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.



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