Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Fuente de Piedra, Back of Laguna Dulce, Teba area, Laguna Dulce again and Near Mollina, Malaga Province.

Wetlands, Sierra's and River Valley's.
GRANADA WILDLIFE'S Spring Tour.
Day Five.

We started today with a 50 odd KM drive from Osuna over to Fuente de Piedra across the boarder in Malaga Province. On the way we recorded Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
As we approached Fuente we could see the pink sprawl of the Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) on the main lake which was quite impressive. We passed through the town and down to the entrance track where we scanned the pool on the left hand side of the track and quickly built up a good wader list which included Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax). Also on the pool were Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Yellow (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
We continued on and parked at the centre before walking out on to the board walk where we met Bob Wright from the Axarquia bird group and whilst we were talking to him we added a skulking Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) to the trip list which showed briefly at the back of the pool. Also on here there were the same wader species as before plus Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a flyby Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus). From here we walked around to the Mirador and sat out of the aready warm sun under the large Oak tree and checked through the large numbers of Greater Flamingo's for some reported Lessers (Phoenicopterus minor) with out success. We did however get great views of a stunning male Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) which came and perched in a nearby tree, several Shelducks (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a singing but unseen Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos). Whilst we were here we also had the pleasure of a chat with Andy Patterson of Birding the Costa Blog who was also hopeing to see the Lesser's.Again we continued on and had a look from the small first hide / screen where we picked up Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi), Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) as well as Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula). We then headed for the smaller hide a little way further around, on the way we saw a large number of newly emerged Black-veined Whites (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi), along with some Painted Lady's (Vanessa cardui), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and a couple of Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice). From the small hide we did not see a lot that was of interest so we moved to the larger of the two where we soon added a couple of male White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) to the list, along with several Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and both Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus). We started to make our way around to the van again but had one last scan of the Flamingo's with not luck and then made use of the loos at the visitors centre.
From here we moved west around the lake having a quick look in at mirador on  the way, on the pool below the viewing area we had a couple of Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and lots of Gull-billed Terns.
We continued on south around the lake and took a dirt track across country heading for the back of Laguna Dulce, on this stretch we had good views of Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis). After a while we reached the small pool and ruined cortijo and in a dead tree near the ruin we got some very good views of a cracking Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus). On the pool we did not see any thing new so we continued on to the back of Laguna Dulce and parked on the track for a scan over the reeds, as soon as We got out of the van a medium sized heron flew from the right hand side of the pool across in front and way over to the far shore. I instantly called Eurasian Bittern (Avetoro Común / Botaurus stellaris) but just as instantly I questioned my Identification as its a dam rare bird down here but a few seconds later the shots from the rest of the group (all from Norfolk) came up with the same species, a cracking bird to see.
From this spot we drove on south and called in at the raptor view point below Castillón where we had good numbers of Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus). We then moved a short distance down the road to view and have a short walk in to the Gorge of the Rio la Venta, where we parked we had a couple of Green-Striped Whites (Euchloe belemia), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia) and a Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). We spent a little while checking out the cliffs from the bridge seeing Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Common Sandpiper, House Martins which were nesting just below our feet on the underside of the bridge and a couple of Blue-rock Thrushes (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) which were chasing from one side of the gorge to the other. We dropped down onto the track and walked just a short distance along the rive as we did not want to disturb any of the breeding species there, along here we saw lots more Crag Martins and Alpines Swifts in the air and Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) on the cliffs and in the air again we picked up two large flocks of around 175 Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus). There were large numbers of the very noisy Iberian Water Frogs, several more Stripe-necked Terrapins and a swimming Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura). Also seen was a Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops) Butterfly and several wildflowers including Blue Alkanet (Anchusa azurea), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Curry Plant (Helecrisum stoechaes), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Intermediate Periwinkle (Vinca difformis), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides), Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata), Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Snapdragon (Antirrhinum controversum), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Cliffhanger (Chaenorhinum villosum), Galactites (Galactites tomentosa), Italian Sainfoin (Hedysarum coronarium), Iberis pectinata, Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea) and Spanish Thistle (Scolymus hispanicus).
From here we retraced our steps back to the van and the on to the hide at Laguna Dulce, where we scanned the water and picked up a male Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), more Common and Red-crested Pochards, Northern Shovelers and both Gull-billed and Whiskered Terns. In the reeds we heard Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Great Reed Warbler.
We then made our way out to our last stop of the day at a site near the town of Mollina where we were hoping to see the very elusive Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), by now it was hot and birds were few and far between but John managed to pick the bird up on a distant fence but it dropped off before anyone else could get on to it. We spent quite a long time looking for the bird but did not see it again. We did see a male Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
We then made our way towards the nights Hotel at Huetor Tajar (Cortijo de Tajar), on the way we had a couple of Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) fly over the motorway.
I booked every one in at the hotel andthen headed home for the night, Lynda, Judy, John, Nick and Mike had what they discribed as a superb evening meal before turning in.

Photographs from the top:  The group at the Mirador at Fuente de Piedra, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) with a flying Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), The group out side the visitors centre (Me, Nick, Mike, Lynda, Judy and John), Black-veined Whites (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi), Corn Poppy's (Papaver rhoeas) on the drive between Fuente and Dulce, Green-Striped Whites (Euchloe belemia), Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura) and Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).

1 comment:

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