Friday, 1 April 2011

Rio Velez and Road to Zafarraya, Malaga Province and Zafarraya to Loja road, Granada Province.

Birding the Coast and Mountains.

Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
I started the day with a walk along the Rio Velez and some sea watching from the beach. As soon as I was out of the car I picked up the first of a couple of Squacco Herons (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) perching high in the reed tops along the far side of the river. Having scoped the Squacco I dropped down the bank and moved towards the beach picking up a cracking group of three Purple Herons (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) which I got good views of before they worked out that I was ready with the camera and flew off up stream to be replaced by two slightly less interesting Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). 
Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
As I walked down stream I added Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) to the list. Once I was on the beach I set the scope up and started to scan the sea for birds but it was very quiet, I did see Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo). 
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
On the return walk back to the car several Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus)were seen and heard along with Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) which posed nicely by the pumping station. Also seen near here were Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) and a cracking male Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum).
On the way home we stopped breifly on the climb up to Zafarraya to watch a late display flight from a Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) and just as we crossed back into Granada Province we picked up 4x Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and a flock of Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
Conical Orchid (Orchis conica).
Further on we stopped a couple of times for me to look at the Orchids, they included Fan-lipped (Orchis collina), Giant (Himantoglossum robertiana), Mirror (Ophrys speculum), Conical (Orchis conica), Pink Butterfly (Orchis papilionacea), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera), Small Early Purple (Orchis Olbiensis), Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca), Yellow Bee (Ophrys Lutea) and the new shoots of Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia) which were about 5cm above the ground.

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