Saturday 2 May 2009

Rio Guadalahorce, Malaga Province.

Out of Province experiance. 

Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus).
Jacko's last day birding was spent at the coastal nature reserve of Guadalhorce on the edge of Malaga. We first had a look over the largest of the fresh water pools and it seemed quite quiet, several White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Black Winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina) were the only birds to be seen. We made our way around to the second hide over looking a long narrower pool where Jacko picked up a bird which was on his wanted list a Purple Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) was seen crunching on vegetation at the far end of the pool along with Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanco / Chlidonias hybridus), Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus) and Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).

Purple Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
The third hide was on the raised bank along the main river which over looked another small reed fringed pool, again this was fairly quiet except for the rattlings of a couple of Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus). Further along the same track there is a view over a bow shaped pool where a collection of terns and gulls were roosting along with a Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), these included Little (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Whiskered, Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Gull-billed (Charrán Piconegro / Gelochelidon nilotica) and Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquirroja / Sterna caspia), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus Audouinii), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patimarilla / Larus michiallis), Black-headed (Gaviota Reidora / Lanus ridibundus) and Lesser-black backed Gulls (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus). Also seen here were a single Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Black-winged Stilt Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Little Ringed (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina).

Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquirroja / Sterna caspia).
We then made our way to the sea watching point picking up Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) on the way. On the sea 20+ Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) were floating close to shore and a couple of Nothern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) past West a little further out. On the return journey to Loja we picked up 4 Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and a couple of Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) in the hills near to Salinas on the A92.

Friday 1 May 2009

Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Province.

The Waders.

Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta).
Jacko and Myself spent most of the day at Laguna de Fuente de Piedra and had some of the best wader watching I have ever had in Spain. On the wooden causeway over the newer of the scrapes we had close views of several species in their summer plumages, Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Red Knot (Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus) and Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) all looking in peak condition and the latter displaying to several females. Little (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) and Temmincks Stint (Correlimos de Temminck / Calidris temminckii), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Grey (Chorlito Gris / Pluvialis squatarola), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) were also present. Along with some larger species including Avocet (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica).

Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea).
The Flamingo's.

Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber).

Several Thousand Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) could be seen on the main lagoon and on the fresh water lagoons at the rear of the visitors centre.. It was a great sight seeing so many birds here and nesting as due to the low water levels last year meant that the birds had not breed. Four Lesser Flamingo's (Phoenicopterus minor) could also be found out on the main lagoon with another two birds reportedly sitting on eggs.

Other Birds.

Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanco / Chlidonias hybridus).

Whiskered (Fumarel Cariblanco / Chlidonias hybridus), Gull-billed (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) and Black Terns (Fumarel Aliblanco / Chlidonias leucopterus) were all seen hawking over the pools and near by fields and Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus cachinnans), Black-headed (Gaviota Reidora / Larus ridibundus) plus a few lingering Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) were on the main lagoon. Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadoma), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and a single male White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) were all seen on the fresh water areas along with a couple of White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Several pairs of Spanish (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) and House Sparrows (Gorrión Cumón / Passer domesticus) were nesting in the old visitors centre walls.

Thursday 30 April 2009

Padel Area, Granada Province.

Cytinus (Cytinus hypocistis).

Cytinus (Cytinus hypocistis).
Several clumps of this bizarre looking plant were found parasitizing Cistis plants on an area of scrub above Padel Lagoons to the South of Granada City.

Tuesday 28 April 2009

El Turro and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Quality and quantity (92 Species).

Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
Dave Jackson a birding friend for nearly 25 years and myself started the day in the Poplar plantaions near the village of Mesia where we heard several Golden Oriole's (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) singing and saw a pair of Wryneck (Torceuello / Junx torquilla) displaying. Both Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes) were seen in the woods.
Next we headed to an area of mixed agricultural fields near Moraleda de Zafayona, the first birds seen were a female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Greater Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) along with a Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) calling in the near by crop field. Moving just a few hundred yards down the road and on to a track out into the fields the next bird seen was a fine male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) in full breeding colours. Whilst we admired him four Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) did a fly past and several Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) chattered nosily in the nearby almond groves and whilst more Calandra and several Greater Short-toed Larks performed above us.
Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe).

We then move further along the Cacín Valley picking up Bonelli's (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus fasciatus) and Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia). At the Embalse de Cacín Green Shank (Archibebe Claro / Tringe nebularia), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and six Black winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) were all feeding on the muddy shore line. Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn (Golondrina Cumón / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) as well as Pallid (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) all hawked for prey over the lake.
The next stop was Sierra de Loja for a few of the upland species. Rufous-Tailed Rock (Roquero Rojo / Monticola saxatilis) and Blue Rock Thrushes (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) were all added to the growing day list. Also seen were all three species of Wheatear, Black (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Northern (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) expected in the area, Tawny Pipit (Bisbita Campestris / Anthus campestris), Spectacled (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) and Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata).
Rufous-Tailed Rock (Roquero Rojo / Monticola saxatilis).
We finished the day off back at the house with a drink and Red-necked Nighjars (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Camprimulgus ruficollis) calling in the olives.