Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Mollina, Fuente de Piedra, Laguna Dulce, Teba and Arroya Marin, Malaga Province.

A day around the Laguna's and wetlands of North east Malaga Province.
Day two with Peter and Nick.

Peter, Nick and I set off along the A92 heading for the town of Mollina, on the way we saw Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus). Once on site we were hoping to conect with the uncommon Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes) that breeds in the area, this year the pair seem to have relocated slightly and have actually moved nearer the town edge but slightly further from any of the tracks. We parked and waited quite some time but then picked the bird up on a waire fence quite a distance away, it flew from there and came quite a bit closer to us and started to sing from a post amongst the plants in the fields giving us nice long views. In the same area we added Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
Pleased with the views we eventually got of the Bush Robin we left the site and headed over to Fuente de Piedra, I was a but disappointed to find that all the pools around the front and side of the Centre were dry and birdless. We parked up and walked around the lower track towards the mirador, on the way we scanned the main lake and were very pleased to almost immediatly find a pair of the very rare Lesser Flamingo's (Phoenicopterus minor) amongst quite a large flock of roosting Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus). Also see in the same area were Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta) and Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula).We continued on around the track and up to the mirador where we got some shade from the Oak tree there, from here we had a clearer view of the Lesser Flamingo's, along with Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) which wre in a flock down on the shore of the main pool. Whilst viewing from there we also had a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) do a flyby along with a nice male Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and out on the water there were a lot of Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a few Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus). We then walked around to the first of the hides where we had views of a singing Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and on the way to the second hide we had singing Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). From the second hide there were several pairs of Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), two male White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), several Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and on the small pool as we walked back we saw a single Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi), several Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator). Butterflies were also seen including Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus).
From we made our way along the road to the west on the lake to the Mirador and checked the pool out below, here we picked up distant views of Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), 2x Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) along with lots more Gull-billed Terns, Common Pochards, Red-crested Pochards, Eurasian Coots, Common Moorhens, Avocets, Greater Flamingo's and several Ravens
Our next stop was on the track between Fuente and Laguna Dulce, along here we picked up several Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra). On Laguna Campillos there were several more Gull-billed Terns, Avocets, Curlew Sandpipers, Black-winged Stilts, Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Sandpiper, Corn Bunting, Jackdaw, Common Redshank and Yellow Wagtail.
From the back of Laguna Dulce we only added Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) to the list before we dropped down South along the Malaga road and stopped off at Teba Ridge seeing Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling, European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and over the lake behind us a couple of flying Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). A little further along the road we had a look at the gorge from the bridge where we saw Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) all new for the day list. 
Our next site was to be at Laguna Dulce but we made a quick roadside stop when we saw three Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) soaring over the road. At the laguna we went to the hide and scanned the pool and picked up several species already seen during the day but added a few more to the growing list including Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus) and a quite unexpected male Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula). 
Ou last stop of the day was in the mixed woodlands along  the Arroya Marin near to Archidona, we made a couple of stops and checked the riverside wood out seeing Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Pied (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) and Spotted Flycatchers (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli). Again several species of butterfly were seen during our walk here including Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra) and Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus). From here we headed back to the house.

Peter and Nick liked this site so much they spent all the next morning there and enjoyed it again.

Photographs from the top: Lesser Flamingo's (Phoenicopterus minor), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Group of Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) in flight and Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).

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