Sunday, 29 May 2011

Laguna Herrera and El Chorro, Malaga Province.

On the way to and at work.

I made a quick visit to the Laguna on my way to work at Antequera, on the flooded fields there were several Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocets (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and several Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
Out on the main Laguna there were about 200 Greater Flamingo’s (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) feeding, a single male White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), a Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a single Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis). In the air there were several more Gull-billed Terns, Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus). Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) were all heard rattling out songs from the margins, while an Avocet sat quietly on her nest just a meter from the track side. Other species seen included Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Crested Larks (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
I then made my way up to the hotel to meet today’s hikers and then we all travelled out to do one of the walks in the El Chorro area. On the way over we passed Laguna Dulce just as around 150 Greater Flamingo’s (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) were leaving the site, which made for a spectacular view as they all flew low over the road and the Olive groves.
The first part of the walk took us through some mature pine woodland were Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) were all seen. On the more open areas of scrub I picked up Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Subalpine Warblers (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), along with Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and in the air Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax). Other birds seen on the way to the summit of the hill and on the way back included Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Great Tits (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Good numbers of butterflies were also on the wing, these included Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Large (Pieris brassicae), Bath (Pontia daplidice) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
Other birds seen whilst travelling included Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Photographs from the top: Anders and Betsy at the summit, David, View from the summit and Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus).

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