Friday 15 October 2010

Rio Velez, Malaga Province.

A few winter visitor's.

Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
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). 
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
 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.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
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 Western 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).
Migrant Hawker ( Aeshna mixta).
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 Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), 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).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
On the way home we passed through the agricultural area west of Zafarraya and added Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).

Monday 11 October 2010

Ogíjares, Granada, Granada Province.

Winter roost census of Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).

I meet up with Juan Pérez Contreras and his wife Beatriz Pérez Machado at the usual spot on the AKI car park in Granada and from there we made a short trip to a site on the edge of the city. Once we were on site we were joined by José Mª González Cachinero a local birder and María José Ortega Ortiz and her son Pablo Vera Ortega. In between houses and industrial buildings there was an area of Giant Reeds where the birds roost, birds approaching from the vega de La Zubia and la Vega de Granada were counted by Juan and Jose and birds coming in from the vertedero de Alhendín were checked by Beatriz. As I had not got a counter I just pointed out and counted smaller groups, Beatriz got the hard job as she totted up well over 2000 of the total count of 3761 Western Cattle Egrets and I managed to pick out the only Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) of the night. We had a good evening which would have been a bit better if it had not heaved it down with heavy rain for most of the time.
Other birds seen included Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).