Monday, 28 November 2011

Rio Velez, Malaga Province and North of Zafarraya, Granada Province.

Loads of strange people and just a few birds.

I made the wrong choice and went down to have a look at the river on the Malaga side of Torre-del-Mar but found little but people who should really keep their clothes on and other more sinister people hanging around the bushes.
Anyway down to the few birds I did see, in the riverside vegetation and on the shingle banks I picked up a single Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) which was the only wader seen, several Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a couple of Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) stalked the reeds, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) were all on the water and while a single Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) flushed up from the reeds calling noisily. From the beach the sea watching was not up to much with just a single Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and the four commonest species of Gull being recorded, Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis). On my way back up the river I added little else with the highlights being Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
On the way back towards home I had a quick search around the fields just North-East of Zafarraya and found some far more interesting birds which included Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus). Things got even better as I got back on to the local patch when we again bumped into the Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock and counted at least 400 Stone-curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) on a field where they have roosted during the day since winter arrived.

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