Wednesday, April 07, 2021

The Hidden Valleys of Montnegra


Good morning everybody

Today was a day to explore some of the hidden parts of the valley of Montnegra.

On route, John said "hey look over there" that track goes on a long way "I've never noticed it before" I said let's go then, and so off we toddled down the track not getting very far, as there was a gulp of Sand Martin probably 50+ birds, many of them landing and picking up nesting material, it was good to see their aerobatic display, just above our heads. Better than the RAF Red Arrow display team.

Sand Martin

 At that same moment Gareth called Raptor I didn't get on it too good and the bird had already gone over and was going away, I struggled with an ID? But my attention was drawn away by the call of Spectacled Warbler which eventually done the business and perched up nicely for a photo, at least 3,+ birds were calling, I like it when a plan comes together. (A new bird for Gareth)

Spectacled Warbler

 We followed the track until we reached a hidden village and a stream at the bottom of the ravine where there was plenty of Nightingales in full song, we then had to retrace our route. And so back to the mystery Raptor we went through it again eliminating what it wasn't and still we weren't happy but Gareth solved the Raptor mystery it was, of course, a Black Kite. Well done that man!

Back on track and first breakfast was calling, a slab of Trish's fruit cake, a freshly brewed cup of tea and you've guessed it a Western Bonelli's Warbler flicking around in the pine tree opposite the car, this is easy birding, and I'm so glad that my birding buddies are there to share with me these birding moments, it wouldn't be the same if I were a solo birder, with no one to share those moments with, also the banter, and the joking around and of course the birds. A major part of birding is getting your amigos. to see the birds. (well it is for me!)
Next up The Trump's,

Adult male Trumpeter Finch

Wow Amazing
This was a major birding event, it lasted only 7 seconds but what crazy birding behaviour, today we watched the Adult male Trumpeter exchanging food, part of their courtship display, I guess, it was a special moment, I wonder who else has ever witnessed this let alone photograph it. 2 weeks ago there was a different male jumping around like Michael Flatley from Riverdance which was also amazing.

 Trumpeter Finch


 Trumpeter Finch
Talk about tongues down the throat, this was full-on birding porn xxx. Our knowledge continues to grow about the Trump Family and we are a little closer to finding their nesting sites and preferred habitat.
And now after 6 years of research following the Trumps, through the seasons, we have a more complete picture of their movement, migration, diet and habitat, we believe there could be up to twenty pairs scattered around the mountains and ravines in different locations around the rear of Alicante.

It must be Love
Trumpeter Finch

Next up Subalpine Warbler

This bird was difficult to see let alone get a photo, always in the shadows and the thickest part of the bush, we all managed some decent views in the end. And I have a crap series of photos.
A nightmare.

 Subalpine Warbler

We didn't venture much further than the village of Montnegra as time was getting on, so we turn back. Gareth spotted 2 Black-eared Wheatears (male and female) and further on down the track another three males.

 Black-eared Wheatear

A revisit to the Trumps for a tea break and watch in which direction the Trump headed off.

We seem to be on a roll, almost every time we stopped something good popped out. I've Not mentioned every single bird seen, just some of the more interesting birds and those moments which make for a great day birding.

Thanks to my amigos, none of this research would be possible without you. 

You know who you are but thank you so much for your time and effort.

Have a great day

And after all today's birding, I arrived home and the resident Black Wheatear was on my neighbour's roof, I couldn't resist just one more photo.

Black Wheatear

I must give credit to Mike Smith, (who I knew well) And one of the original members of the CBBC, we have a lot to thank him for. Historically mike confirmed there presence of Trumpeters Finch at Montnegra, Trumpeter Finch are rare and are very often claimed but I would be sceptical of other sightings without photographic evidence or a supportive report.

Trumpeter Finch
Mike Smith 
A guess or before

Cheers BT

1 comment:

  1. Very envious, you obviously had a great days birding. An area I so far have never visited