Sunday, 15 March 2015

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Sunday 15 March

Grey Heron  Garza Real Ardea cinerea

Offered to take Jenny to church in Velez Malaga this morning which gave me a bare hour to see what might be about down at the Rio Velez.  Struck me that there was more water than I had expected so where has that come from?  Also, a light wind but not the expected showers so, in total, managed a miserly 22 species but at least one surprise.

Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta
On arrival at the river all seemed very quiet and not many birds in site until I found first a Little Egret followed by the first of a trio of Grey Herons.  A number of Mallard are still present and even the odd Yellow-legged Gull but by far the most dominant birds was the flock of gulls feeding on the fields to the left of the track. There may have been the off Black-headed Gull but I counted at least 200+ Mediterranean Gulls.

Distant Mediterranean Gull Gaviota cabecinegra Larus melanocephalus

Just a handful of the resident Rock Doves present today but still a large number of Cormorants and, to add to the pleasure, a group of six juvenile Flamingos feeding in the main lagoon.  Add the occasional sighting of a Moorhen and three Coots but just a pair of Little Ringed Plovers.

What's that hiding behind the reeds?

Five of the six juvenile Flamingos Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus

I spy strragers overhead!

Feeding on and in the grasses were Zitting Cisticola and Crested Lark to the accompaniment of singing Cetti's Warblers.

Distant view of one of the two Little Ringed Plovers Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius seen at the Rio Velez

Both Goldfinches and Serins were seen upstream above the bridge and it was here that I also found a trio of Hoopoes and the only Barn Swallows of the morning.  Needless to say I also recorded House Sparrow, Blackbird and White Wagtail.

Hoopoe Abubilla Upupa epops

Birds seen:
Mallard, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Moorhen, Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Cetti's Warbler, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.

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