Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Travelling to and at Rio Velez, Malaga Province.

Some more summer visitors.

Whilst Jayne was getting ready I went and put my bins and scope in the car and as I was walking back to the door I added two species to the garden list in about 10 seconds. The first were a pair of Cirl Buntings (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) which made a short stop in the top of our still nearly leafless fig tree and then within seconds a cracking male Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) popped up onto the wires at the side of the house and sat there for a couple of minutes before heading off into the Olives.
A little later Jayne and I drove down to Rio Velez via Salar and Zafarraya, on the way we picked up Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus). Jayne spent a couple of hours touring the shops in Torre-del-Mar while I went and had a look at the River, it made a change for the most annoying part of this site not to be the weirdo’s (it was very windy) hanging around the bushes but for it to be a compete (British) pillock who was ripping up the entrance road with his big flash 4X4 and making access more difficult for every one!
I parked and had a wander along the banks for the eastern side of the river where I quickly located several wader species including 3 Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) including a multiple colour ringed bird, a Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) which was starting to show signs of summer plumage, Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) x2, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus) x20+, Little Ringed (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus). Nightingales (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) were singing all along the river and in a couple of places there were Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus) scratching out a note, along with a single Sedge (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) which flashed up from amongst a bank of both varieties of Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum) with a male Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis). A couple of Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops) did a fly past and a male Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) was perched high up on a snapped off reed stem looking for its next snack. I then went up on to the very windy beach were the sand was being whipped up and this made sea watching hard work so I dropped back on to the marshy area and sat on a log and did a bit from back there. Good numbers of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) were fairly close in riding the waves along with a couple of Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and what must be 3 quite late Razorbills (Alca Común / Alca torda). Gulls included Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) were seen in largish numbers and they were joined by several Meds (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and a single Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii). I then made my way back along the river getting some shots of the waders and a very confiding Swallowtail (Papilio machaon). Other butterflies included Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small (Artogeia rapae), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), African Grass Blue (Niña esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna) and Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli). Just a single Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) was seen cruising up and down the more sheltered western bank of river. Other birds seen during the visit were Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) lots, Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla).
We called at several garden centres during the afternoon which was the main reason for the trip these plants were to replace the many lost during the cold winter.
On the way back up over the hill to Zafarraya and on the agricultural areas further north we added Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) to the list.
Photographs from the top: Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum) x2 and Swallowtail (Papilio machaon).

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