Thursday, 9 May 2013

Mollina, Laguna Herrera and Arroya Marin, Malaga Province.

An enjoyable days birding.

I took Jayne over to her meeting in Trabuco and then continued on to the Ford Garage in Antequera and after sorting out there I went on towards a site near Mollina. Here I was hoping to see a pair of Rufous Bush Robins (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes) which I had seen in both of the last two years. I arrived and almost straight I got a fleeting glimpes of what looked like a female flying into the nearby field. I parked the car on the side of the track and set up the scope on the window and waited for the bird to reappear, after just a few minutes a male bird appeared and then a second bird which I had expected to be the female flew in and landed next to the first male. This bird turned out to be a second male bird and a short scrap started but ended very quickly when the female bird turned up. At one point there were three Chats perched on a fence all within a metre of each other, after a short while the one male flew off and the two remaining birds copulated on the ground right infront of the car!! I spent quite a while watching the birds but they were not quite as cooperative as last year and remained at the far end of the fence so the shots were not as good but I kept well back as they had only arrived on site in the last few days. Also seen here were  House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (GolondrinaComún / Hirundo rustica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and (Greater) Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). Later I made my way over toward Laguna Herrera but took a quite complicated cross country route by a lot of farm tracks. I made a quick stop by a scrubby area amongst an area of grape vines where I watched a very nice male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) quartering a large area of newly planted Olive trees, whilst I was watching this I became aware of another male Rufous Bush Robin singing from a large patch of very tall Milk Thistles (Silybum marianum). At first I could not locate the bird but the song was carrying well, eventually after moving around to the side of the field I had distant views of the bird which was actually sat on a wooden post in amongst the thistles. A some time I headed onward to the small area of flooded fields near Herrera which Bob Wright had said in his blog were drying out fast and he was not wrong, the furthest one had gone as had the five or six Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) nest which had been ploughed up by the farmer, a great shame. On what was left of the other pools there were still a few Black-winged Stilts, a single Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), a couple of Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and an Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta). I continued on down the track checking the fields on the way picking up a male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), a group of Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and a pair of Ravens (Cuervo / Corvus corax). Before I got to the road I made another stop to take a couple of shots of a Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) field which looked fantastic. I then made my way around to the main Lagoon, on the track I picked up Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis). From the track that runs along the side of the main lagoon I flushed a very smart Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) from amongst the reeds, also seen along here I had some nice views of several pairs of Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), at least three Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), dozens of Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus). At the far end of the pool we added Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta). Also seen along the margins were some Dragonflies including Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
From the Lagoon I headed back towards Trabuco calling at Arroya Marin for an hour on the way, straight away I could hear or see Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parusater) and Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis). During the trip along the valley I made a few stops looking for Orchids and was very pleased to find at least three spikes of the uncommon Iberian Orchid (Ophrys vernixia or speculum ssp lucitanica), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) and Small Flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora). Butterflies included Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). I then made my way back towards Trabuco to pick Jayne up but could not resist stopping to take a few shots of a fields which was stuffed full of the beautiful Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus).

Photographs from the top: Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Poppy Field, Iberian Orchid (Ophrys vernixia or speculum ssp lucitanica), Man Orchid (Orchis anthropoporum), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), Small Flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora) and Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus).

1 comment:

nic.b van es said...

zulke dagen is toch eigenlijk puur genieten.