A beautiful clear, sunny and fresh start to the day so what better than a couple of hours down at the local patch, the mouth of the Rio Velez at Torre del Mar. Thekla Larks and loads of White Wagtails to see me off the mountain and down to Lake Vinuela, followed by dozens of Collared Doves as I passed through Trapiche and then the usual welcome as I parked on the track below the road bridge from the resident Rock Doves and the first of many Moorhens. A small flock of ten Sanderlings were within sight along with a couple of Dunlin and very many Chiffchaffs feeding in the nearby bushes and meadow.
|Sanderling Correlimos Tridactilo Calidris alba and their feeding frenzy
|These Sanderling seem to have imprinted on a Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus! "Hello Mum!"
Following Thursday afternoon's heavy rain the river looked most inviting, even luscious. Inviting mud banks and flats for the waders, shiny gravel and beautiful green islands and banks. No shortage of water and with no exit to the sea a well-developed lagoon at the mouth. Walking down towards the new hide opposite the pump house I had regular Blackbird sightings and then a couple more Mallards along with both White and Grey Wagtails. Mallards were not the only ducks in residence with a quintet of Shovelers sheltering under the trees on the near bank and then, almost opposite the hide, a quartet of Teal.
|Female Teal Cerceta Comun Anas crecca
Either the Sanderlings had moved down river or there were two distinct flocks with another thirty-three recorded along with two more, or the same, Dunlins. A Kingfisher flew upstream and, before me, a pair of Black-winged Stilts were feeding. A Cormorant moved off down to the sea and I was later to see many more and a single Little Egret presented itself along with a Grey Heron. The Chiffchaffs continued to reveal themselves by the dozen and a large flock of Spotless Starlings rose up to rest on the nearby electricity wires.
|Beware the Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta in the shade!
|And the Grey Heron Garca Real Ardea cinerea when hungry!
|Zitting Cisticola Buitron Cisticola juncidis
|The ever plentiful Chiffchaff Mosquitero Comun Phylloscopus collybita
|Female Grey Wagtail Lavandera Cascadena Motacilla cinerea
Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.