Saturday, 5 December 2015

Rio Velez, Malaga Province.

Another fairly unproductive, uncomfortable visit to the river mouth.

Jayne and I had a nice morning around Frigiliana further along the coast and a pleasant walk around the main town of Torre del Mar before I dropped her off at the shopping centre. I then went and parked at the far end of the track along the side of the river by the beach and had a walk out on to the sand seeing a couple of Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) butterflies and the first of several Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta), . On the sea I found good numbers of Gulls including Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) as well as Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and a very late migrating Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) which flew over my head from up river and out to sea. On the pool at the beach end there was just a single Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), several Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and in the reed beds Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and a quite unexpected Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) which was the first time I had seen this species at this site. I then walked up along the river trying to find a track that was not occupied by some wirdeo hanging around. I eventually dodged the problems and made it out to the river seeing Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago). I later went back to the car and then walked back to the bench near the hide where I sat and waited to see what popped past and added Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus). I met Jayne later and we headed back North via Zafarraya adding Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus).

Photographs from the top: Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), 2x Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).

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