Thursday, 11 April 2013

Fuente de Piedra, Laguna Dulce, Laguna Salida, Laguna Herrera and Arroya Marin, Malaga Province.

88 bird species in 5 and a bit hours.

I started off by taking Jayne over to Trabuco for the monthly meeting of the Amigas de Casa womens group, from there I headed over to Fuente de piedra for a bit of birding. On the way over some good birds were seen including Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) and Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus). On some flooded areas around Antequera I picked up good numbers of Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus). I arrived at the reserve and parked up before giving the large pool along the entrance road a quick scan, I soon located more Black-winged Stilts, Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), a single male type Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae). I had a walk out on to the board walk but there were just small numbers of waders present but they did include at least three sparkling Wood Sandpipers (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa glareola). I continued on along the track to the corner on the raised back where I scanned the the flooded margins and soon located a very nice male Garganey (cerceta Carretona / Anas querquedula), several pairs of Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and just a small flock of around 50 or so Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus). In the same area there were a large number of Yellow Wagtails of all three expected forms including a very bright male of the UK form flavissima, also here there were a small group of 6 Wood Sandpipers roosting on the mud betweeen the Juncus tussucks and a Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) was calling from the field behind me. I then turned around and walked back across the boardwalk and around to the hides at the back of the visitors centre, on my way I saw a couple of Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) fly into the reeds near the next pool round the walk. This pool was almost deserted except of a dozen or so Black-winged Stilts and a few Common Moorhens. I had a look in the larger of the two hides, on the islands there were good numbers of Avocets, Black-headed Gulls, new species for the list included Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadorna tadorna), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and on my way to the smaller hide a male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) flew towards the centre. Once I was in the smaller hide I had a male Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) in the bins and I could hear several Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) singing from the reed bed. I then went back to the car and headed to the next view point around on the Western side of the lake, on the way I picked up both Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) on some flooded fields near the road and further round Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
From the view point I watched a cracking male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) hunting over the reed fringed pool, a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which was sitting in a large tamarisk tree on the margings. Over the water I added Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus) and in the reed beds there were both Reed and Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) singing. Whilst in the scrub between the view Point and the pool there was a calling Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and a singing Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). I then continued on towards Laguna Dulce near Campillos, on the way I stopped several times picking up Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). Eventually I reached Dulce where I met a chap from the medio ambiente with his scope set up watching a very nice male Red-Knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata) and he then pointed out another three birds and informed me that there were at least 5 birds on the lake, I had seen 4 none collared birds but he had also seena collared bird on the far shore but we could not locate it. We also picked up a nice male Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), lots of Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), a Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and several singing Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra). Other species here which I had seen earlier included Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochards, Gadwall, Black-necked Grebe and Northern Shoveler. I then went and had a look at Laguna's Salada and de la Marcela where I added White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus). I then started to head back towards Trabuco to pick Jayne up but on the way I called in at Laguna Herrera just to the North of Antequera, on the drive in I watched a displaying male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) in a field of seedling sunflowers and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) which was perched on one of the many pylons. On the flooded fields to the right of the track there were loads of Gull-billed Terns roosting, along with a few Black-headed and a dozen or so Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus). Out in the water more Common Redshank, Avocets and Black-winged Stilts were joined by two summer plumage Spotted Redshanks (Archibebe Oscuro / Tringa erythropus), a pair of Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). Along the margins there had been a mass emergance of 100s of Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and these were joined by several Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope). I then continued on around the fields and made my way back to the motorway and came off again near Archidona, still having a few minutes to spare I drover the first couple of KM along Arroya Marin and soon picked up several new species for the day list, these included Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and a pair of Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes) which flew up from the side of the track. I then headed back to trabuco where I picked Jayne up from the craft group meeting and we headed off home. Later in the evening I went out onto the terrace and could hear Little (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Eagle (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) and Eurasian Scop's Owls (Autillo Europeo / Otus scops) all calling.
Photographs from the top: 5x Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Red-Knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).

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