenty of Jackdaws, a few Magpies and the birds we specifically wanted to see here, a pair of Rollers and (only) 3 Bee-eaters.  It’s a shame there weren’t more Rollers as it might have induced them to do more displaying, but the male of the pair did do a couple of rolls and stoops for us (or maybe for his mate!).  Always good value to see.

While watching these, Mick almost tripped over a Montagu’s Harrier which had perched in a treetop below us (the actual river is about 30 metres below the road and has quite a lot of vegetation on either side of it).  It was a female with a broad white rump and very dark chestnut coloured wings (and once again while my camera was whirring back and forth trying to autofocus, the harrier was flying off and around a bend and out of view!).

Once we had had enough of the Rollers (not an easy thing to do), we carried on around the saladares, stopping at a couple of places to have a scan around.  At one of them we were lucky enough to have a Great Spotted Cuckoo, and 3 Gull-billed Terns and a Golden Eagle flew over, and at another while looking for Spectacled Warbler (which we found), I heard a song superficially similar to a Blackbird which I knew wasn’t a Blackbird as it was a bit ‘thinner’ and shorter.  I had an idea as to what it was, so we set up scopes and searched around until we found the culprit sat in the top of a bush – Rufous Bushchat (or Bush Robin, if you prefer).  A class bird, and a lot earlier than I’m used to seeing them.  We decided to have a sandwich lunch here while watching and listening to the Bushchat, and had some more migrants in the form of a couple of Turtle Doves, Red-rumped Swallows and a Pied Flycatcher.

 Some of the Bee-eaters seen

One of at least two Golden Eagles seen
 One of several Turtle Doves

 The Rufous Bushchat (Robin)
 Red-rumped Swallow

 One of many Short-toed Larks seen
 A second Golden Eagle

Finishing here, we drove back into the saladares to search for larks, and had good views of Short-toed, Crested and finally several Calandras.  We went on along a mud track (one that seemed solid) to look for Little Bustards, but probably due to the lateness of the morning, had no luck with these, but did have another Golden Eagle fly over.

Leaving the saladares at around 2:30pm, we went down to some more pools close to Bolnuevo where I hoped we would make up for the birds we hadn’t seen at the Alhama sewage farm in the morning.  We did well here, the only bird we didn’t see/hear was Cetti’s Warbler, but we got White-headed Duck, Pochard, Purple Gallinule (Swamphen), more Bee-eaters, Chough, Hoopoes, Green and Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and another male Pied Flycatcher, our third of the day.

We left the EDAR Mazarron at around 4pm, arriving back at Playa Paraiso where I dropped Mick off at 5, and Before going home I had a quick look at the Marchamalo Salinas from his urbanisation (well, as I was there, it’d be a shame not to).  I didn’t see much, just a group of Slender-billed Gulls and a single Black-headed Gull, plus my forth Pied Flycatcher (another male) of the day.  Obviously there had been quite a fall of these.

Species seen/heard during the day
Little Grebe; Cattle Egret; Little Egret; Mallard; Pochard; White-headed Duck; Marsh Harrier; Montagu’s Harrier; Short-toed Eagle; Golden Eagle; Kestrel; Peregrine; Red-legged Partridge; Purple Gallinule; Moorhen; Coot; Black Winged Stilt; Stone Curlew; Little Ringed Plover; Greenshank; Green Sandpiper; Common Sandpiper; Yellow-legged Gull; Gull-billed Tern; Rock Dove; Woodpigeon; Turtle Dove; Great Spotted Cuckoo; Little Owl; Swift; Roller; Hoopoe; Crested Lark; Calandra Lark; Short-toed Lark; Swallow; Red-rumped Swallow; House Martin; Iberian (Yellow) Wagtail; White Wagtail; Rufous Bushchat; Whinchat; Northern Wheatear; Blackbird; Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola); Reed Warbler; Spectacled Warbler; Sardinian Warbler; Pied Flycatcher; Great Tit; Woodchat Shrike; Southern Grey Shrike; Magpie; Jackdaw; Chough; Spotless Starling; House Sparrow; Serin; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Linnet; Corn Bunting.

