Saturday, 27 August 2011

Laguna Herrera and Torcal, Malaga Province.

A dry lagoon and lots of rocks.

I started off a bit early on my way over to work and called in at Laguna Herrera as I had not been there for a week or so. I was very surprised to find that the Lagoon was no more, just two damp patches of soil remained of the once very productive wetland. On the drive out along the track I saw a couple of Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) including a really nice bright immature bird. Also seen were Stone-curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and a nice pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) which flew over the track. I then made my way to the Hotel and then out to Torcal with the RFH guests for the usual Saturday morning walk. On the way around my group had some cracking views of a herd of about 15 Spanish Ibex (Capra pyreaica hispanica) which took very little notice of us and continued to feed on the very sweet Blackberrys. I also saw Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida) and Large Psammodromus (Emys orbicularis) scramble away over the rocks and good numbers of butterflies including Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias crocea) and Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice). Birds included Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and loads of Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros). 

Photographs from the top: The dry Lagoon, Rock at Torcal and Spanish Ibex (Capra pyreaica hispanica).

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