Friday 3 January 2014

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Friday 3 January

Had to vacate the premises today as Jenny had all her lady friends coming up for lunch. No objection on my past as it meant that I could spend an hour or so down at the Rio Velez then enjoy a leisurely Chinese on my own.  Even better, just as I was finishing my meal and deciding what to have by way of a sweet when Steve and Elena Powell walked into the restaurant.  As they say, that's my excuse for being home even later than I had intended.  But no problem the ladies; they were still happily chatting away so here I am working on the blog.

Grey Heron  Garza Real  Ardea cinerea
A beautiful warm and sunny morning by the time I got down to the river at nearly 12.30 so not sure what I was going to see.  Certainly the river looked very attractive and the lagoon at the mouth is now even larger.  However, most of the gulls were roosting in a neighbouring field on the other bank so only a small flock of about forty, mainly Lesser Black-backs but also some Yellow-legged Gulls.  I had approaches the site from the front on this occasion; an impossible task behind the pump house unless one had some form of 4 x 4 and good ground clearance.  I, therefore, parked next to the new hide and walked up to the bridge and back followed by a return walk to the sea before settling down to scope from the hide and get the bird list up to date.

First bird see was a Robin and many more were to be seen during the above walk.  Moorhens presented themselves both singly and in groups and then, naturally, lots of sightings of White Wagtails.  But I did also have a single Grey Wagtail.  There were Chiffchaffs all over the place; here, there and everywhere but not a single Blackbird.  On the river I found five Little Egrets and a rather scraggy-looking Grey Heron perched on a branch about two metres above the ground.

Always a pleasure to find a Water Pipit Bisbita Alpino Anthus spinoletta
Apart from three Black-winged Stilts on the outward walk thee was only one other wader, a solitary Ringed Plover.  I did, however, enjoy watching the Water Pipit feeding nearby.  The return journey produced the same birds plus also the "resident twenty plus (twenty-six on this occasion) Sanderlings along, again, with a pair of Dunlin.  Also on the river was a handful of Mallards and a pair of Shoveler.  Moving downstream from the hide I cam across a Meadow Pipit and the Coot numbers were up to about thirty in total.

In addition to the many Robins, the track also produced a number of Black Redstarts and Stonechats along with a mixture of Goldfinches and Serins but not in good numbers.  The Spotless Starlings forever gathering on the pylons and wires eventually produced a couple of Common Starlings amongst their number.  At this time of the year it is always worth having a quick scan to look for the "different-looking" starling.  Just over an hour later I was off to the town for a meal and to try and find a suitable birthday present, so a total of 27 species seemed quite acceptable.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Shoveler, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Chiffchaff, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.

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

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