Friday 26th April 2013 – Around the Mar Menor

Hi all,

Well the weather forecasters got it pretty much spot-on!  Yesterday the weather finally broke, and it rained for most of the day and night – impossible to get out and do some birding.  So this morning saw me with renewed enthusiasm at the lighthouse garden at Cabo de Palos at 8-15, with the sky almost totally overcast.  Mick Brewer had got there slightly before me, and I met up with him ‘scoping the sea where there was a group of Common Terns feeding, and amongst them a single breeding plumaged Black Tern.  We watched this for a while and as we did so, a group of gulls came into view – 13 Mediterranean Gulls in a flock, two adults in breeding plumage and the other 11 second calendar year birds. The sea itself wasn’t that rough (the wind had almost totally dropped from the previous day) but there was a large swell.  The next birds to catch our attention was a group of 11 Shags that flew around the rocks to join a 12th already in the sea.  In this group, seven of the birds were juveniles.  More birds out at sea were a couple of Audouins Gulls, an adult Gannet flying south, and later on a single Whimbrel flying north.  Passerines were few and far between, until later in our walk – presumably they didn’t begin to come in until later – just a couple of chiff/willows, Robin and a single Northern Wheatear.  Going right the way around the cape and through to the ‘Sirio’ gardens (just outside the fenced area of the actual lighthouse garden), we seemed to see more, including more Robins, a couple of Swift/Pallid Swifts over, a female Redstart, a strange largish bird with a long tail which when we got on to properly, turned out to be a Great Reed Warbler – the first time I think I’ve seen one ‘out of context’ and not in a reedbed.  We did have a couple of other good birds, a Melodious Warbler which Mick really liked, but for me the star bird of the morning may seem a little strange for UK based birders – a Blue Tit!  As I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries, I’ve sometimes gone a year without seeing one in Murcia if I haven’t travelled out to the northwest of the province, so to see one in my own local patch was for me really special!  I scanned it as good as I could to see if it might be a strange sub-species, but it looked like a standard Blue Tit.  It sat on top of one of the ‘pita’ plants for a while, then flew up in the air quite high and was off to the west.  My second species in 8 days that is normally considered to be a sedentary species, but seen on active migration (the other being a Green Woodpecker last week).

 Three of the group of Shags that dumped down in the sea...

 ... and another photo of some of the group

 Most unexpected, and for me a rarity, this Blue Tit

I had to go off to work then, but immediately after, I returned to the lighthouse, in the hope that maybe more birds had come in.  They obviously had, but not in the numbers I had hoped for, and all I saw were a couple more Chiff/Willows, 2 Melodious Warblers, a Bonelli’s Warbler, 2 male Redstarts, and along the shoreline at the base of the lighthouse, a couple of Common Sandpipers.

Later in the afternoon, I had to go out for diesel and while I was out, thought I’d call in to the sewage farm (EDAR) at El Algar.  As it had rained all day yesterday, I wanted to see how the water levels were doing.  Well they were certainly up on the last time I was there, to the extent that I think they may have flooded any Black Winged Stilt and Little Ringed Plover nests that may have been there.  Birds seen were a couple of Turtle Doves, Southern Grey Shrike, 13 Black Winged Stilts, Mallard and Shelducks, 2 Wood Sandpipers and 3 Little Ringed Plovers.

Three shots of the EDAR, El Algar - something GOOD's going to turn up in the Autumn if there's still water there!

Having now gone out and as it was starting to get late (around 6pm.), I decided to carry on to the Salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar to see if there was any buildup of Black Terns (late afternoon is the best time to see them and San Pedro one of the best places).  Well, there wasn’t any build up at all – I only saw one bird, but also had Little Terns, Gull-billed Terns, Common and Sandwich Terns, and a couple of Little Stints in breeding plumage, so the visit wasn’t wasted, and was made altogether better when on returning home along the Mar Menor with the sun going down, I had a ‘blob’ on an electric cable which on investigating, turned out to be a Roller!  Shame it wasn’t just a little earlier with better light, as it would have been a good photo.

 At San Pedro, all the breeding terns are now in...

 ... but wader passage is slow at the moment, with just a few Litte Stints

Just a record shot, but you can see what it is! - Roller in Los Urrutias


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

23rd April 2013 – Where are all the migrants?

Hi all,

As this is one of the peak times of year for passerine migrants, Mick Brewer and I have been covering the lighthouse gardens at Cabo de Palos, and between us have been there every morning over the last couple of weeks.

 This time last year was the peak passage period for passerines, but this year we have been hard pushed to see anything other than the now resident Swallows and Red-rumped Swallows.   Since my last report the only migrants worthy of note have been a male Common Redstart on the 14th and 15th; a Wryneck also on the 15th (which may have been the same bird as seen the previous week); a Turtle Dove, Northern Wheatear and three Willow Warblers on the  19th; 7 Northern Wheatears, 4 Willow Warblers and a female Pied Flycatcher on the 20th; 4 Willow Warblers and probably the same female Pied Flycatcher on the 21st, and finally at least 10 phylloscopus warblers (of which at least 3 were Willow Warblers) on the 10th.

