Ring reading in Motril.
I meet Juan Pérez Contreras at AKI on the edge of Granada and we headed off down to Motril to do some Ring reading on the wintering Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) population. We arrived, got clearance from the security people and went out on to one of the large storage areas where there was a flock of about 800 birds roosting. Most were Lesser Black-backs but there were a few Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a single adult Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii). Also seen was a very large Gull showing some signs of being a possible Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlantico / Larus marinus) but some features pointed to it being a big Lesser. We checked through the birds for rings and by the time we moved on we had recorded 15 birds information. We also added Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). We drove around the rest of the docks but birds were few, so we headed off to La Caleta near Salobreña to have a look for waders on the rocky shore line. On the way we went through the area to the rear of Charca and meet some ringers working in an area of small flooded pools. While we were there we saw an adult female Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) in the hand. Also in the area were several Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), a pair of Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus). We then parked in the small village of La Caleta and walked down past a disused Rum factory and out onto a sea side walk. On the way I got some shots of a single Audouin's Gull sat on one of the rocks and some bad versions of one of a pair of Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos). On the rocks plenty of Seaside Daisy (Asteriscus maritimus) and Sea or Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritime) gave the cliffs some colour. On the walk back the sun was quite strong so the sweat top had to come off. Several butterflies were seen including Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) and the first Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) of the spring. We also saw in the area Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) and a fine male Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).
Photographs from the top: Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) x2 with rings on, Odd Gull, Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).