Thursday, 9 January 2014

Rio Velez and travelling, Granada and Malaga Province.

An unexpected second day on the coast.

Suddenly found that we had to make a second visit to the coast but nearer to home this time, so Jayne and I headed for Torre del Mar where I dropped Jayne and went down to Rio Velez for a couple of hours.
As soon as I arrived I bumped in to John and Jenny Wainwright and did so a couple more times during the morning. We spent some time having a chat by the bridge where we saw a very nice White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) which had been hanging around for a while as Steve Powell had seen it a week or so ago, along with White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) and the first of a great many Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
I then moved on down the river where I bumped in to another member of the Axarquia bird group who's name I can not remember at the moment but he put us on to a couple of Little Stints (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) mixed in with a flock of feeding Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and in the same area there were small numbers of Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula). I then went down towards the beach looking for a Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which he had just seen but could not find any sign, however I did see a couple of Zitting Cisticola's (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), a male Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis). Once I was out on the beach a scan of the sea soon produced a small group of 7 Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra), several Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and a single Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis). I then scanned the pools and located a single male Bluethroat that was scuttling around on the margins being harrassed by a White Wagtail. I moved over to where John and Jenny were standing and they informed me that there were two males there but the second one had shot off to the right. John and Jenny then went back to there car for a bit to eat so I sat quietly on a patch of sand and waited to see if the Bluethroat would return to where we had just been watching it, with in a couple of minutes it did but flew straight in and landed about half a meter away from where I was sat, nice veiws but too close for the camera. It flicked around for a while and then shot off again only to return a few seconds later and this time nicely in range of the lens. I moved on from here and went back to the car before heading back up the river and parking just beyond the bridge. I walked out to the river and again sat on a patch of gravel and took lots of ahots of the 30 or more Common Chiffchaff that were feeding in a small tree and amongst the water side plants. Here I also had a Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). After a while I packed up and went and met Jayne, we had some lunch and went for a walk on the beach. 

Photographs from the top: Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Zitting Cisticola's (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), another shot of the Bluethroat and a Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).

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