 A rather splendid looking Spotless Starling - on of the residents at the lighthouse

 And a Wryneck that posed for a few seconds

 The only other bird of particular interest was on the 18th, when we heard, and then saw, a Green Woodpecker come in calling from the north-east and attach itself for a few seconds to the lighthouse itself (maybe it thought it was a giant tree trunk!).  It then flew off along the shoreline heading west.

Although I am not sure of the reason for the paucity of birds, it may well have something to do with the fact that there has been high pressure over the Mediterranean for the last week or so.  The lack of birds has also been noted on Isla Grosa just up the coast where a constant-effort ringing program is currently being carried out.  Apparently in the last week they caught only around 100 birds during the whole week (source ANSE - to see more link to whereas 100 a day is more normal.  If this is the case, things may well change at the end of this week as a low pressure system should be hitting the coast on Thursday and Friday.

Away from Cabo de Palos, in the Mar Menor we saw the two remaining Common Scoters from the km.8 marker along the F-34 road (just west of Los Urrutias) on the 14th April, but returning there on the 21st, there was no sign of them.  I have also seen a few Collared Pratincoles in ploughed fields around the area with a flock of more than 18 also on the 21st April.  There has also been a quite heavy passage of hirundines and swifts during the last week. 

At the rambla de Albujón at the western end of the Mar Menor on the 21st, birds heard singing from the reedbed were at least 4 Reed Warblers and 2 Great Reed Warblers.

 One of at least 4 Reed Warblers at the rambla de Albujon, viewed from the road bridge

At the old sewage farm (EDAR) of El Algar, the water in the first pool has slowly been evaporating away, but there is still a good number of Wood Sandpipers there (7 on the 21st) and a Ruff on the 17th and 20th.  This is also a very good place for Turtle Doves, and I saw 3 on nearby telephone cables also on the 20th.

At the Marchamalo Salinas (behind the go-kart track at Cabo de Palos) numbers of Little Stints are starting to build up, as are Curlew Sandpipers (some of which in their splendid red breeding plumage), but otherwise things are quiet.

 Three of the group of five Curlew Sandpipers at the salinas

On my only trips out to the Salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar, the passage waders appear to have almost all left now – just a few Turnstones and Sanderling on the beach at El Mojón on the 20th, but the summer terns are now in, with Common, Little and Gull-billed’s seen easily.

The only other bird of interest that I’ve seen recently, was a Little Egret/Western Reef Heron cross on Saturday 20th April at the sailing club at Los Urrutias on the Mar Menor, although it didn’t stay for long (seen until 14:30, but it was being harassed by Little Egrets and had disappeared by 17:30 not to be seen again).  These birds turn up occasionally around the Mar Menor and are similar to Little Egrets, but can have a lot of pale grey on them instead of being pure white.  I also noted that the bird appeared to be an adult in breeding plumage (with the wispy feathers on the back and flesh coloured feet) but didn’t have the two ‘egret’ plumes on the head.

 The Western Reef/Little Egret cross, together with a normal Little Egret
 The Western Reef/Little Egret cross, showing the extent of grey on the wings


Friday, 19 April 2013

Saturday 13th April - Murcia Marathon

I was asked during the previous week if I wanted to take part as a team member of birders taking part in the SEO/Birdlife (Sociedad Español de Ornitologia - a sort of spanish equivalent to the RSPB) annual birdrace (maratón).  I have never taken part in this before although this was to be it's 12th annual edition, and I think the first time a team has entered from the region of Murcia.  The aim, as in any birdrace, is to see the maximum number of species in 24 hours, and is an enjoyable bit of fun if not taken too seriously (which we didn't, and just as well!).

So Saturday morning saw me meeting up at 8-20 with the other members of the team, José Navarro Leandro, Juan López Ruiz, Conrado Requena Aznar and Fernando Tomás on the cliffs at Cabo de Palos for a bit of seawatching to start with.  Here we got our first 10 species (Yellow-legged Gull; Audouin's Gull; Sandwich Tern; Common Tern; Cormorant; Shag; Razorbill; Balearic Shearwater; Gannet and Shelduck), but probably spent too much time there waiting for a couple more which we had to give up on (these being Cory's Shearwater and Great Skua).  The Common Terns were the first I'd seen this year.

