Saturday 6 August 2011

RAM, Motril Fish Port and Cerro Gordo, Granada Province.

A new Granada tick for Juan and Myself.

Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
I met Juan Pérez Contreras at the usual spot in Granada and we made our way down to the coast to carry out the monthly sea birds survey near Motril. We started at 07:30 and continued for the next two hours seeing very good numbers of Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), a few Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), a couple of immature Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), quite a few Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), some early Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and as usual loads of Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis). 
Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei).
A Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) did a flyby which stirred up all the local Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus). We also saw Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and a Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
We then moved on to the port to look for ringed Gulls, on the concrete pans we saw a large group of mainly Audouin’s (300ish), a few Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legs. They were joined by small numbers of Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) including some immature birds still beckoning the adults for food and a single immature Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) which was my new bird for the Province. 
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The Slender-billed was ringed as were twenty odd of the Audouin’s.
We then continued on down the coast to Cerro Gordo where I had seen a couple of White-rumped Swifts (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer) a few weeks ago. As we arrived 7 Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) circled in the fog / mist coming in off the sea and they drifted of west. We spent some tome looking from the area near the bar but only picked up Pallids, so we moved around the headland a bit further and located two White-rumped Swifts which appeared to be entering a nest site along with some Pallids, this was Juan’s new bird. 
Juan watching the Swifts.
We also saw Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Laguna Herrera, Archidona and Salinas, Malaga Province.

Return wader migration gets under way.

Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum).
I set the alarm a bit earlier than normal to give me time to have a good look at the Laguna on the way to the Hotel. The bird numbers were well up, waders made up a good percentage of the new arrivals. On the near shore there were at least 2x Wood Sandpipers (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa Glareola), 30+ Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), 25+ Curlew Sandpipers (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), 10+ Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), 100+ Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), 50+ Avocets (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta), 1x Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), 30+ Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
On the water Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) were the commonest bird but they were joined by good numbers of Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
Overhead a couple of Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) were feeding over the fields, along with Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
On the fields and in the surrounding reed beds I picked up Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
I then went to the Hotel to meet the guest and we all made our way out towards Archidona and for the usual route there around the top of Arroya Marin. Finn one of the guests had a keen interest in the local wildlife so I was all too happy to show him what was on show on the way round. We saw Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes) and down along the stream we saw several White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) Damselflies.
On the way home I called at the small pool at Salinas where I added a new species to the Dragonflies I have seen there, two male Southern Skimmers (Orthetrum brunneum). Also seen were Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii).

Monday 1 August 2011

Near Ronda and Laguna Dulce, Malaga Province.

Visiting Friends.

Jayne and I went over to Ronda for the second time in a few days but this time we were visiting Brenda and Peter to have lunch and to see Penny and John who were driving up from Casares. We were not birding today but having lunch and very nice it was. We chatted for quite some time but it was inevitable that whist we were sat in the garden we would see a few bits and pieces. A couple of Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) were seen passing over, also seen were Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
On the way home we call in at Laguna Dulce, there were hundreds of birds on the lake, so I started to scan through them. Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) were by far the most numerous birds, these were seen along with nearly a 100 White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), 20+ Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), lots of Common Pochards (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Black-necked (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and a few Greater Flamingo’s (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber). A couple of Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) were seen on the margins and then I picked a single neck collared Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata) out to the right of the hide.