Friday 23 March 2018

Caleta de Velez and Guadalhorce Pools, Malaga Province.

A day down on the coast to escape from the rain and a new species for the patch in the drizzle on the way home.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
We drove down to Torre del Mar via Puente Don Emanuel picking up a group of passing Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), several Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica), at least three Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) on the wires along the way, Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a couple of Sparrowhawks (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) one of which flashed across the road chasing something, Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
After a look around the shopping centre we went for a very nice lunch on the coast before making a very quick visit to Caleta port where I picked up Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) and out in the harbour a pale phase Arctic Skua (Págalo Parásito / Stercorarius parasiticus) which was giving a group of Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) hassel.
We then went further along the coast to Malaga where I parked at the entrace to the Guadalhorce and walked out to the very small muddy edged Laguna, I checked the hide over looking the first reed fringed pool where I watched a male White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) displaying to a couple of females. On the same pool there were good numbers of Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Two rather loud English photographers who had left the path and strayed out on to the reserve even though there are plenty of signs to ask you not to so that they could get there photographs. It is more and more common to find camera carrying none birders taking photographs and ignoring the welfare of the birds to get that shot. They walked off down to the sea making rather a lot of noise flushing most birds as they went.
I had a look over the small laguna and soon found the Spotted Crakes (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana) that had been reported there for a few days, the first was just a blurrrrrrrrrrrrrr as it ran from the weeds on the far shore into cover on the near side. I was just starting to curse that it had disappeared when the second bird came in to view and walked around in the open of a few minutes giving distant but good length views which was more than could be said for the Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which popped out for a second before disappearing again.
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
I had a quick look at the next hide and down on the River bend adding Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and as we drove out I saw a couple of Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) on the bridge.
Once we got near to home Jayne said there is a big flock of birds flying high over the fields to the north of the town of Huétor which turned out to be a passage group of around 140 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), a new species for the area. Once at the house I checked the garden and found a male Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) singing in the Almond tree and at least 4 Siskins (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus).

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