Sunday, 11 December 2016

Guadalhorce and Zapata, Malaga Province and Sierra Morena, Jaen Province.

A mornings birding around Malaga and the late afternoon in the Sierra.

Otter (Nutria / Lutra lutra).
I drove down to Malaga and started the day by walking out on to the main reserve, I parked by the school and walked across the bridge where I scanned up stream and quickly noticed a bow wave moving along the left hand bank which I quickly realized was an Otter (Nutria / Lutra lutra) which swam away from the bank and crossed to the other side and under the bridge and off down towards the sea. 
Female Common Scoter (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra).
In the same area I also had Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Sardinian  (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
I walked out on to the reserve and to the two far hides where Luis Alberto had seen a couple of very rare Scaup (Porrón Bastardo / Aythya marila) two days earlier but I could not find either of them but did get a good prolonged view of a hunting Short-eared Owl (Buho Campestre / Asio flammeus) which flew south and then back north and off up river and out of sight. 
Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus).
From the top of the bank down to the sea I saw Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), lots of Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
Western Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).
At the far end of the track I checked the old river and added Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and from the sea watch point at the end of the track I had a flock of 10 Shelducks (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) fly over me as well as a single Common Scoter (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra), lots of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) which appeared to come in from the sea and fly up the river.
Pied Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus).
I retraced my steps back around to the crossroad and took the left turn towards the next hide but it was extreamly quiet but I did add a female White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) and on my way around to the main hide Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), out along the river a fishing Western Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) and a single male Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta).
Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluvialis squatarola).
I spent a short while in the main hide as it was fairly quiet again except for a roosting Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and lots of Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa).
Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus).
I then took a walk out to the beach and back down to the far sea watch point, on the way I saw Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola) x5, Pied Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) x1, Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and a single Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda).
Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus).
I walked back around to the bridge and added just Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
I left the Guadalhorce area and went quickly to Zapata but only did the canal as the rest of the site was still very muddy and flooded after recent rains, I checked the first part of the track and a few old buildings and found a couple of Bluethroats (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), lots of Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and a male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) which was sat on the window of one of the buildings.
Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius).
My next stop was at the airport to meet Jane and John who were flying in from the Uk but due to a delay they were around 4 hours late. 
Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
Once we had met up we drove north towards Andujar and then out in to the wilds of Sierra Morena, a stunning area which is well known for the Iberian Lynx (Lynx lutra). 
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus).
On the way we saw lots of Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus).
Once we reached the mountains we chatted to some of the watchers and found out that the Lynx was seen earlier in the day but we did not see it but did add Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) before we dropped down to the accommodation where at some point during the night I could hear a Tawny Owl (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco) calling.
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus).

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