Friday, 26 August 2016

El Torcal de Antequera, Malaga Province.

A mornings stroll around this superb natural monument with Jayne, Howard and Santi.

Jayne, Howard, Santi and I headed out on the A92 to Antequera and then on to El Torcal, on the drive in to the visitor centre we had a few Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica) on the roadside rocks. Once we were parked the others went for a lok at the centre whilst I watched a cracking male Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), a pair of Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and several Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) most of which were either females or immatures but there was one very smart looking male feeding on the blackberries. Once the others returned we had a nice steady walk arounfd the shorter of the two trails, on the way I recorded Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Rock Bunting  (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla). I also saw Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Blue lettuce (Lactuca tenerrima), Wild Plumbago (Plumbago scandens) and a small number of butterflies including Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and a single Swallowtail (Papilio machaon).
About three quartes of the way around we diverted off the main trail and went out on to some rocky shelves which gave stunning views out to Malaga and the coast and of several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) as they drifted by. Howard and Santi returned along the track we came up on but Jayne and I took a slightly harder route which took us on to the far view point where we found some fossels in the rocks. We dropped down to the main path again and met up with Santi and Howard and then we walked back in to the visitor centre adding Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Photographs from the top: A view of the rock formations, 4x Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), a fossel, Jayne, Santi and Howard starting the walk,  a male Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) about to pick off a Shieldbug, Jayne on the edge, Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica) and some more rocks.



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