A tour around several sites in Northern Malaga Province.
Kate and Jim Day Four.
We drove west and on our way towards Antequera we started the day list off with Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
We continued on west to a spot where I have seen a pair of Rufous Bush Robins (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes) in the past, we arrived but found no sign of them at the usual spot so we moved to the far side of the Vineyard but again we found no sign of the birds so we went for a drive along some track around the fields in the area which had simillar habitats. After a while I caught a glimpes of a bird on a fence so we turned up a small track to the entrance to a small holding and had OKish views of our first Bush Robin. Just as we parked to look at it it flew down into the vines and out of sight but within seconds appeared right at the side of the vehicle and started to sing and continued to do so from a couple of spots amongst the folage giving us stunning views and making Kate and Jims cameras work very hard. In the same area we also saw Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Our next stop was at Fuente de Piedra, the water levels were dropping fast but there was still small amounts in all of the outer pools and on the way in we picked up Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and several Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
We parked and then had a look down on the boardwalk but the only bird of note here was a bathing Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) which showed quiet nicely for several minutes in the open.
We continued on around to the mirador checking the reedy ditch seeing only a single Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) and a small Hoverfly species, as we walked we had fly overs by Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) we also saw or heard Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Great Reed (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). From the mirador we saw more Greater Flamingo's, Gull-billed Terns and round the back from the hides Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
Once we were back at the car we headed to a spot just to the south of Fuente to try and get some photographs of European Bee-eaters at a spot I had found a week or so earlier on another tour, we arrived and after a short while so did the birds and the photographs were taken and we were on our way back towards Home but called in at a wooded valley on the way to see if we could catch up with a few more butterflies, we did and they included Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Bath (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small (Thymelicus sylvestris) and Lulworth Skippers (Thymelicus acteon), Southern (Pyronia cecilia) and Spanish Gatekeepers (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), we also had a very smart Day flying Moth but it still remains unnamed and Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata).
Birds at the site included Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
At the far end of this valley we saw three spikes of the uncommon Iberian Mirror Orchid (Ophrys vernixia) which I was pleased to see was doing well in a spot I had first seen it 8 years earlier. We also had Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Brown Bluebell (Jacinto bastardo / Dipcadi serotinum), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Naples Garlic (Allium neapolitanum), Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) before we headed for Granada Province and the house.
Photographs from the top: 3x Rufous Bush Robins (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Hooverfly Species, European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Day Flying Moth Species, Lulworth Skippers (Thymelicus acteon), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus).