Last week we had our annual ‘holiday’ in Mojacar. While we were there we took a drive into the Cabo de Gata to visit a few of the small coastal villages there and to look for one particular bird which we found there two years ago. As we drove along a track to the location we heard and saw a Corn Bunting singing at the side of the road, and a Crested Lark was perched on a nearby rock. When we parked and got out of the car we walked a little way towards a small hill covered in flowers. It wasn’t long before we were looking at our target bird, a Trumpeter Finch, in fact there were three of them feeding on the flowers. Brilliant! We watched them for a while before they flew away onto a small rocky island just off the coast. We pursued them onto the island where we had brilliant views of, first three, then six birds sitting on the cliff top. While I was taking photos another group flew out from below where I was standing and headed back onto the mainland. There must have been about 20 birds in the area! As we moved back to the car we saw that a group of Trumpeter Finch feeding in the parking area and they didn’t seem bothered by us as we got back into the car. From here we had excellent views of the birds as they continued feeding on the flowers and moving towards us. Finally, we decided to leave and continued our route back along the coast to Mojacar, seeing Black Wheatear on the way. From our hotel balcony we watched many gulls and a few Gannets following fishing boats back to the port at La Garrucha.
This was not intended to be a birding holiday but we decided to drive up into the Sierra de Espuna on our way back for a picnic and to look for Wild Boar. Sadly we didn’t see any Boar but we did see Crested Tit and Coal Tit near the first cafe, and at the viewpoint along the route a small group of Crossbill were sitting on the wires before they obligingly came down into a tree to enable us to get a better look and a few photos, another great bird.