Fresh back from New Zealand and anxious to get some local birding under my belt after a seven week absence, this month's field visit of the Axarquia Bird Group was attended by thirteen members at our local patch, the Rio Velez in Torre del Mar followed by a visit (six present) to the lower picnic area above Alcaucin. By the time we adjourned for lunch we had finally recorded 56 species but, no doubt, having read the following someone will make contact to let me know which bird I have missed!
A strange old morning to start the day with increasing cloud to accompany the calm dry weather but no sooner had we travelled down to the beach that the cloud eased back and the temperature sored; where to put the extra layer of clothing? However, upon arriving with Ellie Wallbank from Marbella I was soon greeting old friends including Gerry Collins from Salobrena and Lesley laver from Nerja. Also from Nerja, it was good to once more see Patricia Saw with us. Nearer home, only Brian Green from nearby Triana but we did welcome a new guest, now living in France but holidaying nearby, in John Clayden. Eric and Pat Lyon along with Steve and Elena Powell were also present and a meeting these day would not be the same with the company of John and Jenny Wainwright. A special mention of the latter as it was great to see John looking so well after his recent operation (must be all that birding he is undertaking or Jenny's cooking) and Jenny herself managing very well.
To the birds. As might be expected we were, as always, welcomed by the resident Rock Doves, Moorhens and White Wagtails. Chiffchaffs fussed around the undergrowth and numerous Cetti's Warblers were both seen and heard. In addition, the two later-arriving cars even managed, much to the chagrin of the rest of us, to record at least one Hoopoe. Similarly, there seemed to be a plentiful supply of Blackbirds about and Mallard numbers had yet to be depleted albeit there was to be no repeat sighting of either the Garganey or Night Heron seen earlier on the week.
|Little Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius|
|Goldfinch Jilguero Carduelis carduelis|
Cormorants were very active flying up and down the river as well as sunbathing on the edge of the lower lagoon along with a quartet of Grey Herons and a couple of Little Egrets. Just the one Redshank but in the far distance, over the "Spanish bull" a pair of Ravens passé along the ridge.
|One of a score of Sanderling Correlimos Tridactilo Calidris alba|
|Kentish Plover Chorlitejo Patinegro Charadrius alexandrinus|
|Specled Wood Pararge aegeria butterfly seen at the Alcaucin picnic area|
Mallard, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Snipe, Redshank, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Chough, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Crossbill, Rock Bunting, Corn Bunting.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.