Saturday, 21 May 2016

Site in Northern Malaga Province, Fuente de Piedra, Teba and Arroyo Marin, Malaga Province.

Over the border birding in Malaga Province.
Day two with Richard and Mike from the UK.

We headed west in to Malaga Province to a spot where I regularly see a singing male Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), on the way we started todays list with Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis). We arrived at the first spot and within second the target species had flown up on to the wires right by the car giving us super views and what was possibly a second bird also sang from a much more distant pole along the same road. In the area we also had Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) but little else as we found the bird so quickly we decided to move straight on to Fuente de Piedra. As we approched the centre we checked the pool on the roadside and found Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus). We parked and walked down to the boardwalk and as we approched had a Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) walk out of the reeds and across the near edge of the pool and off under the Tamarisk trees. In the same area we saw and heard Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and in the Sea Club-rush (Bolboschoenus maritimus) I found several Iberian Blue-tails (Ischnura graellsii). As we walked around to the mirador we had views of a Great Reed Warbler and added Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), a stunning summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) to the list.
After the mirador we checked the two hides over loking the two freash water pools and again added a few new species including White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Common (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
We walked back to the car quickly checking a flock of Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) at the far end of the boardwalk and also saw Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
We drove down the western side of the lake and stopped at the mirador halfway down but found nothing so we continued on and took a dirt track over towards Laguna Dulce and Campillos. We soon found a couple of pairs of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) which showed nicely for photographs and also added Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) before we reached the road on the far side. 
Our next stop was at the raptor view point just off the Malaga / Ronda /Teba road where we had good numbers of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and down on the lake distant Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus). 
We move on around to the Teba Gorge and had a walk along the river where we found Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Mancha Azul / Satyrium spini), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops), Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium),  Winged Sea Lavender (Limonium lobatum), Boar Thistle (Galactites tomentosa), Borage (Borago officinalis), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre), Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum var discolor), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Oleander (Nerium oleander), Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Rock phagnalon (Phagnalon rupestre), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) and Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata).
As we reached the car we had a nice flyby from a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), after which we went back to Archidona and down into Arroyo Marin where we made a couple of stops and saw Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), Thistle Broomrape (Orobanche reticulata), Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), White Flax (Linum suffruticosum), Yellow Restharrow (Ononis natrix), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys) and Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis).
 
Photographs from the top: Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Winged Sea Lavender (Limonium lobatum), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Mancha Azul / Satyrium spini), Rock phagnalon (Phagnalon rupestre), Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and a Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops).

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