Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Rio Velez, Malaga Province.

A walk along the river dodging the weird and watching the wonderful.

Jayne and I travelled down to Torre del Mar for a few bits and bobs that we wanted and for a run out, on the way down we saw Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Once we were down at Torre I dropped Jayne off in the town for some shopping whilst I went down to the river for a couple of hours birding. I parked down by the very nice but ill placed new hide and walked out on to the beach to scan the sea, straight away I picked up some skimming Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), a couple of Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), masses of Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), along with a few Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus). Also passing along the coast were quite a few Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), as I was watching these I picked up another Tern species but could not get anything on it but though that it might have been a Common (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo). Anyway I continued on to the far side of the beach pool and looked throgh a small group of roosting gulls a little further up the beach and was very pleased to find several immature Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) amongst them, a well over due year tick. As I was checking the rest of the birds the Tern I had seen earlier came and landed on the beach amongst them and as I had thought it was a fine adult Common another year tick. Also on the beach were three summer plumaged Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and a Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta). 
I then decided to walk in land along the river so I made my way back throught the reedbeds picking up Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Large White (Pieris brassicae). 
Once out on the river there were several Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), a Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula). I also recorded several insect species including Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Small White (Artogeia rapae), African Grass (Nina esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna) and Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii). 
After a while I wandered back to the carand drove down towards the road bridge where I again parked, as soon as I got out of the car I was aware of several calling Penduline Tits (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) and soon realized that I was surounded by a family party of the two adults and two possibly three youngsters which was a fantastic experiance. Also seen along this stretch were a couple of Squacco (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) and a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia) and down in the water a Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura) and lots of Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi).I then went back to the car and picked Jayne up in Torre and we continued the day by visiting several Garden Centres before heading home. 

Photographs from the top: Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Penduline Tits (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) x3 with Adult at the top and two juveniles below and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).

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