Saturday 3 May 2014

Near Mollina, Arroya Marin and Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

The last day, a cracking end to a great weeks birding.
Day Eight.

Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
It onlt seemed like 5 minutes since we set out on this trip but we were starting our last day, we left the hotel and headed out along the A92 west to Mollina where we had called a few days ago looking for the Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes) and as it was a most wanted species and only John and myself had managed to connect with it we decided to give it another try.
Almost as soon as we arrived I heard the male singing but just as I located it the bird few off the post it had been on and disappeared in to the fields. We stayed around thespot for some time but the bird did not show so I went and checked the areas around the rear of some farm buildings but could not locate it but by thee time I got back to the group they were all smiles as the male had come up on a post and had sung right in front of them all.
Small-tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora).
In the same area we also recorded Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), both Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
Ophrys algarviensis.
Pleased with the views of the bird we moved on again, retracing our way back down the A92 to a small wooded Valley near to Archidona, we made several stops and checked sevearl different areas of woodland out.
The first stop was in the broadleaved woods at the start of the valley, here we up graded several species from heard onlys to seen which was nice including Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), we also saw and heard Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora).
Our second stop was a little further down at the first bridge where we had a walk through an area of pine woodland adding Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) to the trip list and up grading Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) to seen. In this area we also saw Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), Small-tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora), Ophrys algarviensis and Ophrys dyris.
We again moved on to the far end of the valley seeing Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops). On the banks in this area we had several spikes of Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) and a single spike of the much rarer Iberian Orchid (Ophrys vernixia) along with Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea) and Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres).
After sometime we made our way back along the valley and across country to the Malaga Motorway and stopped for lunch at a roadside service station before continuing on down to the coast and o our final birding spot at Guadalhorce.
Again due to the problem with car thefts we just stayed down at the beach end of the site and sadly did not venture on to the reserve. From the seawatch point we picked up Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) which was neaw for the trip along with Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus). We walked along the lower path following the river inland for a while seeing Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).
We also saw Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
We then returned to the Van sorted out a few bits in the cases and made our way out to the Airport. We said our goodbyes and the group headed off  back to a rather cool UK and I made my way home.
Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
The tour went very well and we end the final day with a trip total of 195 species of birds, along with quite a few Wildflowers, Orchids, Butterflies, Dragonflies and Mammals.
It makes a great difference to a tour when the guests are as keen as Lynda, Judy, John, Nick and Mike were, as a guide I can take birders to the sites and show them whats there but when you have all six sets of eye looking hard you are going to see a great deal more.
Thanks again to the group for a great weeks birding, Good company and some super memories.

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