Sunday, 1 November 2015

Fuente de Piedra, Antequera Fields and Arroyo Marin, Malaga Province.

An early start heading east mopping up a few species on Abby's last day.
Day Seven with Abby Turner from New York, USA.

Due to getting to Osuna earlier yesterday than planned due to the weather in Donana we had cleaned up there so we drove along the A92 to Fuente de Piedra lagoon to see what was there. The water level was higher than it had been on my last visit which meant that there were quite a few more birds about including a single Lesser Flamingo (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor) in amongst a couple of hundred of the more usual Greater's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) also out on the main lagoon were Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) but little else so we moved on to the fields near to Antequera where we were hoping to catch up with the so far elusive Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax). We arrived on site and within a couple of minutes we found a Small group of the target birds out on a ploughed field not to far away and with the scope set up in the car Abby had nice views of these special birds. In the same area we also heard but could not get views of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra). 
With the target in the bag we continued on down the motorway to the Arroyo Marin to check out some woodland, a habitat that we had not seen much of so far. We had a walk along the river amongst the marginal scrub and larger trees picking up Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) which flashed through the trees near the stream, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), a singing male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and a well hidden Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis) which only came into view for a second or so not giving Abby time to get on to it unfortunately. We moved further down the valley but it was quiet at the furthest point so we returned to the middle bridge and had a walk in this area adding Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), a distant Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) which was the second guide only species for the day as it dropped just as I got on to it and another calling but unseen Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis). In the valley it had been quite sheltered and warm which meant we saw a few butterflies as well including Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) as well as both Lang's Short-tailed (Leptotes pirithous) and Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus). Time had flashed b and we need to start to head towards the AVE station back towards Campillos getting some lunch on the way so we put the bins way and moved off.
We ended up with a total of 163 species of bird, 143 ended up on Abby's green list which meant she had had good views of them and they would go on to her list fully. The rest were made up of 4 Guide only, 4 heard only and 12 seen but not well enough to count.
We had lunch and then we said our goodbyes at the train station and Abby made her way to Madrid and the back to New York. Thanks for a great trip Abby.

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