Saturday, 27 April 2013

Laguna Herrera, Malaga Province.

Some wader photography.

After visiting the site with Chris Pedroza I made my way back to Laguna Herrera after dropping Jayne off in Antequera for a wander around the town. I first took the Southern track and straight away I was seeing and hearing plenty of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a displaying male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), a small group of 5 Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and the first of quite a few Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni). I then came to the first area of flooded fields, on the left there were a small group of immature Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), several pairs of Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), a winter and a summer plumaged Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), 4 Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), loads of Wood Sandpipers (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa glareola) with at least 35 being here and on the flood on the opposide of the track, 2 pairs of Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and in the air there were hundreds of Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and higher up lots of both Common (Vencejo Común /Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus). I spent a long time along this stretch of track getting shots of the waders and other species. I then moved around to the main Lagoon, on the way I saw a single Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais
polyglotta) and several singing Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus). On the verges there was a superb show of wildflowers including a mix of Purple Viper's Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), White Mignonette (Reseda Alba) and Crown Daisy(Chrysanthemum coronarium).
On the main water there were loads of Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra), a few Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), a couple of male White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), a dozen or so Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus). In the air there were good numbers of Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and small number of Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) mixed in with hundreds of Pallids and Commons. I had a quick scan across the fields on the left of the track which had almost completly dried out but out on the mud there was a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) sat plucking some sort of prey. In the same area I picked Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and a Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus). I then drove back around to the floods and continued to take more shots of the birds there, new species seen included Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
I later went and picked Jayne up in the town and we went down to the shopping centre where we had a pretty crap lunch in one of the cafes up stairs, did some shopping and then headed home.
Photographs from the top: Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), male and female Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Wood Sandpiper (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa glareola) and Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).

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