Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Sierra de Mijas, Coin area and Rio Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

A morning hunting Orchids and an afternoon with the birds at Guadalhorce.

I parked on the side of a track in pine woodlands on Sierra de Mijas and started to search the area for orchids. I struggled to start with but eventually found a few spikes of Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax), none of which were in great condition but some had the upper flowers which were still OK. In the same area I also found a good number of Pink Butterfly (Anacamptis papilionacea), Mirror (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum) and Sawfly Orchids (Flor de avispa / Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera). Birds included Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
I moved to a second spot just down the road where I spent quite a while searching the pine woods but to start with all I found were a dozen or so spikes of Sawfly Orchids but after quite a walk around I located a single spike of the beautiful Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica) which was the first I had seen at the site for a few years. In the same area I saw Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Gum Cistus (Cistus ladanifer), Narrow-leaved Cistis (Cistis monspliensis), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
My last stop in this area was nearer to Coin where I checked an area of woodland near to a quarry, in the area I found Two-leaved Gennaria (Gennaria diphylla), Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica) and Yellow Bee Orchid (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea). I then dropped back down to Fuengirola and met up with Jayne and had some lunch before we went into Torremolinos and then on to Malaga where I dropped Jayne at the Patio's Shopping Centre. I did not got to the far side of Guadalhorce as normal but drove just up the road to the Malaga edge of the reserve and walked the channels there. During the hour or so I was there I picked up Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), a single Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), at sea a few Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Yellow (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and then as I walked back towards the car I found a very smart Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), a male Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus). 
During the walk I also saw a massive Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus), Boar Thistle (Galactites tomentosa), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum var discolor), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides) and Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa).

Photographs from the top: 2x Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea), 2x Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax), Sawfly Orchid (Flor de avispa / Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera), Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), 2x Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica), Yellow Bee Orchid (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea), Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica),  2x Two-leaved Gennaria (Gennaria diphylla), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), 2x Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).

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