Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Caleta del Velez and Rio Velez, Torre del Mar, Malaga Province,

A day on the coast birding and plant buying.

Jayne and I headed down to the coast via the Market at Trapiche, on the way we saw European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator). I dropped Jayne at the shopping centre and headed for the fenced beach at Caleta where I checked through the gulls and took some shots of the ringed birds there. They included Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis). I also saw Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) before heading along the coast to the Rio Velez. As soon as I arrived and checked the far banks of the river I could see that there was a serious problem at the site with reed cutting and when I parked it soon became obvious why when I spotted one of the migrant workers with a hand scythe chopping down another area of the giant reeds for us on the tomato fields nearby. I have since been told that it is illegal to cut the reeds after some point in March which would explain why he was less than happy when he later saw me taking his photograph!!!
I walked down to the beach to find a large area of the reeds had been burnt off, on my way I had Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Yellow-leggedGull, Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Crested Lark, Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) as well as Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea). 
Once I was out on the beach I sat by the large pool at the rivers end and scanned the reeds and water see and hearing Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), 5x Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Grey x9 (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and 3x Purple Herons (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), 1x Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), 7x Squacco Herons (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) which came in off the sea and dropped straight into the reeds, Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), male Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and both male and female Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
I then made my way back to the car took the photo's of the cane cutter and then checked the other side of the bridge where the cutting was even worse. I did however see my first Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) of the year as well as Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and several Mammoth Wasps (Megascolia maculata) before meeting up with Jayne again for lunch and an afternoon around the garden centres.

Photographs from the top: 5x Ringed Gulls,
7x Squacco Herons (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides), the distuctive Cane Cutter, Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).




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