Friday 29 March 2019

Caleta de Velez and Guadalhorce Pools, Malaga Province.

Some bad and some good Gull watching on the Malaga Coast.

Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) with plastic around legs.
Jayne and I went down to Torre del Mar on the Cross country route via Viñuela to collect a couple of bits and then down to the coast, on the way we had Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) x2, Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and as we walked around in Torre we had lots of noisy Monk Parakeets (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus).
Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) with fishing line around legs.
Once we had visited all the places we wanted to go there I had half an hour checking through the Gulls at Caleta beach which was a bit sad as at least two of the Gulls were tangled up in plastic or fishing line which is so unnecessary and unpleasant.
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) adult summer.
I found a single Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), 3x Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), several Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) as well as a few of both Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a single Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
Our next stop was at the shopping centre and just as we were leaving there I got a message from Andy Paterson that the Bonaparte's Gull (Gaviota de Bonaparte / Larus philadelphia) which had been seen at Guadalhorce pools had reappeared so we headed straight there.
Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres).
Jayne spent an hour and a half reading near the beach Chiringuito Servando whilst I walked on to the reserve along the beach, on the way to the hide over looking Laguna Grande I saw Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica).
Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).
I reached the hide and met Marcus a birder from Torremolinos who told me the Gull had flown off to the North / Left about 45 minutes earlier so I sat down and scanned the roosting Gull flocks just incase it had slipped back in undetected but with out any luck. 
Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia).
However I did see Sandwich and Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and a Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).
After a while I decided to have a walk in the direction that the Gull had been seen going and a couple of minutes later I was watching it on the shallow scrape just a couple of hundred meters away with a couple of Black-heads and several Black-winged Stilts. The bird was quite distant but I got good views through the scope and a few OKish shots.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
After a while and having good views I walked back to the hide and then back to Jayne in the car seeing 3x Gull-billed Terns on the way.
Bonaparte's Gull (Gaviota de Bonaparte / Larus philadelphia).
Bonaparte's Gull (Gaviota de Bonaparte / Larus philadelphia).

Sunday 24 March 2019

Home near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Greater Flamingo's over the house.

Jayne was out on the yard at about 21:00 when she heard a small group of Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) passing over head but by the time she found me and I got out there I could only hear some distant calls. I could not guess at a number but Jayne said she thought it was a flock of half a dozen or so.

Huétor Fields, Moraleda Fields, Cacín Valley and La Malaha Fields, Granada Province.

Birding on the regular patch with Olaf where we found two new species for my Cacín Valley list.

Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
I left the house and spent a few minutes sat along side the Rio Vilano and started my day list off with Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and a newly arrived pair of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).
Female Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca).
A little later I met Olaf from Berlin at Ventanueva as he got off the bus from Granada and we headed straight out on to the nearby fields Where we checked the eastern end of the Rio Vilano where we started off with more Little Ringed Plovers, White Wagtails, Spotless Starlings, House Sparrow, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), a brief view of a female Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which popped up on to some reeds and then disappeared in to them, several flyby Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), a noisy singing Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Corn Bunting, 27+ Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) which were feeding out on a flooded Lucern field, Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Woodpigeon,  some distant Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) amongst the Egrets, Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackbird, Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), a pair of Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Collared Doves, Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and a couple of Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) amongest the finches.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
We moved around to the Mesia road and checked the reedbeds but only found Zitting Cisticola and a couple of Red-legged Partridge.
We headed through the town and checked the poplar plantations on the Genil side where we had much better views of several Iberian Magpies and I picked up a pair of Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), as well as a singing Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and just as we were leaving a fly over Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Once we crossed the motorway we took to the tracks and out on to the fields near Moraleda where we soon found the first of a few Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), a very fine Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), a single Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which soon shot from view through the Olives, a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which we only heard even though we searched in the rain for it, a Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) also only heard and out on the fields nearby Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and a small flock of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
Golden Eagles (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
We came down off the fields and just before we reached the village of El Turro we had a female Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus) fly across the road and land in some scrub where we again had views as it flew off down the valley.
We our next stop in the Pines adding Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and a Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla).
Further along we stopped by the River bridge but only saw lots of Blackcaps and a singing Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
We stopped at the Northern end of the Contra Embalse where we walked out to the pylon view point and scanned the ducks below and found a single female Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), several Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and down at the southern end Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) x1, Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) x8, Little Ringed Plover x 5, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) x2 and the second new species for the valley a single Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
Golden Eagles (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
In the same area we also had a pair of Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and as we drove further along the valley a Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) which was being mobbed by a female Marsh Harrier.
At the far end of the gorge we parked and scanned the skys and eventually had distant views of the male Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) as it flew North along with lots of Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
We drove back to Cacín where we collected a sandwich for lunch and then went up to the ridge and as we ate them 3 Golden Eagles (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) came into view down the road so we drove down and had good views as they tussled in the air.
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
Our last stop was out on the fields of La Malaha where we almost straight away picked up our first male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) later we saw several more including a couple of males chasing a female over the fields. In the same area we had cracking views of several Great Spotted Cuckoo's as well as calling Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), calling Stone Curlews, Calandra Larks, Iberian Grey Shrike and as we were leaving the site a female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) came up from the side of the track leaving it still just about alive Woodpigeon meal.
We made our way back to the city where I dropped Olaf off near the post office and then ade my way home just adding a couple of soaring Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).