Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Northern Malaga, Fuente de Piedra, Laguna Dulce, Teba Raptor watch point and Teba Gorge, Malaga Province.

A bit of birding with Sharon and Steve from the UK.

Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
We headed out early so that we could be on site at a spot for the locally rare and becoming rarer Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), we parked on a roadside and scanned the fences and wiresbut to start with we only found Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and then on a distant fence the target species but it was a not a good view so we relocated to a spot nearer to the fence but at a safe distance so not to cause any disturbance. 
Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
In this area we had Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
As we were stood at the second spot we noticed the Bush Robin back where we had been stood in the first place so we again relocated and this time things worked well when the bird came up on wires a couple of posts away giving good views through the scope.
Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
We moved on to Fuente de Piedra picking up a pair of White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) on the chimney just out of the town, once on the reserve we parked and walked around to the mirador behind the visitors centre picking up Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) on the way, from the mirador we scanned the main lake where there were several thousand Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), a couple of Shelducks (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), several Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), a pair of Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), a great many Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and several flying Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
At the first hide on the way around to the back fresh water pools we found a couple of Dark Spreadwings (Lestes macrostigma) and a fine male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator). On the same pool there were a couple of skulking Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), a male Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), a singing male Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a few Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa) which were sunning them selves on the muddy margins.
Our next stop was at the main hide over looking the bigger of the pools where we soon had White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), more Avocets, Black-winged Stilts and Gull-billed Terns
White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala).
We checked out the smaller pool and found Great Reed (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea).
We returned to the car and headed along the western side of the reserve making our way to Laguna Dulce, on the way we had a fine male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) and a couple of Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) being abused by a couple of Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra) with a Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) on the shore.
We parked near the hide at the Laguna and as we walked the short way to the hide we had the first of a few Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) fly over us and from the hide we added several new species for the day including Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) as well as more White-headed Duckd, Common Pochards, Red-crested Pochards, LittleGrebe, Gadwall, Greater Flamingo's, Gull-billed Terns, and a few Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).
Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis)-
We drove down the road towards Malaga and stopped at the Raptor watch point on the Teba road where we soon had several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) over head along with a large number of Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and some calling Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis).
Our final part of this mornings birding was on the Bridge over the Rio la Venta which runs through the Teba Gorge. We did not walk the trail along the Rio as it was still the breeding season but from the bridge still had Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Rock Doves (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and loads more Alpine Swifts and a couple more Red-billed Chough.
Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) scrapping.
We drove back to the house but later in the evening we went down on to the fields near Huétor looking for Steve's main target bird which had played hard to get during their stay. 
We parked by the Arroyo Vilano and with in a few minutes Sharon picked up the first Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) as it flew in over the river and over the fields, a few minutes later it returned and sat on the field for a few seconds. 
We drove around the tracks and lanes and had a couple more brief views as birds flew up off the floor but as we drove back towards the house we found a bird which sat nicely in the headlights.

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