Friday, 15 October 2010

Rio Velez, Malaga Province.

A few winter visitor's.

I parked a little further along the track on the eastern bank of the Rio Velez than I normally do as I wanted to have a good look at the birds out at sea today. I walked straight out on to the beach and found a place to sit well away from any of the nudists. Loads of gulls were sat out on the water, most seemed to be either Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) or Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus). Smaller numbers of Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) were also present along with just a couple of adult Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and a dozen or so Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis). On the beach and the margins of the pool there were a small number of waders, singles Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) were on the pool and another single Dunlin flew along the beach with 3 Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba). One of the fishing boats from Torre-del-mar came quite close in shore on its way back into port, in its wake there were large numbers of gulls and a few Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and a single winter plumaged Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna Hirundo) scavenging for scraps. Closer in amongst the waves there was a group of 5 Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) diving for small fish which tried escaping by leaping clear of the water in their hundreds.
I then walked back through the sedges and reeds towards the car, on the way I heard and eventually briefly saw a pair of Penduline Tits (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), a nice male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) popped out of cover for a few seconds. On the river there were at least 15 Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and 2 Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), 3 Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), 3 Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), and a Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo).
Several species of dragonfly were still about, the commonest was the Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), along with a few each of Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Migrant Hawker ( Aeshna mixta), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) and a single Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria).
Large White (Pieris brassicae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea) and African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna) were the only butterflies noted.
A group of 6 Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) flew over nosily, a couple of Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus) skulked in the rush tussocks and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) scolded me from the reed plumbs. Other species seen included Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Yellow Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
On the way home we passed through the agricultural area west of Zafarraya and added Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Photographs from the top: Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) x2, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Migrant Hawker ( Aeshna mixta) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).

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