Thursday, 12 March 2015

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Thursday 12 March

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
An hour or so to spare this morning so I took myself down to the local Rio Velez in Torre del Mar in the hope that there might be something different about.  An interesting stay and I even bumped into Marcus Rootes who was also taking a look at the local river.

Arriving at the the usual parking spot below the N340 road bridge I was greeted by a Collared Dove, Mallards and a number of Cormorants perched in the trees on the opposite side to dry themselves in the lovely warm sunshine.  A Chiffchaff and a handful later in the morning but most seemed to have now departed.  Next up a female Blackbird and also a few more during the course of the next hour. As I walked down towards the hide a sudden movement in one of the river bushes attracted my attention and, having watched the bird slip in and out of the leaves, it turned out to be a Subalpine Warbler and, even better, another feeding in the trees in front of me.

No shortage of Moorhens and there also seemed to be plenty of Grey Herons this morning along with at least a handful of Little Egrets.  The "strange" small wader turned out to be a Little Stint and there were also three Redshanks in the river bed.  By now I had reached the hide from where I saw numerous Spotless Starlings, Mallards and more Cormorants.  A couple of Barn Swallows flew over and there were a number of Serins on the track behind me.  Just the one White Wagtail but I did also manage to find a single Corn Bunting and  the lone Zitting Cisticola.  On the other hand, this did not suppress the constant calling (singing?) of the local Cetti's Warblers.

Record shot of Subalpine Warbler  Curruca Carrasquena Sylvia cantilans at the Rio Velez
On the lagoon in front of the hide to the left, with much less water ow, just a single Yellow-legged Gull but three pairs of Black-winged Stilts, a Little Ringed Plover and more Mallards, Herons and even a lone Coot.  making my way back to the car I added Rock Doves, House Sparrows and a couple of Cattle Egrets following the tractor on the worked agricultural plot.

Little Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Chico  Charadrius dubius

A few of the Mediterranean Gulls Gaviota Cabecinegra Larius melancocephalus
Before leaving the area I took a short drive up river above the road bridge and managed to find both more Cattle Egrets and a singing Hoopoe high in a tree.  Interestingly, whilst there was only one gull on the main lagoon, I had a mixed flock of about a dozen gulls resting on a ploughed field along with a couple of Crested Larks.  Mainly Mediterranean in a range of moult but also a few Black-headed Gulls.

Cattle Egret Garcilla Bueyera Bubulcus ibis
Time to return to Casa Collado having registered 29 species plus Thekla Lark, Blue Rock Thrush and Stonechat as I drove up the mountain.
Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinerea

Birds seen:
Mallard, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Redshank, Mediterranean Gull, Back-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cistocola, Subalpine Warbler, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, Serin, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.

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