Sunday, 21 September 2014

Marsh Harrier, Waxbill and Cirl Bunting

Sunday 21 September

Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta
The rental car has to returned in the morning and empty of fuel.  Still a little in the tank so I offered to take Jenny down to church in Velez Malaga and then drove on to the Rio Velez in Torre del Mar for an hour or so.  Calm and cloudy with bright bright breaks in the sky and still very pleasant as I parked up for a walk down to the hide and back from the N340 road bridge.  below me the area looked o dry as we desperately await the first heavy rain since mid-may.   A Little Egret took off down stream and a few Goldfinches fiddled about in the neighbouring trees.  The resident Rock Doves were roosting in the trees opposite along with a couple of Collared Doves a little further on and then a noisy quartet of Monk Parakeets flew over as to welcome me - or was it meant to scare me away?

Walking down with even fewer gaps in the bamboo hedgerow, I had another Little Egret and a Heron take of down stream whilst a White Wagtail headed in the opposite direction.  Just the one wader as a Green Sandpiper beat a hasty retreat down stream.  Not long before my first and only Moorhen of the morning (how strange is that?) before the Spotless Starlings put in an appearance.

On this occasion I carried on straight to the beach where I found a number of Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls plus a small number of Mediterranean Gulls on the lagoon.  Four Common Coots were seen but no sign of the introduced Red-knobbed Coot seen a week or so ago.  Walking back I had lovely views of both Willow Warbler and Zitting Cisticola.  Before reaching the car I had both a male Blackbird and a couple of Common Kestrels and then I drove back down to the hide and then settled in with the scope to see what else might be about.

Zitting Cisticola Buitron Cisticola juncidis
Lots of feeding House Sparrows and Goldfinches which were then joined by a small number of Serins and Greenfinches.  Checking out the gravel at the back I was delighted to find a female Cirl Bunting and, with little to add, decided to ring my pal Andy Paterson, check how he got on with his eye op last Monday and wish him well for the second session tomorrow and Tuesday.  having jut told Andy there was nothing about, I lifted my binoculars and immediately had a Comon Waxbill in view.  camera up and just about to take the shot when a Marsh Harrier drifted through the view.  I, therefore, followed the raptor to try and get a picture hoping that it would either clear or move away fro the bamboo and reeds and, needles to say, when i returned to the original position the Waxbill had moved on.

Meanwhile, there were fewer than a dozen hirundines to be seen feeding over what remained of the river but these birds did include all three of the common species; Barn and Red-rumped Swallow along with a singe House Martin.  All too soon it was time to pack up and collect Jenny from Velez Malaga but I had see 27 species, a better ratio than my Tarifa visit!

The Marsh Harrier Aguilucho Lagunero Circus aeruginosus is seen once again at the Rio Velez

Birds seen:
 Little Egret, Heron, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Willow Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Serin, Greeninch, Linnet, Cirl Bunting.


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