Sunday, 23 November 2014

Laguna Herrera, Fuente de Piedra, Teba Groge and Laguna Dulce, Malaga Province.

Day three of the trip but a bit closer to home.

We started the day in the Laguna Herrera area where we checked the lower track and soon located a decent sized flock of 69 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) feeding on a freshly sown cerial field along with Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros). We moved on around the site to where there has in the passed been a lake but all we found was a small puddle in a ploughed field and it only held a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and in the reeds and fields we saw Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Our second stop was at Fuente de Piedra, on the way in we checked the small pool on the road side and picked up Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica). We parked and made our way out to the mirador at the front of the centre where we were hoping for but dipped on the Lesser Flamingo's (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor), however we did see good numbers of their larger reletives Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), hundreds of Lesser Black-backed Gulls as well as a few Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus). We moved on around to the two hides around the back of the centre but they were generally quite quiet but we did add Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Black Redstart, Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). We made our way back around to the mirador and checked through the Smaller birds in the bushes below us where we found a couple of male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos). We dropped down on to the lower track and had views of Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) and Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) before we reached the car.
We drove around the western side of the lake and stopped off at the mirador on the way but as usual most birds were to far away but we did see Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) both of which were new for the day.
Lunch came next in a bar just opposite the BP garage on the way into Campillos and then on down to the Raptor watch point on the side of the road to Teba which looks up to Sierra de Penarrubia's crags. As soon as we stopped we picked up 6 Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), a pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) and an unexpected late November adult Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) along with Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Bath (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Broad leaved Iris (lirio de invierno / Iris planifolia), Friar's Cowl (Arisarum vulgare), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis) and Autumn Buttercup (Ranunculus bullatus). 
We moved just down the road and walked most of the way along the gorge of the Rio de la Venta hich runs in to the nearby Emabalse de Guadalteba where we had nice views of or heard Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) as well as Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). 
We called in again at the Cliffs and had a soaring Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), more Griffon Vultures and the male Bonelli's Eagle which was display flying. 
Our last stop of the day was at Laguna Dulce but we were surprised how quiet the lake was with just a small flock of the usual hundreds of Eurasian Coots being seen, the only new species for the day were Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), other species were Marsh Harrier, Snipe, Eurasian Teal, Little Grebe, Northern Shoveler and Northern Lapwing.

Photographs from the top: Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).

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