Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Arroyo Marin

The Cuckoo found!
Tuesday 26 May

Lovely bright and sunny start to the day as I drove over towards Archidona and the Arroyo Marin. All quite passing the new prison so, presumably, still no occupants at his majesty's pleasure.  Does this mean that everybody is well behaved in Malaga Province; no corruption, no evil-doers, no future guests?

Setting off down the track opposite the cement works, I was greeted by a single Wood Pigeon and a good number of Blackbirds.  I took the first track on the right and found a Woodchat Shrike, Spotted Flycatcher, Barn Swallows and the first of very many Azure-winged Magpies.  All around me, and later when walking both up and down stream from the broken bridge near the ruin, I was accompanied by many singing Nightingales.  A Sardinian Warbler popped up onto a tree and, once back on the main track, saw the three Rs - not that school thing, rather a Robin on each side of the track with a rabbit in the middle.  Well, it takes all sorts.

Spotted Flycatcher papamoscas Gris Muscicapa striata

Before arriving at the usual parking spot I had a Golden Oriole dash across the road in front of the car and then a handful of Linnets exploring the verges.  Leaving the car in the shade of a tree near the old ruin I crossed the stream and walked a good distance upstream listening to a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, singing (if you can call it that) Golden Orioles and a Cuckoo in the distance. Both Goldfinches and Chaffinches were close at hand and these were followed by a young Great Tit being fed by its parents and a female Blackcap.

The wonderful Common Cuckoo Cuco Comun Cuculus canorus

A large silhouette on the hillside drew my attention and I had found the calling Cuckoo.  Lots of photos taken at various exposures and again as I got a little close and when the bird suddenly appeared overhead I followed it to its new destination and managed a few more distant shots.  Near here I also found my first Wood Lark of the year and then a small group of House Sparrows before retracing my steps back to the bridge.  Approaching the latter, I also found the Great Spotted Woodpecker and, again, managed a distant shot or two.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Pico Picapinos Dendrocopos major

Other than the group of grazing horses nothing new found downstream so I made my way along the track to the main bridge.  Here, more Robins coming out onto the road just to have their photograph taken, or so it appeared.  On to the ford where I picked up a Grey Wagtail with a beak full of food for youngsters in the nest somewhere nearby.  Similarly, the nearby pine trees produced a beautiful male Cirl Bunting to add the memory chest.

One of many Robins Petirrojo Europeo Erithacus rubecula

Time to return home so on reaching the motorway I continued under and took the country road to Zafarraya, where a pair of Mallards flew over the road, so that, eventually, I could drive down the mountain track to Alcaucin.  This part of the journey produced first Spotless Starlings then a couple of Corn Buntings followed by both Rock and Collared Doves.  A Thekla Lark was feeding at the side of the road and then, at probably the narrowest part of the road beyond Villanueva del Trabuco, a lone Red-legged Partridge tried to outrun the car!  Finally, House Martins and I was ready to start on the track to Alcaucin with a call in at the picnic sites on the way down.

Juvenile Chaffinch Pinzon Vulgar Fringilla coelebs making use of the shade

You could say that this was a wasted journey for although I saw a White Wagtail at the start and a couple of Jays along the track there was very little bird life about.  Single Crossbill and Nuthatch at the lower, main, picnic site and a small number of Blackbirds, Chaffinches and a couple of Goldfinches and that was about it other than a Common Kestrel on the way home.  But, overall, it was a most enjoyable day and away from the on-going worries and stresses of the prospective house sale.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Red-legged Partridge, Kestrel, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Cuckoo, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Thekla Lark, Wood Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Nightingale, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Golden Oriole, Woodchat Shrike, Jay, Azure-winged Magpie, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Corn Bunting.

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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