Thursday 19 February 2015

Rio Velez and Rio Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

Two coastal sites in one day.

Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
Jayne and I drove down to the coast at Torre del Mar, on the way down I picked up a few species including Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Crested Lark (Cogujada /
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
Galerida cristata), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
I dropped Jayne off in the centre of town and went down to the river for a few hours birding, as soon as I arrived I met a Spanish birder (Antonio) who told me that the Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana) seen a few days earlier was still in the area and gave me directions. After a few minutes of searching I had cracking views of this cracking little bird which showed very well on a boggy patch of weeds right in the centre of the river.
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Whilst watching this bird I also had a couple of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), a single Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), several Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Eurasian (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and a single collared Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
After a while I walked down to the beach and soon notice the large numbers of Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) on the sea, lazing on the beach and bathing on the freshish water pool which was being topped up from the sea by a rather heavy swell. Also amongst the Meds if found several Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), a small goup of Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a single Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
Also in the same are I saw several Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), a Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
I walked back up to the spot for the Crake and stood watching it with four other birders before having a walk with Antonio and another chap up the track back towards the motorway bridge checking the trees for some Siskins (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) they had seen earlier but we did not locate them and once we reached there car they headed in to Torre and I continued on up the river adding Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
I walked back down to the Crake spot after ringing Bob Wright to tell him it was still about and he said I will be there in half an hour so I walked slowly back down the track checking the trees again. Just before I reached the two birders still there I heard a watched a stunning male Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) which flew off just as I got the bins on but the reason it flew was that a fine male Siskin chased it off. I continued on and added Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) before Bob arrived.
We watched the Crake for a while and then had a short walk up the river again and located single Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) before walking back and had a last look at the Crake, a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and a couple of Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta).
Male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus).
During the three hours here I also saw several Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), 2 Large Whites (Pieris brassicae), 2 Clouded Yellows (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and a Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
I said goodbye to Bob and walked back to the car and went and met Jayne for Lunch which we had in a very nice little place on the main road through Torre called Restaurant Vintash. We then headed along the coast and called in at Brico, Leroy Merlins and Worten looking for a few bits, later I dropped Jayne at Plaza Major and went and had a quick look at Guadalhorce. I first of all had a look at the beach where I was much the same species as at the morning site but I did add a Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax). I then moved on to a fairly quite reserve, from the main hide I picked up Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), 3x Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and a single Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
From the next hide I saw several Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), 2 White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a small flock of very nicely plumaged Greenfinches (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris). I then went back to the car via the far pond but it was totally empty and then made my way over to Jayne and we made a quick second visit to Leroys before heading home via Loja.

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