Friday 10 January 2014

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

White Stork Ciguena Blanca Ciconia ciconia (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Friday 10 January

Whilst I stayed at home following my journey past John and Jenny's home village on Wednesday, they, along with Mick Richardson, undertook the reverse journey yesterday to visit my local patch down at the Rio Velez in Torre del Mar.  Reading John's report and looking at his photos, I see that the White Stork seems to have taken up temporary residence below the N340 road bridge.  But for how long, will it still be there when I drive down?

Torre Del Mar  9th January 2014

Quite a warm day with very little breeze.  As we had spent the day waiting around Loja hospital for four hours yesterday we decided to drop down to Bob Wright´s area - at the Rio Velez -  and pick up a few more year ticks. En route we saw five Common Kestrel and one Lesser Kestrel, Corn Buntings, a Southern Grey Shrike, Spotless Starlings, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves and a couple of Magpies.

On arrival at the rio, we watched a White Stork feeding in the waters just down from the road bridge, also here we saw Cormorants, a Green Sandpiper, two Grey Herons and on the river's edge opposite we found Grey Wagtail and Moorhen.

This Rio Velez Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinereahas has become a regular tree fixture (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
In the reeds a Robin was located and a Cetti´s Warbler was heard.  All around the area were Common Chiffchaff and White Wagtails.  A Cattle Egret flew in from down the coast direction followed by a couple of Little Egrets, and further up we found Black-winged Stilts, two flocks of Sanderlings with two Little Stints.  Also seen were Shovelers, Mallard, Common Coots,
three Ringed Plovers, Meadow Pipìts and a pair of Stonechats.  In this area were also Black Redstarts, Serins, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, House Sparrows and a very close view of a Cetti´s Warbler.

Bluethroat Ruisenor Pechiazul Luscinia svecica at the Rio Velez (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Walking down to the shore we saw a Robin, more Chiffchaffs and Goldfinches, whilst at the shore in the small pools we located two male Bluethroats, a Robin, a Little Egret, another flock of Sanderlings, Black-headed, Yellow-legged and Herring Gulls.  On the sea itself a group of seven Common Scoters, a Black-necked Grebe, and an adult Gannet were noted, as well as several rafts of mixed gulls.

We left here and headed for the old railtrack at Ventas del Zafaraya.  Here we saw Black Wheatears, Wren, Rock Bunting, a flock of some sixty Chough and the resident Peregrine displayed for us.
We drove along the track to the bridge, stopping at various places and saw Blue Rock Thrushes, more Black Wheatears, Black RedstartsSardinian Warblers, Great Tits, Blackbirds, Mistle Thrushes, Crested Larks and Chaffinches.  Across several rock faces we found good numbers of Crag Martins.

Always lovely to see those happy songsters, the Goldfinch Jilguero Carduelis carduelis (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

As we drove home a Green Woodpecker, several Jays and more Mistle Thrushes, Serins and Corn Buntings were seen.

It strike me John that you had a pretty good day's birding down at the local patch and even managed to find the illusive Jenny Wren up at Zafarraya on the way home.

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

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