Saturday, 2 June 2012

Northern Malaga Province.

300th Species for my Spanish Bird List.
My good friend Juan and I drove to a site in the north of neighbouring Malaga Province after a tip off from some Malaga birders that Juan knows about a site for Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes). We arrived at the spot where Juan had understood was the right site and started birding, we quickly picked up a nice male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Crested Larks (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) but there was no sign of the Chats. Juan was then doubting that we were in the correct place as the crops in the area did not correspond with was he had had described to him so he contacted the chap that had kindly given us the info in the first place and we as suspected were not in the right spot. Armed with some new directions we were at the correct place in a few minutes and with in 5 minutes we were watching the bird perched on a vegetation covered chain-link fence. What a cracker it was and showed well for us, after some time a car passed us by and parked right by the bird and it did not seem bothered at all so we jumped in the motor and using it as a hide we approached the singing bird. We stopped and the first thing the Robin did was to fly over, hover half a meter from the window and land on the wing mirror to have a look at us before flying back on to the fence and preening for several minutes but just out of sight of the scopes. We continued to watch the male sing from the fence and the female who was spending time on the ground near the car for a while. In the same area we saw and heard Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Our next spot was around a couple of lagoons which Juan knew about but I had never visited before, here we recorded Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Avocet (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-necked (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala). A few dragonflies were seen including Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).
We then travelled back towards home calling in a Arroya Marin near Archidona so that Juan could have a look at the plants of Ophrys speculum subsp lusitanica I had found just the week before but when we got there they had gone past their best. We did see or hear several new species for the day including Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacusrubecula), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla) and Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus).
Several species of butterfly were seen as we walked along the track, these included Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias crocea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Small White (Artogeia rapae). We then headed back to Huetor and Juan continued on home, on the way we did pick up three nice species to finish off a great day, Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix).

Photographs from the top: 4x Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) anda female Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus).


Pablo Fernández García said...

Hummmmm... Rufous Bush Robin. Nice pictures, congrats Mick¡¡

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good day Mick! Yes, nice photos :)

Andy Mountford