Monday 12 August 2013

More from the Arroyo del Martin

John and Jenny Wainwright were so impressed with their visit to the Arroya del Martin last week that they returned for a further visit on Monday.   I was so pleased to read that they were able to record a number of butterflies and dragonflies in addition to a good selection of birds.  On this visit, all the photographs were take by John.

Arroyo del Marin (Archidonna) 12th August 2013

Breezy at times but still hot 110F in the valley.

We arrived at the site at about 10.30am en-route seeing Spotless Starling, Collared Doves, Wood Pigeons and House Sparrows.  As we drove down the track we saw a Robin, Goldfinches, House Sparrows and Hawfinches.  All around the area Bee-eaters could be heard but as views of the sky are restricted here we had to wait until we reached our usual parking place - the ruin - before we saw them.

Bee-eater  Merops apiaster

At the ruin there were really good numbers of Red-rumped and Barn Swallows, a few House Martins, two Sardinian Warblers and a few Goldfinches were also seen.

After parking, I took the upstream back track, here I saw Wren, Crossbills, more Hawfinches, Blue and Great Tits, Short-toed Treecreepers and a lone Greenfinch.

I could hear the Golden Orioles calling but the breeze had picked up and was hampering locations of said birds - never did get to see them after all.

A flurry of alarm calls and a male Sparrowhawk flashed through the trees.   A little further along the track I found six Spotted Flycatchers, more Hawfinches and Blue Tits and by now the Azure-winged Magpies were in full shout, but even these raucous birds could not out call the huge flock of some 50 - 60 Bee-eaters that appeared overhead.  As I retraced my steps back to Jenny at the car I saw three Chiffchaffs, some Chaffinches and a Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

Juvenile Blue Rock Thrush Monticola torquata

After lunch we rejoined the main track and as we looked down on the ruin a juvenile Blue Rock Thrush posed for a few photographs, and as we were taking the photos a Dartford Warbler came out of the said ruin and up the hillside.

Nothing much more of birding note except a Woodchat Shrike and two Griffon Vultures (one of these latter birds had yellow wing tags attached).

As we got near the exit to the reserve another Robin was seen and three Common Swifts completed the trip.

A few butterfly species were about - the majority being Small Whites and Common Blues, but there were a few Common Swallowtails, Dusky Heaths, Pale Clouded Yellows and three Dark Crimson Underwing moths.

Dusky Heath butterfly Coenonympha dorus

On the dragonfly/damselfly side - Copper Demoiselles, White Featherlegs and Red-veined Darters.

Great report John. I must get up the Arroyo and have a look for myself as it is now, probably, eighteen months since my last visit to this lovely site.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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