Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province and Arroya Marin and Guadalhorce River Mouth, Malaga Province.

A last attempt for a couple of species on Dab and Renate's last day.
Deb and Renate Day Fifteen.

Today was De and Renate's last day in Spain before they headed back to Germany and then onwards to Finland and up in to the Arctic tundra for three weeks in a camper van (Lucky or what), then back to Germany and finally home to Australia at some point at the beginning of July.
Near the house and down on the fields as we headed out we recorded Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops),
Our first stop on the way down to the coast was at the small lower quarry where we scanned the crags and found the Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) which had been elusive during our earlier visit along with Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
From the Sierra we drove West to the Arroyo Marin Valley where we spent some time birding the wooded riverside and soon had Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Ladder Snake (Rhinechis scalaris) which was warming up on the track. We also had a few butterflies including Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla) and Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba).
Our final stop was a brief walk to the sea watch point on the side of the Rio Guadalhorce down near Malaga but the beach was very busy and birds were few but we picked up Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) before we departed and I dropped Deb and Renate to the airport to catch their flight up to Germany and beyond.

Photograph: Ladder Snake (Rhinechis scalaris).

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