Friday 3 May 2013

Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

3 more species for the year list (now 212).

Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula).
I arrived at the river mouth and went up on to the bank and down to the sea watch point, straight away I picked up a nice summer plumage Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), several Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) which were flying passed with an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), several Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) were also calling nosily from the reeds and lots of both Barn Swallows(Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) filled the air. I then went back down to the car and parked down by the school and went in to the reserve over the main bridge, from the bridge I had more Little Egrets, Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus). I then headed to the main hide on the way the Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) which had been around for some time flew in over the motorway and landed in the tamarisk scrub around the main lake.
Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina).
From the hide it was generally quiet, I did however see several Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and a male Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina). I then briefly had a look at the next pool round where a very nice pair of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) were showing well in a nearby Shrub Tobacco plant, a couple of fly over Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) also gave us good views and along with a fine male Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator). I took a look at the time and decided to make my way around to the wader hide and pool down by the beach as one of the English guys in the second hide said that there was a Temminck Stint (Correlimos de Temminck / Calidris temminckii) there.
White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala).
I passed the first hide along the back by and went straight to the wader scrap, on the muddy margins there were lots of Black-winged Stilts, Dunlins (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and these were accompanied by a few Common Redshank, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover and singles of both Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) and Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica) but there was no sign of the Stint so I continued on to the pool a little further along the bank, here there were good numbers of all the species at the wader hide plus a single summer plumaged Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), a Spotted Redshank (Archibebe Oscuro / Tringa erythropus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), a couple of roosting Little Terns (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons) and in the surrounding Tammarisks there were lots of roosting Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus).
I did not see the stint so I started to walk back and just as I was reaching the wader scrap fine Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) flew right over head and into the reeds along the side of the pool, later I watched it fishing whilst giving the Temmincks one last chance from the hide but all I added was a couple of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and a nice Wood Sandpiper (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa glareola) which flew in touched the mud for around two seconds and left again. I moved on and had a quick look in the next hide where there were more White-headed Ducks, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), a single male Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) and some Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera).
Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica).
I started to make my way back towards the car but went the long way round via the main hide again where the day list grew a little with Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), a late migrant Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) all being added. I then went back to the car and went to pick Jayne up in the city.

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Hacho, Loja, Granada Province.

A couple of new Orchids for a site just up the road.

Iberis pectinata.
Juan Perez and Beartiz came over from Granada and while Beatriz and Jayne did the all important English lesson Juan and I headed up to Hacho which is a small sierra just 5 minute up the road from the house. We parked at the bottom of the track a with Chika we headed up towards the quarry through the mixed woodlands and oak scrub. Stright away we started to find the first of hundreds of Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea), a lot of well over with Giant Orchids (Himantoglossum robertiana), a couple of just hanging on Fan-lipped Orchids (Orchis conica) and then the first of the new species, we found a nice group of Pink Butterfly Orchids (Orchis papilionacea).
Biscutella auriculata.
During the walk we must have seen well over a hundred spikes of this fantastic looking plant. Before we reached the pines we also saw good numbers of Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys tenthredinifera) in varying states of flower with some completely over with and a few still in perfect condition, along with these there were a few dried spikes of the early flowering Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbiensis).
The Wild Peony's (Paeonia broteroi) which were growing under the Oaks were in full flower, as were the carpets of  Tassel Hyacinths (Muscari comosum), Iberis pectinata, Linaria anticaria, Biscutella auriculata, Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata), Warty Spurge (Euphorbia squamigera), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Med Catchfly (Silene colorata), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria) and Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus).
Pink Butterfly Orchids (Orchis papilionacea).
During this part of the walk we also recorded several birds species including Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
Linaria anticaria.
We then moved on up through to the Pine woods and again straight away we were finding good numbers of the Pink Butterfly Orchids all the way through this area and right along through the Oak scrub and all the way back down the banks back as far as the car. Also in the pines we found a single spike of Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orchis italica) and a dozens or so of Ophrys forestieri. Other wildflowers in this area included Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Yellow Anemone (Anemone palmata) and Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum).
Red-striped Oil Beetle (Berberomeloe majalis).
On the way back down to the car we added Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).