Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Rio Guadalhorce near Zapata, Malaga Province.

Another meeting with Steve, Elena and Bob.

I headed off down to Zapata to meet up with Steve, Elena and Bob on the Rio Guadalhorce to look for Dragonflies but also to collect my tablet which like a muppet I had left in Steve's car last week. Anyway due to a change of plan I headed of slightly earlier than planned with out Jayne so I went straight to the spot and arrived around 15 minutes before the others. During that 15 minutes I parked at the ford and soon started the day list with Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), a singing Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) which seem to have been noticably common this autumn, Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and then on the edge of a small pool in a gap in the reeds I saw a small bird feeding. I fully expecting it to be a Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) which are come here, so when I got the bins on it I was surprised and very pleased to see only my second ever Grasshopper Warbler (Buscarla Pintoja / Locustella naevia) in Spain. I watched the bird for a few moments and then a delivery van came at speed, throwing up loads of water flushing the bird and flooding the inside of my car as I did not get the window shut quickly enough. After drying the car dash off a bit (missed most of the wind screen as Jayne pointed the following morning) I relocated the car into a spot and waited to see if the warbler would reappear but it remained elusive. 
Steve, Elena and Bob arrived a few minutes later so we spent a while searching the area and soon added Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), several Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), a single Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and around the rapids below the ford Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta), Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) as well as several spraints from what looks like a good Otter (Nutria / Lutra lutra) population. 
We walked futher up stream and had a chat with some more birders already there and picked up a few new species for the list including two very smart Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and in the reeds whilst I was photographing a Lesser Emperor I had a couple of Iberian Blue-tails (Ischnura graellsii), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and on the rocks several Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
Later back at the ford we saw a male Red-eared Terrapin (Trachemys scripta elegans), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).

Photographs from the top: Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) x2, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and a Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).

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