Monday, 12 October 2009

Trip to the dentist and the coast, Malaga Province.

Rio Velez, Torre-del-Mar.

We set off this morning to go to Puente Don Manuel in the valley between Zafarraya and Velez Malaga where Jayne had an appointment with the dentist. After a good visit we headed off south to the shopping centre at Velez Malaga where we had some lunch. I then headed off to the Rio Velez, not a place I enjoy birding but it would be a shame not to go as we were in the area. I first stopped near the beach on the western side of the river and had a look up stream where I picked up Common Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), a single male Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and a couple of roosting Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo). On the sea there were a few Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Reidora / Lanus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a single Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus). On the marginal blanket weed several Iberian Bluetails (Ischnura graellsii) were seen and Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue Emperors (Anax imperator) were very common.
I then drove around to the eastern banks of the river and again both Emperors were common along with Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea) and Common Darter (Sympertrum striolatum). The birding highlights on this shore included a male Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), at least two Bluethroats (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) one with a nice bright throat still. Also seen were Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), lots of Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and a few Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). Several species of butterfly were seen during the visit, they included Long-tailed Blues (Lampides boeticus), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Small (Blanquita de la Col / Artogeia rapae) and Large Whites (Blanca de la Col / pieris brassicae).
On the way home across the fields north of Zafarraya, some good flocks of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and Corn Buntings (Triguero / Miliaria calandra) were noted, along with Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica) and Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). As we were nearing home a small flock of Cattle Egret x 35 (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Stone Curlew x15 (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) were seen.
Photographs from the top: Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Reidora / Lanus ridibundus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Common Darter (Sympertrum striolatum), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) and Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea).

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