Monday, 16 February 2015

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Serin  Verdicillo Serinus serinus
Monday 16 February

Following on from the receipt of yesterday's email from Andrew Allport re his visit to my local patch on Saturday and the sun shining in an almost clear sky, I quickly completed my jobs around the house and took myself off to the Rio Velez in Torre del Mar in the hope that I, too, might find some exciting bird life.  A couple of hours of birding produced some new birds for the month but only one new bird for the year,  number of House Martins.  The were available in good supply along with a similar number of Crag Martins and a few Barn Swallows.

Loads of Chiffchaffs Mosquitero Comun Phylloscopus collybita both feeding and fleeing

Having been greeted by a pair of Mallards and a small number of Goldfinches I quickly found the wintering White Wagtails and the resident Rock Doves.  Cormorants are obviously still about as there was one individual up river and almost at the N340 road bridge.  I could also see the first of the Grey Herons resting low down in a tree on the opposite bank and, naturally, there were a few Moorhens to be seen.

Commencing my walk I added a single Ringed Plover then a pair of Little Ringed Plovers.  Serins were flitting around the trees and bushes whilst numerous Crag Martins fed overhead.  Indeed, as stated above, it was not long before I was also adding both House Martin and Barn Swallow.

Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Gordo Charadrius hiaticula (above) and Little Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Chico C. dubius (below)

Having seen a Common Coot a good way upstream from the lagoon I was somewhat surprised to see its neighbour with a large white mark on its neck so, yes, the (presumably) introduced  Red-knobbed Coot is still about and, potentially, looking for a nesting site but, unless it knows something that we do not, will have to consider a potential hybrid pairing for this year.

Red-knobbed Coot 27F Focha Moruno Fulica cristata is still alive and well down at the Rio Velez
A Little Egret made its way upstream and I was find another couple nearer the beach.  From the hide I had views of Serins and Black Redstarts behind on the fences whilst, in front, Moorhens, Coots, Stonechats and Chiffchaffs were in abundance.  Not too many gulls to be seen but using the scope  to confirm no large birds present other than a single Audouin's Gull, I did, nevertheless, manage to record both Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls.  Meanwhile, the resident Cetti's Warblers were full of their noisy song.

Mediterranean Gull Gaviota Cabecinegra Larus melanocephalus almost moulted out
After a walk to the beach and back, the return trip to the bridge produced first a Blackbird quickly followed by a single Robin and, bathing on the edge of the river among the Goldfinches a single Linnet.  Until now the local Monk Parakeets have been conspicuous by their absence this month but within minutes there they were, screeching away for all and sundry to take notice.  Finally a solitary Grey Wagtail and then time to start of home.  However a stop on the far side of the bridge not only produced far more Chiffchaffs but also a single Green Sandpiper and the only Collared Dove of the morning.

The solitary Green Sandpiper Andarrios Grande Tringa ochropus

Birds seen:
Mallard, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet.

Black Redstart Colirrojo Tizon Phoenicurus ochruros

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