Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Wednesday 10 December

Annual check-up at the Velez Malaga hospital today but a very late appointment which did not coincide with my need to visit Benamargosa to collect my annual Christmas "Seniors Lunch " tickets. So, chance to pay a very short visit to the Rio Velez down at Torre del Mar on the way but not before I had come across a gang of Chaffinches playing in the olive trees along with the occasional Thekla Lark on the way down from the mountain.

Arriving at the river below the N340 road bridge I had a Little Egret opposite me in the river but immediately noticed the change in the water course.  Still two distinct streams but the centre looked as if a raging torrent had swept downstream following last week's rains with vegetation both ripped up and deposited.  No only loads of Moorhens about but i cam across Coots upstream for their usual haunt in the terminal lagoon.  On walking to the beach the reason became more obvious as the river had broke through the sand/gravel beach bar and was now flowing into the sea with a much reduced water level in the said lagoon.  Presumably shallow enough to send the Coots upstream to look for more depth.  However, there was still a handful of the birds on the perimeter along with a Little Grebe so there must have been some depth.  Also, take care if taking the car down to the track as there is a sizable puddle and deep ruts below the bridge.

As well as the Moorhens, there were a small number of the local Rock Doves in the tree opposite me and I counted a total of 25 Mallards resting up in the river bed.  Lots of feeding Chifchaffs about all the way down the track and as I walked down I came across a couple of delightful Zitting Cisticolas.  To me left, a trio of Cattle Egrets were working the newly-ploughed filed as the tractor worked its way up and down.  next a White Wagtail the another Little Egret before reaching the hide overlooking the overgrown meadow.  The meadow produced more Chiffchaffs and a small lock of House Sparrows along with a couple of Meadow Pipits.  Strange how the Spanish Sparrow genes must be passed along as one male House Sparrow had a definite "striped" bib albeit the remainder of his plumage looked regular House Sparrow.  A very small charm of Goldfinches whilst a pair of Cormorants flew overhead away from the river and then a walk on down to the beach.

Lots of gull s trailing in in-coming fishing boats out to sea but the scope was in the car (and the camera at home!).  On the lagoon, a mixed flock of Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls with, as already described, the single Little Grebe and a handful of Coots.  The walk back to the car produced a couple of Crested Larks and a single Robin and on reaching the new vehicle a small band of Monk Parakeets flew over and, at least, had the dignity and good manners not to add to the muck already on the roof!  And so off to the hospital with the expected delay, but only about twenty minutes so not too bad for a 13.50 appointment, see the specialist and get a positive outcome with a PSA figure the lowest yet.  Now if only I could sort out the hearing, the eye-sight, the taste buds, the smelling organ the wrinkles, the back pain, the moans and groans, etc, etc I could be a new man!  But who wants to be perfect?

Birds seen:
Mallard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Monk Parakeet, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Robin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Ziing Cisticola, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.

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