A Spanish Lifer for my Bird list seen on my second Spanish twitch.
After seeing information on reservoirbirds.com about a Franklin's Gull (Gaviota Pipizcan / Larus pipixcan) which had been at Caleta de Velez in Malaga Province for a couple of days I decided to have a drive down but as Jayne and I had already said we would go into Granada first it was a slightly roundabouts route. Jayne spent a couple of hours bimbling around the town of Torre del Mar I went just down the road to the port at Caleta. I arrived and dug out the scope before walking out on to the small rocky pier and scanned the beach off to my left and with in seconds had the Franklin's in the scope in amongst loads of Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) but within another couple of seconds a young lady in day glow pink running kit flushed everything as she ran past. Whilst all the birds were up and annoyed I walked quickly around to the corner where the bird had been and waited for them to come back which they all did except for the Franklin's !!! typical.
Any way I scanned through the hundreds of gulls that did come back and found Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) all of which were in good numbers and some had rings on. The Franklin's did not return so the searching continued and produce a bit of a suprise with a 1st winter Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus) which was sat amongst the Med Gulls on the rocks on the left side of the beach. An hour and a half after the girl flushed it the Franklin's dropped back in on the beach and gave me some great views (through the wire fence), I watched the bird preen and roost for the next 90 minutes before going and meeting Jayne and having a very nice lunch.
After luch we drove to Malaga and again I dropped Jayne in the city before going to the near side of Guadalhorce. I did a short walk along one of the Channels back along the roadside crossed a bridge to the far sde of the water and then back to the car, species seen included Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), all the 5 commoner Gull species seen earlier and from the beach 3x Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and a good flock of Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra) plus 40 odd other commonish species.
Photographs from the top: 4x Franklin's Gull (Gaviota Pipizcan / Larus pipixcan), 1st winter Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus) and a selection of ringed Gulls.