Saturday 10 November 2012

RAM, Motril Port and Charca del Suarez, Granada Province.

A new bird for the Granada List.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus).
I met Juan Perez at the usual place and we made our way down to Cabo Sacratif to Carry out the RAM sea bird survey for November. After the winds and rain of the previous week I was very pleased to find that the weather down on the coast was much more mild and there was just a steady breeze in off the sea. We started the sea watch at 08:30 and soon started to record good numbers of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) with the Gannets moving both east and west but all the Balearic were passing eastwards. During the watch we also saw a few Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), 3 Great Skua's (Págalo Grande / Catharacta skua), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus).
Sea bird passage was not all that was going on, whilst we were sat on the headland we were well aware of an almost constant passage of passerines west along the coast. Flocks of finches which were made up of mainly Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Serin's (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) were flying by but amongst the common birds we also picked out a few Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) which were a new species for my Granada list and at least three Brambling (Pizón Real / Fringilla montifringilla) a year tick. 
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus).
Other species seen whist at this site included Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus).
We then moved on to Motril Port to spend some time looking through the wintering Gull flocks to read some of the colour rings. We made a good start with a couple of Med Gulls one which was from Hungary (HUR3) and another from Italy (OCAJ), a Black-headed Gull (TJYW) from Poland and Lesser Black-backs from Belgium (LCA.T), Norway (TW) and UK plus other places. Our next stop was at Charca del Suarez where we started at the small hide on the anti-clockwise route around the reserve but there was a work party in the reeds so we did not see much from here and decided co continue on around to the next hide which was much quieter. Here we added Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and Western Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) to the list along with Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), a single Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) which had either decided to winter or was just a bit late passing through, Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus). 
Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
We moved on around the reserve, a few Dragonflies were still on the wing, the commonest were the 20 plus Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) we saw but we also recorded a few Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta) and small numbers of both Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator). A few butterflies were also seen during the visit including Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small  (Artogeia rapae), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice), a single Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) and what Juan thought was probably a Plain Tiger ((Danaus chrysippus) but I missed getting good views which was a pain as I have not yet caught up with species in Spain. We moved on again and spent some time in the main hide scanning the main pool, new species here included Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Wigeon (Silbón Europeo / Anas Penelope), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis). 
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
We spent some time at the last smaller hide looking for a female Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) but dipped on it and did not add anything new to the day list. At 1 o'clock we made our way back towards the exit and had a drive out to the rear of the reserve to check the wet areas, as we were searching the site we bumped into two more Spanish birders who were doing some ringing on the area. During the morning they had seen a couple of  Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus), a male Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) and had caught and ringed a Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) which again was either on a late passage or as the ringer suspects a wintering bird. We went and had a look in some areas Juan knew trying to catch up with the Cranes as the chap that saw them thought that they had landed not far away but we could not find them. 
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
We did however add Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Song (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and Mistle Thrushes (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and a sizable flock of Siskins (30+) to the list.
We then started to make our way back to Granada where I dropped off Juan and headed home, on the way a splendid adult Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) was seen perched on a telegraph pole at the side of the A92 and on the fields to the north of Huetor I also added Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and a female Hen Harrier.

Colour Ringed Black-Headed Gull, Motril Harbour, Granada Province.

  Colour Ringed Black-headed Gull.

Details sent from Ornithological Station Museum and Institute PAS, Nadwiślańska 108, 80-680 Gdańsk .

Species: Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Sex, age: female, after 2nd calendar year
Status: in colony (not necessarily breeding)
Date, time, accur.: 03/06/2012, 0:0, date accurate
Coordinates: 52°00'20.3''; 18°39'29.6'' (52.00564600; 18.65822200)
Ringer: Tomasz Iciek
Condition: [8] alive and probably healthy - observed or released by ringer
PLG A0 FS...04007 0 1 BB 05820 05820 N 0 M N F F 6 6 K -- -- - 03062012 0 ---- PL WI +520020+0183930 0 8 20 0 4
Accuracy of coord.: accurate to the given coordinates

Recovery data
Species: Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Sex, age:
Date, time, accur.: 10/11/2012, 0:0, date accurate
Place: [ES 62] Motril harbour, GRANADA, SPAIN
Coordinates: 36°43'13.3''; -3°31'42.6'' (36.72037400; -3.52849600)
Finder: Juan Pérez-Contreras, Mick Richardson
Circumstances: [81] colour ring read
Distance: 2429 km, Direction: 234°, Elapsed time: 160 dni
Condition: [7] alive and probably healthy - observed or released PLG

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Nerja, Malaga Province.

A couple of day seeing Mother.

John, Mom and Jayne.
Jayne and I headed down to Nerja via a small market near Velez Malaga where I eventually got the books I wanted from Jan the stationary lady. We arrived at the Rui Monica where Mom was staying and met her and John in the Lobby. John was waiting to see the hotel Doc due to having had a problem night due to pains in the neck and back. Jayne, Mom and I went over the road for a coffee while he was in at his appointment, the next thing we knew was that he was off in an ambulance to Rincon del la Vicroria hospital as the Doc was concerned about something but we never really did find out what. He said he was going to be at least 4 hours having tests so we to Mom down to Velez Malaga to the shopping centre to get out of the rain. We spent some time there and then went back to Nerja to ring the hospital which the reception desk very kindly did. We found out that they were keeping him in over night but would tranfer him to Nerja which ment it was easier for Mother and us to visit him. Later we went out and had an Indian meal at a small place near the Rui Monica called the Curry House and I would recommend the place to any one who likes Indian food as we had a cracking meal in a nice place. We were staying in a smaller hotel in the centre of town called the which was very very clean and had nice rooms. The roof terrace had a very nice pool and plenty of areas for sunbathing set on several levels and was kept in fantastic condition even in the winter.
Next day we met Mom and John as they had let him out quite early, we went for a coffee and then had a wander around Nerja until lunch time when Mom and John went back to there room so that John could get him self sorted out and Jayne and I went and had some lunch. We then had a walk back to met them again but went along the coastal work where the wind was blowing nicely. Out to see there were loads of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), a few Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) and lots of Balearic's (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus). I also picked up numerous Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) along with a couple of Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and a single Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii). We met up again and had a nice meander around the other end of the town and spent some time rattling in the Ship bar opposite the hotel before we said our goodbyes and Jayne and I headed back to Velez and the north home.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Grazalema Area and the journey home.

A wet morning above Grazalema and the trip home.

Me battling against the wind at Puerto de las Palomas.
Again it was a wet and windy night but not wishing to be defeated by the weather we made our way up in to Grazalema and then on past the village up to Puerto de las Palomas. The wind was just incredibly strong and it very nearly took me off my feet as I went and had a look for any very brave birds. I did see or hear Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis). We then headed back down to the village to see Clive at the visitors centre before going back down to the house and getting some lunch. 
The weather again took a turn for the worse so after thanking Sue and Sam for a great few day we started to make our way back towards home. The drive from Sues down to Ronda was not great with lots of tree branches and lying water on the road. Things improved once we hit Campillos and the rest of the drive was quite good with some spells of sun. On the way we saw a nice male Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus), a late Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and a Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius) which dashed across the road. Around Laguna Dulce thee were a dozen or so Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus) in the fields,  Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) flying over the water and a small flock of Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber) which were just flying in. Just as we arrived home the heavens openen again and it continued to rain heavily all night and for most of the next couple of days.