Thursday, 21 April 2011

Laguna Herrera, Antequera, Malaga Province.

The usual pre-work visit.

As soon as I was off the road and on to the track the call of at least two male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) could be heard raspberrying out of the Mustard filled fallow field, one of the birds was showing really well. Just a few meters further on a pair of Stone-curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) flew up off the track and landed on the edge of the palm plantation and stood there for several minutes but the light was far too bad for any photos. I then parked by the first gate on the right overlooking the flooded fields and added good numbers of Avocets (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), a pair of Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), several Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), along with a single Whiskered (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chlidonias hybridus) and two Blacks (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger). The only ducks were 40 or so Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), a pair of Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and a small group of 5 Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina). Other species seen here included Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), 7x Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), the singing Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) from a few days ago, Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis). Along the side of the main lagoon I again saw a small flock of Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), a single Wood Sandpiper (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa Glareola), 2x Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius). In the air Pallid (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) were all flying down at low levels due to the heavy cloud and drizzle, a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) was upsetting the Black-winged Stilts and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) was being hassled by several of the local Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) flock. Also picked up along this stretch of the track were Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Woodchat (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Southern Grey Shrikes (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
On the drive around the fields back to the Antequera road I had some fabulous views of at least 30+ Lesser Kestrels, some of which perched nicely whilst I drove past them at close range, they could tell the light was too bad for the camera else they would have been off. In this area I picked up Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and a cracking male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
I then started up towards the Hotel for todays hike when I recieved a call to say all the guests were staying in the Gym and the walk was cancelled, which meant I was home nice and early.
Photographs from the top: Stone-curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) and Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra).

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