Hovering Chiffchaffs and Wagtails

2012_01_24 PO - Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) 04
Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
I had a great day out in my hide near the water in Peralvillo the other day. The sun was shining, the hide was warm (until the sun dipped), my coffee was sweet and black and the activity active. It wasn´t a great day for variety but I was kept well entertained for the afternoon by flocks of White Wagtails and Common Chiffchaffs picking insects off the water.
The Chiffchaffs were quite amused by my presence and came very close to inspect my hide in between forays from their perches for insects. This allowed me to get some fairly decent shots of them. Hard though I tried, getting a shot of one of these small chappies hovering over the water and picking an insect was not going to happen though.

2012_01_24 PO - White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) 04
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
The wagtails were out in even greater numbers and also launching out from their perches or from the ground picking insects off the waters surface. There were so many of them I managed a few shots of this behavior but, eh, none good enough for the public. 
Between the two species and a few Black-headed Gulls, the chorus was continuous. The wagtails in particular were in fine voice all evening, with some soft whistling from the chiffers and the odd raucous squawk from the gulls. I was just a bit dissappointed that the ducks; mallards, shovelers, gadwalls and teals didn´t make it up my way, but could be heard off amongst the reeds. On and off during the afternoon a female Marsh Harrier made the odd foray over some nearby reeds, and a pair of Common Snipe, two Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper and a Little and Great Egret did put in a brief visit towards the end. The day however really was carried by the hovering antics of the stars of the show.

Go birding in Castilla La Mancha, Spain with Oretani Wildlife.

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