Sunday 24 March 2024

Fuente de Piedra, Monda, Sierra de Mijas, Malaga Province and Embalse de los Bermejales, Contra-embalse de los Bermejales and near Moraleda, Granada Province, Spain.

Orchids and birds in Malaga and Granada Province.
Ebird List for Fuente de Piedra, 47 Species.
Ebird List for Contra-embalse de los Bermejales, 19 Species.

Ophrys x fernandii.
After spending the evening with a friend down on the coast and an unexpected return home and then back again in the early hours due to an alarm malfunction but with a slight change of plan we did some birding first before seeing some nice Orchids later.
Ophrys x fernandii.
Ophrys x fernandii.
Ophrys x fernandii.
After the changes to our plans we met at Fuente de Piedra first at 07:30 where we first checked the roadside pool picking up Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Bumble-bee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora) one of the parents.
After Parking we walked our onto the board walk were we had a calling Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Common Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum) and the other.
I walked around to the Mirador on the lower track seeing more of the same species and added Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and a group of 5 Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) which flew over. From the Mirador I saw more Greater Flamingo's, Shelducks, Gull-billed Terns and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca).
Around the back at the hides which over look the fresh water pools I added several new species including Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), 3 fly over Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
We returned to the cars and went to find some Orchids, the first point of call was near Monda where we was very pleased to find 4 spike of the uncommon Ophrys x fernandii the hybrid between Bumble-bee (Ophrys bombyliflora) and Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum).
Italian Man Orchid (Orchis Italica).
Italian Man Orchid (Orchis Italica).
At the same site there were also numbers of Mirror (Ophrys speculum), Bumble-bee (Ophrys bombyliflora), Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca).
Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) and Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).
Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) and Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).
I moved to a nearby site where I parked and searched the Pine Woodlands finding spikes of Pink Butterfly (Orchis papilionacea), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera) and Fan-lipped Orchids (Anacamptis collina), Bermuda Buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae), Common Vetch (Vicia sativa), Field Marigold (Calendula arvensis), Palmate Anemone (Anemone palmata) and Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis).
Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea).
I started to head home but got a message from friend Juan Perez about a male Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) which had been seen at the Contra-embalse de los Bermejales so I headed there but first of all went to the Embalse de los Bermejales where I looked for some orchids but only found very small numbers which I was surprised at as I have been finding better numbers in most places this year, species included Somber, Yellow Bee, Mirror, Sawfly and Italian Man Orchids (Orchis Italica).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
I made my way along the Cacín Valley up to the Contra-embalse where I soon found the male Tufted in amongst a diving flock of Common Pochards, other species included Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Black-winged Stilt x4, Green Sandpiper x6, Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Bumble-bee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).
My last stop was at a spot near Moraleda where I found 5 spikes of Somber Bee, Bumblebee, Yellow Bee, Mirror and Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and noisy Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
I headed home as the weather was closing in and the Calima was getting much worse.

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