Saturday, 11 April 2015

Rio Guadalhorce and Laguna Chica, Malaga Province.

Day One with the 5 Leicester ladies from the South Leicester Birdwatchers.

I Meet Jane, Jane Rona, Sue and Jan and then we went out to the beach at Guadalhorce where we scanned the sea and sand. The sea was quiet and we only saw Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), a pair of Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons) and a flight of four Pied Oystercatchers (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) which landed on the beach amongst the fishermen. On the beach we picked up a couple of male Northern Wheatears (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) which were new for the year list. Along the river and in the reeds we added Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus). Also seen in the area we had views of Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula). On the bank  there were plenty of wildflowers including Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum var discolor), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis) and a single butterfly species Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
From here we drove towards Huétor Tajar calling for some lunch on the way adding Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Our next stop was at Laguna Chica and on the way up the track to the spot we had a flock of half a dozen or so Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), a male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) which unfortunately flew before the ladies got a desent view, Yellow Bee Orchid (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus) and Gorse (Ulex europaeus). At the top of the hill we scanned the pool and saw good numbers of Eurasian Coots, Common Moorhen, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus). above the water there were good numbers of Barn and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House, Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and we heard several Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi). Wild flowers included Neatostema apulum (Yellow Gromwell), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), Southern Daisy (Bellis cordifolia), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), Mirror Orchid (Espejo de Venus / Ophrys speculum subsp speculum) and Ophrys forestieri. We also ha an unexpected Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca) which flew low through the tyme plants. We walked back to the van adding Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Blue  (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) to the day list. We continued on and on our way back we picked up Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) near the motorway and as we got closer to the house we crossed the fields north of Huétor adding Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) before getting to Casa Jasmin where the ladies were staying.

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