Sunday 11 August 2013

Rio Genil area with John and Jenny Wainwright

A most interesting report from John re his latest birding trip with Jenny.  Also, of both interest and humour, a message about the newly-constructed bird watch at the back end of Villanueva del Rosario.  As with many other examples, you have to praise the Spanish for taking the trouble to erect informative signs at many of their bird sites and then going the extra mile to also provide an English translation for the benefit of we lazy ex-pats who are unable to fluently speak the language of our adopted country.  But if only , before printing, they would actually show the translation to a native English speaker they might prevent themselves from the usual gaffs.  So,, here we have a local flock of Crossbills that have manage to find some very juicy pineapples growing at the top of the pine trees!  John also informs me that ion his return journey they cam e across a very visible site of migrating Black Kites; most probably non-breeders and/or immature individuals.  But at least he actually saw some raptors so there is still hope for the rest of us.

Saturday 10 August

Rio Genil area (A335 Monte Frio road )

Very hot with slight breezes throughout the trip.

As we crossed the bridge over the Rio Genil and turned onto the track that runs parallel and upstream, we saw House Sparrows and Serins.

At the first area of pines we stopped to take photos of the butterflies in a flood meadow, here we put up forty or fifty Wood Pigeons and some Goldfinches.

As we progressed along the track we disturbed more and more Wood Pigeons, a Green Woodpecker took flight with them across our path and in and around the Capers (Capparis spinosa)we found a Humming-bird Hawk Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) but it wasn´t hanging around for photographs. Golden Orioles could be heard - but not seen - as were the Azure-winged Magpies and Bee-eaters.

Bee-eater Merops apiaster (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)

Out into the open and we located Barn Swallows, Common Swifts, House and Sand Martins in huge numbers, a couple of Sardinian Warblers were seen, a Blackbird and a lone Willow Warbler.

We parked alongside a poplar copse for lunch and listened to the Golden Orioles calling - again, not a sighting was had.

After lunch we started on the journey back encountering on the way a Nightingale, three juvenile Stonechats, some Chaffinches and Long-tailed Tits.

Keeled Skimmer (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

We stopped at a dribble of water crossing the road to photograph a Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) and managed to photograph a Large Psammodromus lizard. As we were driving away from here a female Sparrowhawk almost flew into the car. 
Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
We stopped at some pines with bushes below them and found a male Orphean Warbler with its yellow iris clearly visible. It was here as were watching the Bee-eaters that a Bonelli´s Eagle flew across a gap in the pines. Also here we saw Red-rumped Swallow, a Common Kestrel, a juvenile Woodchat Shrike and heard a Cetti´s Warbler.
Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Moving on we found a pair of Turtle Doves - searching for food on the track to our front and another Green Woodpecker was heard. A flock of Spotless Starlings flew out of the trees to our left as I started the engine as did another hundred or so Wood Pigeons.

As we were leaving the pine belt another Sardinian Warbler, a Nuthatch and a Short-toed Treecreeper were heard and a Collared Dove flew past us. Then we spotted both of the Bonell´s Eagles flying into their usual lookout-tree, in which they stayed for only a few minutes, both then leaving and flying in different directions - until out of sight - but not before giving us great views of themselves.

As we approached our village, Salar, the Booted Eagle was back on its pylon again.

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
A very pleasant four hour trip, with some great sightings.

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

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