Friday, 14 September 2012

Travelling to and at Rio Velez, Malaga Province.

Lots of visible bird migration.

Jayne and I set off down to Torre del Mar on the cross country route via Salar and Venta de Zafarraya on the way we saw several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) which were still in the usual spots along the way along with Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo). I dropped Jayne off in Torre and went down to the Rio Velez for a couple of hours birding, straight away I stared to see interesting species including Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta). I then walked down stream towards the beach for a while adding Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Great Reed (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti’s Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula). I then went back up on to the track and walked down as far as the pump house and then started to have a look across the fields from some of the many tracks. Here migration was quite obvious with large numbers of Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) moving west through the site along with a lot of House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and just a sprinkling of Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia). There were a couple of fields which had been left fallow for some time and were now covered in quite a dense growth of weeds / wildflowers and amongst them I located a couple of Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), a single Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), several Willow Warblers (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), a single male Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and in one of the fruit trees the first of at least 3 Orphean’s (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis). Also seen out in the more open areas was a single male Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and 4x Northern Wheatears (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), a flock of 9 Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), the more usual Thekla and Crested, 5x Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
I then made my way out onto the beach and immediately found 3 Sanderlings (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) running with the waves. I then set the scope up and scanned through the birds out to see and quickly counted over 90 Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) most of them sat on the sea in a couple of rafts, a couple of Balearic’s (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) flew through heading east along with quite a few Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), . After a few minutes a lot of the Shearwaters and the loafing Gulls flew and gathered around an area of what looked like newly discharge sewage just off the coast which gave me chance to get some nice views, while I was scanning through the flock I was surprised to pick up a Sparrowhawk in amongst the scrum. Gulls included Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and of course Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis). I then ad a look at the beach pool but apart from a few Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue / Common Emperors (Anax imperator) it was empty, not even a Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra). I then made my way slowly back along the Rio looking for more Dragons as I went adding Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and a single male Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta). New bird species included Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Yellow (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), a small flock of Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus), 2x Squacco’s (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) and a single Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), two Garden Warblers (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin) which were a bit of a surprise, Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), 3x Kingfishers (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Pied (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) and Spotted Flycatchers (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and just as I was getting back to the car a single Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) which was making its way west.

A total of 81 species of birds were seen during the trip there and back and at the Rio, a very pleasing total.

Photographs from the top: Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), 2x Sanderlings (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Immature Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus) and Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus).

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