Monday 15 May 2017

Fuente de Piedra and surounding areas, Teba and near Archidona, Malaga Province.

Granada Wildlifes Tour of Eastern Andalucia and beyond.
Day Three of Eleven, A day of many habtats.

Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
I again met the group out side the Cortijo de Tajar hotel and we headed off towards our first stop near to Antequera, we came off the motorway and went out on to some fields nearby and soon found several singing Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a good number of hunting Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
We moved a little further up the track and picked up a Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) perched on an electrical pylon, Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata). 
We moved on along the tracks towards Mollina and then on to another site where we parked on a roadside and almost straight away found two Rufous Bush Robins (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), a male which was singing and anther silent bird which we assumed was the female bird. In the same area we picked up European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and a smart Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
We then made for Fuente de Piedra seeing Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) on the way, Once in the town we stopped for a coffee and a visit to the bank before dropping down to the Lagoons nearby. We checked the pool on the entrance road and boosted the list with several new species including Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra).
We parked and walked back to the edge of the pool just out side the car park and saw the first of several Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) and in the distance two White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) on a water tower in the town.
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
We breifly had a look out on the boardwalk but as there was no water we only added a singing Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) so we walked around to the mirador via the ditches. At the mirador we set up the scopes and scanned through the distant Flamingo flock and soon found at least four Lesser Flamingo's (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor) in amongst the main group. In the same area we also had Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
At the small hide just around the corner we found several dragonfly species on the wing including the rare Dark Spreadwing (Lestes macrostigma), as well as Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Around at the main hide we found it to be full of young school children being guided by one of the reserve wardens, we squeezed some views over their heads and found Slender-billed (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) along with Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea) and Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) and lots of Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).
From the smaller hide we added Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura).
We made our way back to the big hide but added nothing even though we could get to the windows this time so we made our way back to the van via the visitors center. We went around the western side of the reserve before we dropped down to the raptor view point near Teba seeing Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) whilst travelling, at the cliffs we soon found soaring Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), several Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) before we moved to the gorge just down the road. 
We parked and made our way to the bridge where some of the group stayed and scanned the cliffs, the rest of us had a short walk along the river, below the bridge in a small pool I found 2 Viperine Snakes (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura), several Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and further into the gorge Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), more Alpine Swifts and Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) as well as several Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Spanish Gatekeepers (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba).
As we walked back to the van we found Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) and Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii) flying around the car park.
Our last stop of the day was a short visit to the wooded valley of the Arroyo Marin where we heard or saw Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto) before we mde our way back to the hotel again.

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