Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Laguna again and Near El Torcal, Malaga Province.

A walk to Davids Finca.

--> -->On the way over for to days walk I called at the Laguna again, the first bird which stood out was an adult White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) which was feeding amongst the 50 or so Greater Flamingo’s (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber). Waders included Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Curlew (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) and Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Little Ringed (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago). A couple of Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) were out in the middle of the water fishing and Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) patrolled around the margins. About 50 Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and 8 Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) swam along with the Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus).
Other birds noted were Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) and on the track back to the road I picked up a couple of Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) on the deck feeding.
Sophie, Rowina, David and I set off from the Hotel and made our way to a spot above Villanueva de la Concepcion where we started a walk out to David’s place called Finca Muerte (Death Farm!!!). We started from a watering hole for the local goat population, a row of 6 solid limestone baths and made our way up towards the foot of the Torcal cliffs. The views were fantastic but as we climbed further up through the scrub and Oaks we were soon in the low cloud as we were a few days earlier. Again the Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) appeared ghost like out of the grey shroud, at least 10 birds were seen along with a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) passing what seemed to be a long way below us. Along the base of the cliffs a couple of Black Wheatears (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and a male Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) were seen perched up on the large boulders and in the dried out grass I identified Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla) and Large White (Pieris brassicae) butterflies. We arrived at David’s finca, pretty much a ruin but in a fantastic location amongst the Oak trees and with amazing views right down to the coast. We sat and had a drink at the stone building he and his friends had built, here I found a beautiful Spider which turned out to be a female Argyope lobata. Refreshed we started the walk back down the hill through a much more agricultural area picking up Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) and a few Iberian Wall Lizards (Podarcis hispanica) which scuttled around on the track side boulders. We eventually got back to the car and went back to the hotel.
Photographs from the top: David, Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Sophie and Rowina and Argyope lobata.

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