From here we went over to the lighthouse gardens to look for 'small' birds, but as is certain to happen, there had been a big clear-out of birds, and hardly any of the birds seen there the day before could be found.  Here we had another 20 species (Pallid Swift; Swallow; Red-rumped Swallow; Spotless Starling; Blackbird; Sardinian Warbler; Subalpine Warbler; Common Redstart; Nightingale (heard only); Robin; Kestrel; Collared Dove; House Sparrow; Greenfinch; Crested Lark; Willow Warbler; White Wagtail; Little Egret; Rock Dove/Domestic Pigeon; Monk Parakeet).

Our next stop was al Calareona in Cabo de Palos where we hoped to pick up Blue Rock Thrush and Black Wheatear, but we drew a total blank with these.  However we did pick up another 7 species (Black-eared Wheatear; Northern Wheatear; Whinchat; Thekla Lark; Red-legged Partridge; Goldfinch and House Martin).  The Whinchat was another first of the year for me.

By now it was 11:30 and we were running late, so we decided to drop out the salinas of Marchamalo, as any birds seen there we had guaranteed at other sites.  BAD mistake - in birdwatching there's no such thing as a guarantee - and we missed out on Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Grey Heron by not calling in there!

We moved further west around the Mar Menor, stopping momentarily in the 'campo' at Los Urrutias for a Little Owl and then at the Club Nautico at Los Urrutias where we picked up another 4 (Ringed Plover; Kentish Plover; Slender-billed Gull and Turnstone) and had Cattle Egrets flying over the road.

Heading slightly inland, we then called into the old sewage farm (EDAR) of El Algar.  Here we had one of the sightings of the day in the form of a Peregrine shoot over, putting up all the birds in the lagoons before disappearing, only to be refound later on the banks of a farm reservoir with a pigeon that it had obviously hunted.  On seeing us, it laboriously flew off with its prey to one of the electricity pylons nearby.
This was one of 15 new species for the day here, the others being Black Winged Stilt; Wood Sandpiper; Common Redshank; Spotted Redshank; Greenshank; Black-tailed Godwit; Common Snipe; Little Ringed Plover; Iberian (Yellow) Wagtail; Little Grebe; Southern Grey Shrike; Woodpigeon; Mallard and Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola).

Our next stop was back to the Mar Menor, opposite the 'marina de Carmoli' where we picked up 5 species (Common Scoter; Great Crested Grebe; Black Necked Grebe; Grey Plover and Stonechat), followed by the 'rambla de Albujon' and another 5 species (Great Reed Warbler; Reed Warbler; Marsh Harrier; Moorhen and Stone Curlew), the Great Reed Warbler being another first for the year for me.

It was by now getting on for 2pm, and so we decided to have lunch (in the form of a picnic) on the beach at 'El Mojón' by the salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar, calling by en-route at a ploughed field at the side of the road where the Collared Pratincoles can be seen.

At the side of the road, a Collared Pratincole

At El Mojón, while enjoying sandwiches wine and beer (as I said, we weren't taking things too seriously), we had a couple of small groups of Mediterranian Gulls fly over, and Little Terns and a single Spotted Flycatcher both species again being the first seen this year.  Back to the birdwatching after lunch, around the salinas we had another 7 species (Sanderling, Greater Flamingos, Black-headed Gulls, Woodchat Shrike, Avocets, Gull-billed Tern and Sand Martins).

While having lunch we were serenaded by this incredibly bright Stonechat

At the entrance to the salinas at San Pedro del Pinatar was this male Redstart

Our next stop was at some farm reservoirs in San Javier hoping for some heron species, but we drew a total blank on these, but picked up Turtle Doves, Coots and Linnets.

By now it was 5-30 and we had a fair few miles to cover, so we dashed over to the sewage farm at Alhama de Murcia for some ducks.  We only got two, these being Pochard and White-headed Duck, but while there we also picked up  Bee-eater, Cetti's Warbler and Common Swift.

By now at 18:40, we were seriously running out of time.  We had hoped to do both the Guadalentín river valley and Sierra Espuña, but  in the end decided to drop out the woodland birds at Espuña and spent the rest of the day in the Guadalentín valley until it started to get dark.  Here we DIDN'T see Roller which was a bird we had banked on - we knew they had arrived, but maybe they don't show themselves in the evening.  We did pick up another 9 species though, including some class ones, in the form of Calandra Lark; Short-tod Lark, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Spectacled Warbler, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Magpie, Corn Bunting, Jackdaw and Little Bustard. The Cuckoo, Sandgrouse and Bustard were all new for the year for me.

