Picked up an email from Mick Richardson this morning telling me about his visit to the Rio Velez yesterday (Thursday) morning where, in three hours, he managed to record 62 species. As if the total was enough, the quality of the species was something else! How's this for to add to your list for the morning?
2x Osprey, 1x Quail, 2x Bluethroats, 12+Yellow Wagtails, 3x Collared Pratincoles, 4x Penduline Tits and several Pied Flycatchers. Also attached were photographs of the Osprey and a Zitting Cisiticola and, judging form the quality, Mick's photographs using the new lens are getting better and better. I shall have to improve my technique just to keep up with Mick. Many thanks for the report and photos , Mick which I am sure readers will very much enjoy.
|Zitting Cisticola Buitron Cisticola juncidis (PHOTO: Mick Richardson)|
|Osprey Aguila Pescadora Pandion haliaetus at the Rio Velez, Torre del Mar (PHOTO: Mick Richardson)|
|(PHOTO: Courtesy Mick Richardson)|
|(PHOTO: Courtesy Mick Richardson)|
As a result of reading Mick's email, a slight change of plan for me. Jenny and I were going down to Torre del Mar this morning once all the washing was on the line so I was "given permission" to wander the Rio Velez myself for an hour. Greeted just under the bridge by a trio of Mallards and a couple of Shoveler I then made my way down stream towards the pumping station. I had recognise the car in parked front of me so gave Steve a quick call to establish where exactly he was. Turns out he was near the beach and had already seen and photographed the Osprey which had headed upstream over the road bridge. Whilst he was in the same area he had also seen a pair of Collared Pratincoles disappear under the bridge and upstream.
|Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Grande Charadrius hiaticula|
Reaching the pump house I noticed a single Cattle Egret feeding with the quartet of tethered horses whilst another trio were following the ploughing tractor behind me. On the river a number of Yellow-legged Gulls but nothing else other than the above Coots. On the grasses in front a number of House Sparrows along with a few Serins, including a very yellow male, and then, surprise , surprise, a pair of Common Waxbills arrived in a nearby bush and continued to be very active.
|Immature Yellow-legged Gull Gaviota Patiamarilla Larus michahellis|
|Yellow Wagtail (Blue-headed) Lavandera Botera Motacilla flava iberiae|
In addition to the birds, the weather was still fine enough to produce a number of butterflies, including some vey small white species, and there were large blue dragonflies to be seen over the water, presumably Blue Emperors. I based this identification, rather than Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) on the amount of yellow on the abdomen and the fact that, according to the Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe (Dijkstra), the abdomen was not as straight as that seen in the latter. No doubt, somebody will correct me if I am wrong!
|Migrant Hawker Dragonfly Aeshna mixta|
Birds seen (during the morning):
Mallard, Shoveler, Little Bittern, Cattle Egret, Osprey, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Collared Pratincole, Ringed Plover, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Monk Parakeet, Yellow (Iberian) Wagtail, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Pied Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Serin.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.