Friday, 5 September 2014

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Friday 5 September

Fresh from her recent visit to Tarifa and a successful observation of the migrating raptors, I was able to take my friend, Marieke from Belgium down tot he Rio Velez in Torre del mar before the weather got too hot and had us both reaching for some shade.  (Does this mean that 32C is not too hot at 9 o'clock in the morning?)  Well, our two hours at the site produced a total of 31 species but, in reality, all much of the usual other than the pair of Squacco Herons.  There were very few Barn Swallows or House Martins and just a couple of Little Egrets and a flying half-dozen Cattle Egret to add to the three Grey Herons.
Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinerea caught resting in the riverside vegetation
Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta high up in the tree

We started of with the usual Rock Doves and a single Spotted Flycatcher but it soon very evident that the numerous Cetti's Warblers were once more in full voice.  Still a couple of Willow Warblers and a single Zitting Cisticola seen from the hide along with a handful of Serins and a small family group of Goldfinches.  The Spotless Starlings were flocking and feeding in or near what little water there was in the old river and, on the far side, a walk past by the occasional Little Ringed Plover and Ringed Plover broke the monotony.  Twice a Green Sandiper flashed by and we entertained both by a lone Lesser Black-backed Gull with a yellow-stained rear end a Feral Pigeon that simply refused to move away from its feeding patch immediately below the hide.

One of a couple of Willow Warblers Mosquitero Musical Phylloscopus trochilus plus flight shot
A couple of Hoopoes made a pleasant change which was more than could be said for the raucous Monk Parakeets.  A good job that we saw Thekla Lark and Kestrel on the way down from the mountain and more Bee-eaters when we returned for we were greeted by Jenny and brother-in-law Chris to inform us that whilst they lay in the warm waters of the pool a dozen Honey Buzzards had slowly made their way across directly above.  You can go off people you know!  So, tomorrow I think, it may all be in the pool for some Honey Buzzard watching before it will be time to deliver Marieke to the airport for her flight back to Brussels.

Juvenile Little Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius

Birds seen:
Mallard, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Citicola, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.

Yet another Spotted Flycatcher papamoscas Gris Musciapa striata at the Rio Velez
Male Serin Verdecillo Serinus serinus

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information. 

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