 One of a few Turtle Doves seen during the day, this one in the Guadalentín valley
 A very nice bird to 'trip over', a male Little Bustard...
...and the same bird in flight

So all in all, a fun day out with a good crew, and 99 species under our belts - just couldn't squeeze out the 100!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Cabo de Palos - things are finally hotting up!

Over the last few days I've been covering the gardens at the lighthouse at Cabo de Palos pretty much on a daily basis, but with a trip or two out of this area.  Although the weather is now a lot warmer, there have been days with very little in the way of migration, but one relatively GOOD day.

On Wednesday morning (10th April), before work I fancied a trip out to the salinas at San Pedro.  Not for anything special, but just for a change and to see if the Knot was still there (so I could photograph it in good light).  Arriving at El Mojón at just before 9, I could see straight away that there had been a clear-out of waders - apart from the ever noisy Black Winged Stilts and Common Redshanks, numbers of birds were well down compared to my previous visit.  However, scanning through the reeds on the opposite side of the lagoon (where the dowitcher had spent so much of its time), a small duck with a claret head and white crescent on its face - at last, a male Garganey!

I watched it for a while paddling around the corner of the lagoon and even managed a couple of 'digiscoped' photos, but eventually had to leave.  Calling in rapidly at the other side of the salinas, in the pool at the end of the road before entering the port I had 4 adult breeding plumage Mediterranean Gulls in amongst a group of about 40 Black-headed Gulls which seemed to be paired up.  In the tall grasses in the sand dunes here were a very nice male Black-eared Wheatear and male Stonechat, and on my way back along the salinas road there were a group of about 30 Slender-billed Gulls and a few Sandwich Terns, but nothing in the way of migrant waders (just the resident Avocets, Black Winged Stilts and Kentish Plovers), and the only passerines were a few Sand Martins.
 Being there so early, a few Little Egrets were still in their roost

 But this is not a Little Egret in the tree!
 Any high spot will do for this Common Redshank on guard duty, even a broken palm tree!
 In the far corner, amongst Shelducks and Black Winged Stilts, a male Garganey
On Friday (12th April), I went again to the lighthouse garden, where I met up with Mick Brewer.  With no wind and no cloud it didn't appear to be the best of days for migration, but when I got there, Mick was already 'scoping a Wryneck on one of the 'Pita' plants.  We did my normal circuit and ended up with a quite reasonable tally of migrants, including Nightingale (heard only), a couple of male Common Whitethroats, 6 Common Redstarts and a single late female Black Redstart, Short-toed Larks, Red-rumped Swallows, male Subalpine Warbler, Northern Wheatears, a male Woodchat Shrike and a single flyover 'flava' Wagtail, and I thought I had that black and white gem of a Pied Flycatcher, but we couldn't re-locate it.

 One of several Common Redstarts seen

 Not in great numbers, but the Woodchats are still filtering through
Something of a surprise, this Wryneck

I was impressed enough that in the afternoon after a quick call in at Cala Reona I went back there.  Cala Reona was quiet to start with with the only birds of note being a single Woodchat Shrike, but as I went back to my car, I heard a call I recognised and by waiting quietly a few minutes, the bird showed itself - a male Pied Flycatcher.

 As normal, keeping in the shadows, this male Pied Flycatcher

Back at the lighthouse, the birds I saw in the morning seemed to have stuck, and had been joined by some more migrants.  Doing the same route as in the morning, I had 6 Common Redstarts, 2 Woodchats (male and female), 4 Northern Wheatears, Subalpine Warbler (a female this time), 4 Common Whitethroats, the Wryneck, 2 Robins, 2 Willow Warblers, a male Pied Flycatcher, a really obliging Bonelli's Warbler and my first Garden Warbler of the year skulking around in the undergrowth (the bird, not me!).

 Most unusual, this Bonelli's Warbler stopped still long enough for a couple of photos
 Grubbing about in the undergrowth were both Common Whitethroats and Garden Warbler,
but I only got a photo of the Whitethroat

 Presumably the same Wryneck as seen this morning, as skulky as ever...

 ... but it did come out into the sunshine to have its photo taken!

 My second male Pied Flycatcher of the day (and of the year!)

Quite an impressive afternoon!