Saturday 6 November 2010

Cabo Sacratif, Motril Port and Charca de Suárez , Granada Province.

Ram and more.

Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
After spending a couple of weeks of decorating it was a great relief to get out and do some birding. I had also missed the last three RAM survey days down on the coast at Motril, so it was good to meet Juan Pérez Contreas and Manu Santa-Cruz at Aki. We set off and were soon up on the usual headland Cabo Sacratif, setting up the scopes and rueing the fact that I had forgotten my chair. 
We started the survey and soon started to pick up good numbers Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo). Lesser numbers of Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis). 
Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta).
Also seen were Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Once I had managed to straighten the legs out after sitting on the ground for the past two hours we moved on to our next stop which was at the fish port in Motril where we were looking for ringed gulls. The only bird seen was a Lesser Black-backed Gull with two colour rings, on the left leg it had a red ring with B36 and on the right a white one with a large E on it. We also saw more Yellow-legged Gulls, Sandwich Terns, a single Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) and loads of White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta).
We then moved on to Charca, which was generally quiet but we picked up a few nice species including a cracking male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which showed well in front of the main hide. From the main hide we also saw a late Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos). 
Egyptian grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium).
A hundred or more Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta) were seen along with a few Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum). From one of the smaller hides we picked up a couple of Purple Swamp-hens (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and also saw a Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterfly flying out over the water. thousands of Egyptian grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium) made the ground and low vegitation move as you walked.

Thursday 4 November 2010

Laguna Herrera, Antequera, Malaga Province.

Snipe and more Snipe.

Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
On the way to work at Riofrio Health in the Eslava hotel in Antequera I had the usual look at the laguna. I had expected bird numbers to be low but I was pleased to find that they had not moved on when the weather improved.
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
I had quickly notched up more than 75 Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), 30+ Little Stints (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), 25+ Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), 3 Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), 4 Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), 20+ Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), a single Avocet (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta), good numbers of both Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and just 3 immature Greater Flamingo’s (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Around the pool I also saw White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and a very pale breasted Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) along with another couple of darker breasted birds.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Loja, Granada Province.

The ********* Car again.

Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus).
I dropped the car off at the mechanics for yet another set of shock absorbers, wish they would tarmac the dirt tracks around here. While the lads were working on the car I had a walk around the industial estate and along the stream side. Around the estate I picked up House Sparrow Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis).
I then walked along the stream and found several Brown Rats (Rattus norvegicus) feeding in a Pomegranite bush, all of which totally ignored me. Along the stream and at the side of the fish farm I added a couple of Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), a pair of Kingfishers (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Los Infiernos.
The next stop was at the view point overlooking the Los Infiernos, waterfalls on the out skirts of Loja. The first bird seen was a cracking male Black Redstart, several more Meadow Pipits were seen in an unploughed field along with large numbers of Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) along with a few Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). On the walk back to the Industrial Estate I added a Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and a couple of Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris) mixed in with some Spotless birds. Several butterflies were seen during the walk including Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Mallow / False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae / tripolinus).

Sunday 31 October 2010

Laguna Herrera, Antequera, Malaga Province.

Thing were looking up.

Sun rise.
I arrived at the Laguna this morning and found it as it usually is on a weekend surrounded by macho action men with big guns blasting anything that moved. But I was pleasantly surprised to find good numbers of birds had arrived since my last visit and were not moving on even with all the noise probably due to the lousy weather.
The new birds included 20+ Little Stints (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), 18 Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) of mixed plumages states and extremes in bill length. Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) x8, Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) had risen to at least 20. Regular species included Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) x2, Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) x3 and Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) x8. Also out on the water were 30 odd Lesser Black Backed Gulls (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) which were all flushed up as a mid air battle took place between the 2 regular Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
A group of feeding Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago).
Other species seen around the margins included hundreds of White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata).