Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Costa del Radipole

If you were at the North hide at Radipole Lake today you would have been greeted with a rather extraordinary sight usually only seen in the south of France or Spain. A Black-winged Stilt showed up which was a lovely sight in itself.  To make it even better the now ‘resisdent’ Glossy Ibis was alongside it keeping it company. I managed to see several Black-winged Stilts in Spain last week but no Ibis sadly.

This Stilt has interrupted by Gibraltar blogging so may as well throw in a little more whilst I’m typing. One of the most incredible sights we saw was a large flock of White Storks migrating from Morocco. I picked up a flock of large birds in the distance heading towards us. It was soon obvious that they were Storks and given that Black Storks tend to migrate in smaller flocks they had to be White Storks.

As they got closer the flock started to loose height which obviously isn’t good when you’re flying over the sea. They managed to get to the rock and found a thermal enabling them to gain height. This was all going on right in front of us and at eye level! Soon they were right overhead still trying to gain height which they desperately needed to head off inland.

They soon got going leaving all their admirers virtually speechless having seen one of the most spectacular things in the natural world. However, a few tourists visiting the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ weren’t quite a blown away as the rest of us. Steve shouted down to them whilst all this was going on over their heads but they were far too interested the monument to take any notice! What makes it worse is that the monument is made of bloody plastic! It looks really rustic and obviously fools a lot of people into thinking it’s some sort of ancient monument. It was rather funny watching all the tourists practically running towards the pillars with their cameras primed oblivious of all the raptors flying over their heads. Crazy!

We also managed to see a few Black Storks, most of which gave decent views but they didn’t compare to stunning sight of 180 White Storks coming straight for us. Black Storks are rather nice though.

Away from Gibraltar we stopped by a local rubbish dump where views of storks were much close but I’m sure you’ll agree that the back drop isn’t half as spectacular as the open sea!

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