A day along the coast.
I met Clements Radenborg, his wife Margreet, daughter Rebecca and her friend Sanne near Padul and we headed down towards the coast stoppng at a spot on the side of the Rio Guadalfeo north of Motril were we checked the rapids for Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) but dipped. How ever we did get views of several Golden Orioles (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
We continued on down the old road to the coast and stopped at a small layby next to an area of water irrigation channels where we found a very smart leucistic Spotted Flycatcher along with several normal birds, Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Our next stop was down on the beach near Motril port, we parked and checked the large concrete pans where there was a large concentration of Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) as well as several Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata). Next we crossed the nearby channel where we saw Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and just on the other side Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris). Along the river and on the beach we added Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and out to sea several Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis). On the beach there were more Black-headed, Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a few Audouin's Gulls which Clements was keen to photograph and did so very nicely.
We moved on to the entrance of Charca del Suarez to show Clements where it was so that they could return later in their holiday, whilst we were there we saw Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and a fine Monarch (Danaus plexippus).
As the main reserve was shut we went to the back road where we had a walk along the concrete road and found more Red Avadavats, Pallid Swifts, Red-rumped Swallows, heard Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Our last stop of the day was further down the coast at a coastal headland, we first of all headed up highest point. On the way up Clement spotted a very nice Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) crossing the road, we stopped and found it in a small pine tree at the side of the road where we photographed it. At the top we soon found three White-rumped Swifts (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer) mixed in with a few Pallids and lots of Red-rumped Swallows. In the trees we had a rather scruffy Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) before our attention was drawn away by a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), a couple of Common Kestrels and two Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica).
We later dropped down the hill again and as we drove around to the headland we found a cracking Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius) which perched a couple of times for Clements camera. Later we walked out to the furthest point of the headland where we had more Two-tailed Pasha's, several Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) and yet more Spotted flycatchers.
From here we went back up to Padul and then I headed home. Thanks Clements, Margreet, Rebecca and Sanne for their company on an enjoyable day.
Photographs from the top: leucistic Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), White-rumped Swift (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer), Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius) and Clements photographing the Pasha.