Monday, 7 September 2015

Tarifa Area and La Janda, Cadiz Province.

A great days birding with good friends John and Sharon from the UK.
John and Sharon Holian, day two.

Jayne, Sharon, John and I headed down the to the Gibraltar crossing where we dropped Jayne off to do some shopping whilst the rest of us headed to Cazalla watch point where we had a great few hours watching real time migration as the raptors and storks were making there way south to Africa. During the time we were there we saw lots of Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Short-toed (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Egyptian Vultures (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and 6x Ravens (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
We next dropped down to a site near Tarifa and in to a small wooded valley where we were looking for the newly resident Garden/Common Bulbuls (Bulbul Naranjero / Pycnonotus barbatus) which have been breeding in the area for a couple of years. Whilst we were looking for them we saw more Short-toed and Booted Eagles, Black Kites, Alpine Swifts as well as Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), good numbers of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) as well as Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). Once we had finished at this site we drove towards Vejer de la Frontera stopping at the Golfcourse on the way to get views of the regular flock of Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita), we went straight around to the car park behind the club house and found 19 birds perched on the roof where we got great views and photographs. In the same area we had Cattle Egrets, Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Our next stop was at Barbate Marshes where we scanned the older disused saltpans and added Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and Little Terns (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Red Knot ( Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Just down the road back towards the town we stopped and checked the roadside pools where we boosted the list with Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
We then headed back down towards the hotel for the night calling in at La Janda for the last couple of hours birding, on the way we had a Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) flash across the road. As soon as we were off the road and on the track we started to find White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), several Marsh Harriers, an immature Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and a good many Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra). We did not go along the side track but continued on along the main track following the main canal and on some yellow Dittrichia viscosa plants we found a couple of the very rare Zeller's Skippers (Borbo borbonica) which was a new species for my Spanish Butterfly list as well as a Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous). Whilst we were watching this we had several Banded Grondlings (Brachythemis leucosticta), lots of Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and a couple of Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope).
On the second half of the drive we had views of Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) as well as around 300+ European Bee-eaters.
From here we headed back to La Linea and met Jayne before going out for a meal at the Luna Beach Club Bar.

Photographs from the top: Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) over Tarifa, Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus), 2x Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Black Storks (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra), White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), 2x Short-toed Eagle, Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita), Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Zeller's Skippers (Borbo borbonica) and Banded Grondlings (Brachythemis leucosticta).

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