Friday 4 December 2009

Rio Guadalahorce, Malaga Province.

A couple of hours on the beach.

Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiático / Haematopus ostralegus).
After getting information from Andy Patterson about two Red-breasted Mergansers (Serreta Mediana / Mergus serrator) on the sea from the sea watch point. I arrived at the sea front end of the urbanization and set up the scope on the rocks nearby. The first bird seen was a 1st winter Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiático / Haematopus ostralegus) which was feeding on the Common Mussels (Mytilus edulis) on the rock. Also seen from here was a winter plumaged Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) which sat on the rocks next to the Oystercatcher till a wave forced both of them up on to the beach.
Out on the sea there was a group of 4 Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra), a single Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda), Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser-black backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), along with more Sandwich Terns and 8+ Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta).
Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).
On the river a couple of Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) were roosting and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) were stalking fish from the reedy margins. On the sand bar a group of 20+ Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) one of my favorite waders were roosting along with a couple of Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).I then scanned along the shore line and picked up the two Mergansers down by the far sea watch point so I got in the car and made my way down to the reserve entrance, on the walk down to the beach numerous Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) flew over, also seen were Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Red-breasted Mergansers (Serreta Mediana / Mergus serrator).
Whist passing the main pool a quick glance added Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia) x3, Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) x3 and a couple of Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata). Once on the beach, the two birds were soon picked up down near the river mouth, so I walked down to the sea watch point and had some nice views of them. I managed a couple of poor record shots and also picked up out on the sea another couple of Common Scoter. I then walked back via the raised ridge pasted the two hides to the car. On the way I picked up a couple of both Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) but did not see the expected Osprey. On the pools to the left of the bank several more Sanderling were seen along with Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus).
Red-breasted Mergansers (Serreta Mediana / Mergus serrator).
On the other drier side of the bank Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falcotinnunculus), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) were all recorded. Whilst I was wondering I also saw a single female Red-veined Dart (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and quite a few Painted Lady's (Vanessa cardui).

Thursday 3 December 2009

Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Province.

A pleasant morning with the Axarquia Bird Group.

Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago).
On the way over to meet Bob Wright, Andy Patterson and the rest of the group I made a short detour out on to the fields North of Antequera. On one of the many tracks that cross the area I picked up 3 Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) two males and a juv female. The one male bird was as bright and well marked as I have ever seen a real cracker. Whist watching the Harriers a large flock of Larks was flushed, most of the birds were Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), up wards of 200, along with Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis). 
Also seen were Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros). 
Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
I them continued on towards the meeting point but got caught in a blockage as the electricity people were hoisting a new set of cables between two pylons, one either side of the motorway. I arrived and then so did the rest of the group who had also been stopped. 
After a chat on the car park we made our way around to the Lagoon. Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Lesser-black backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and White Wagtails were seen on the dried out pools and 30+ Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) on the fields on the approach road. Out on the main lagoon a few Greater Flamingos (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber), 4+ Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus), 50+ Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) and hundreds of Gulls
We next visited the hides around the rear of the centre where Quite a few Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), several Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), a single Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) were all the waders seen, along with Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). 
Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
On the banks and in the marginal vegetation good numbers of Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) were feeding and a single Water Pipit (Bistita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) was picked up wandering the rocks that lined on of the islands. 
On the far side of the pools several Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) were seen and a single Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes). We then moved back towards the car park picking up a pair of Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) on the way. We moved on around the side of the lake heading south and stopped at a view point part way. It gave a great view out over the fields and marsh that were between the road and the Lagoon, but today there were few birds. 
A little further on a sizable (250+) flock of Common Cranes was seen and unfortunately flushed because of the door slamming which went on. The birds settled again but quite a bit further away, we still had good views. I then continued on to the Lagoons around Campillos but saw very little except for another closer group of Cranes which I managed a few record shots of.