Monday, 11 April 2016

Tarifa Town, Los Lances beach and La Janda, Cadiz Province.

A few hours birding on the Cadiz Coast.

Jayne and I got off to an earlish start and drove down to the Gib boarder where I dropped Jayne off for a day around the shops and then headed down to Tarifa town to start the list. I parked and go out of the car and within seconds had a male Garden Bulbul (Bulbul Naranjero / Pycnonotus barbatus) singing from the Eucalyptus trees above me, a good start to the morning.In the same area I also saw Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) before deciding to go and have a look at the pools on Los Lances Beach just up the road. I parked and walked out to the hide, on the way I spotted some nice spikes of Yellow Lupin (Lupinus luteus) in the fieds behind the rows of the Prickly Pears. Birds seen on the way out to the board walk included Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Once at the hide I was pleased to find none of the Kite Surfers who usually ignore the fact that the pools are protected areas and practise on the nature reserve and flush all the birds, I was slightly disappointed to find some midless morron had kicked out several of the front panels. With all quiet I scanned the flocks of birds finding Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), 30+ Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), 12+ Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), a couple of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and then three very smart Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia).
The weather had started to go a bit down hill so I decided to have a drive up to La Janda further to the North and by the time I got there the weather had bucked up a bit and I quickly started to find new species including Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) all before I reached the first junction. I then moved along the Canal as far as the sluces, on the way I saw Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and the first of quite a few Collared Pratincoles (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola).
I turned on to the track up to the wild Olive woods passing by the Cattle Egret and Glossy Ibis nests in the road side trees, along the first section I added Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). Once I was past the farm the first bird was a flyby Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) as well as Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Orphean (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) and Subalpine Warblers (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus). On some plants on the roadside there were masses of different fly and insect species nectoring but all remain needing to be named at this moment.
I turned back and headed for La Linea to meet Jayne, on the way Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis).
I drove down and met Jayne, later we went out for an evening walk in the town and had a nice meal and a couple of drinks.

Photographs from the top: Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), 5x Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), 2x Melodious Warblers (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus) and a selection of unidentified insects.

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