Saturday, 25 August 2018

Tarifa and Los Barrios Area, Cadiz Province.

Raptor Migration and rare Dragons with Steve Jones.

Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).
Jayne, Barb, Lynn, Steve and I got off early and headed along the Costa del Sol but on the Toll roads to avoid all the tourist areas on out way down to La Linea, on the way I saw Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).
Once we were down at La Linea Steve and I dropped the Ladies of at the crossing to Gibraltar and then headed off to Tarifa where we were soon watching a reasonable passage of Raptors at the Cazalla watch point.
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).
The commonest species seen by far were a couple of hundred Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) looking fantastic in their varied plumage's over head, we also had lots of Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), a good number of Booted (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), a dozen or so adult and
Raptor watching at Cazalla watch point.
immature Egyptian Vultures (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus), a single Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), a female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), as well as a few White (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) and 2 Black Storks (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra).
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
We also recorded European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
We dropped down into the town to book some places on the Whale watching boats for the next day and had some lunch, in the car park where we left the car I heard the Garden Bulbul (Bulbul Naranjero / Pycnonotus barbatus) call but distantly. I had spoken to Javi Elorriaga Bts and he sadly told me that there is just a single bird now so the population looks unlikely to continue there.

Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
After eating we headed back along the coast and inland to Los Barrios where we visited a couple of sites. At the first spot along the Rio de las Cañas o Palmones we parked and checked a field close to the river where we found just a single female Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) but she was just stunning and posed quite well for us.
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
We returned tot the car and had a drink as it was a tad warm by now and the went out on to the bridge over the Rio where I spotted two good species one after the other, the first was a very smart Roe Deer (Corzo / Capreolus capreolus) which was munching on the Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) on the margin of the water and then a male Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus) which was flying
Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra).
around uncharacteristically high around the wires and into the tree tops. The site does not look good for this species so as with the one Steve and Lynn had seen in Granada Province a few days earlier we guess it was a wandering male looking for a new site.
Female Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei).
It was flying around quickly and was difficult to get shots of with the trees in the background so we dropped down to the river hoping to get it against the sky but by the time we were down there it had pushed off and we did not see it again. 
Female Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei).
We did however find Violet (Trithemis annulata) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small (Pieris rapae) and Large White (Pieris brassicae), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus).
Roe Deer (Corzo / Capreolus capreolus).
We moved a short way up stream and looked at another spot where I had been last year but it was quiet and we only added a single Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis) before we headed back to the hotel in La Linea to meet the girls. Later we went out into the town and to a Tapas bar we like and had some really good food there before going along the main street to a bar which also did coffee and cakes, a good way to end the day.
White Featherlegs (Platycnemis latipes).
Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma).

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