New Year in Sierra de Segura by John Edwards

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One more journey to Sierra de Segura saw the old year exit with clear skies, warm windless sunshiny days and our first day of 2012 was as good. We shared this with Mel and Wendy together with the hospitality that Rosa Blanca always provides. We went to one of our favourite spots, a gorge. It was warm enough to see flies being predated over the river by the cavorting plethora of Chiffchaffs and several Grey Wagtails feeding along its edge. At least 30 raucous Jackdaws adorned the rock faces but sadly there was not one Chough to be seen. It all seemed incredibly quiet but as always we see something good. Dipper was our next sighting and it flew up the river. It was not easy to see and we searched unsuccessfully along the bank for another chance to see this fast flying bird. Our next sighting was a first, in this area, as we flushed a Snipe. It could only have been that, and we were happy with our identification. New Year’s Day found us searching for another sighting of either Dipper or Snipe. For a while we had to be satisfied with being entertained by an abundance of feeding Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail and several Robins. Then, Long tailed Tits appeared and disappeared as they busied themselves. These lovely little birds are not always easy to see but on this occasion they were flitting around two bushes, within two metres of where we stood, giving us clear uninterrupted views. A male Great Spotted Woodpecker flew by and hammered away at a tree. This had not been a raptor or a vulture day but we did see five Kestrels on the way home. We have fitted up the trail camera in a quiet spot and who knows what will pass by.