Sunday, 14 August 2011

El Chorro and near Laguna Dulce, Malaga Province.

RFH Walk.
Today’s walk was around the route in El Chorro, on the way over I picked up both male and female Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax). We started the walk up through the pine woods and then out onto the more open slopes as we made our way up to the lower view point which looked out over the gorge and away to the far end of the Kings walk. On the way I added Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Black (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Cirl (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Orphean (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Subalpine Warblers (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) which passed over low. On the way down part of the group split off and did a short walk with Trui the other guide before going for a swim and three of us decided to do the longer route and miss the swim. On the way out to the start of the Kings Walk we saw several Spanish Ibex (Capra pyreaica hispanica) making their way along a very narrow ledge. Also seen were Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
We got back to the vehicle in time for me to grab a quick coffee before we set off back to the Hotel. On the way we drove past Laguna Dulce, which is always hard and just a little further on near the working of the new high speed rail link I picked up a huge raptor. It was at first flying along the road over the olives and then turned just as we got to it and gave me fabulous views enabling it to be identified as an immature Spanish Imperial Eagle. It continued to head off to the South West and very quickly out of view.

Photograph: Eimear and Jorge at the start of the Kings Walk.

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