Saturday 6 February 2016

RAM at Peñón de Jolúcar, la playa de las Azucenas, Charca de Suarez and the Local Patch, Granada Province.

A cracking mornings birding and survey work with Juan Pérez Contreras seeing nearly 80 species.

Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
I met Juan outside his apartment block and we went down to the coast in his motor and then walked up on to the top of Peñón de Jolúcar where we set up and did the monthly sea watch. On the walk up we saw Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). 
Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
The first bird seen during the survey was an immature Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) which locally is a rare bird, this was soon followed by Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) x 212, Med / Yelkouan shearwaters (Pardelas Mediterráneas / Puffinus yelkouan) x4, Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua) x7, Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda) x2, Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) x1 ad, Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
After the survey we headed down to Playa de las Azucenas and walked out onto the beach and along to the fields and greenhouses further along. On the river as we arrived we saw White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and on some reedmace right on the edge of the beach a fine male Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus). 
Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
On the beach we had a flyby Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) which was followed by two Little Ringed (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and on the streams that run across the sands we had Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and several immature Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava).
Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Up off the beach on a weed covered field we found a good flock of Sparrows which included at least 20 male Spanish (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), a lot of House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and on the surrounding fields, bushes and ditches we added Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and a Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica). On the way back to the car we saw a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) on the sand and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) away on the port walls.
Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).
Our next stop was in the port where we checked the fishing boat area but the only new species added was Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) but all the gulls we recorded earlier were there in good numbers.
Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).
The port was quiet so we continued on to Charca and checked the hide which over looked Laguna del Lirio where we soon found Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), incubating Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), a female Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). We then moved around to the southern hide on Laguna del Taraje where we did not add anything new but the number of Common Chiffchaffs was incredible. 
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Again we continued on to the new hide over looking the large lake, Juans superb eye sight then came into action and he picked up a very smart Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) which was bobbing nicely in the cut reeds in the centre of the pool along with a couple of Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), several Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and a surprise male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) which flew right across the pool. Juan went for a short walk and came back to say he had found a Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) so I went and had a look and after getting some photographs I returned to the hide to find that I had missed the wintering Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) but I did see Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
We moved on around to the main hide and picked up Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) as well as Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis). We moved back around the reserve to the exit and left at 13:00 seeing just Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Once we were out side the reserve we headed around the back of the site where we saw Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Juan had a Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus).
Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).
Next we drove back North to Granada where Juan went home and I headed back on to the Local Patch looking for the Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), on the way across the site I had my first Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) of the year along with Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) and a big female Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) which dissappeared into the nearby poplars.
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
When I reached the fields for the Bustards I was pleased to find 30 or so Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaria), 100+ Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) as well as 54 Little Bustards. After doing the counts I headed home.

Wednesday 3 February 2016

El Faro and Torremolinos, Malaga Province.

A couple of hours birding the beach and then a walk from one end of Torremolinos to the other and back again.

Jayne and I headed down the coast and after doing a few bits in Malaga area we drove to Fuengirola where I dropped Jayne at the Miramar shopping center and went down the coast a short way to the hide on the cliffs above the rocky beach at El Faro. I walked from the bridge a couple of hundred meters east of the hide to the next road junction a few hundred meters the other side of the hide and on the way I found Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus) x1, Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) x24, Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) x3, Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) x2, Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres) x14 but no Purple Sandpiper (Correlimos Oscuro / Calidris maritima). From the hide I had a couple of Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda) x2, Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Later I headed back to met Jayne and then we went down to Torremolinos where we called in at Deaz (Pound / Euro Land) before having a long walk from the eastern end of the beach right through to the western end and back again. During the walk I did not carry my bins but I did see at least 3 Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), 4 more Razorbills, Northern Gannets and several Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus). After the walk we headed back towards home.