Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Arroyo de Marin with John and Jenny

Back in the UK for a week to sort out mother's bungalow now that she has moved into a care Home so no time for any birding other than the "incidentals" you see during the various journeys between East Midlands airport, Stamford and Southampton plus returns.  But I still manged to add another eight species for the month and, who knows, what might show up on my return journey to the airport which takes me alongside Rutland Water.  Meanwhile, John and Jenny Wainwright are back in the birding business with a delightful account of yesterday's visit to the Arroya de Marin, a truly delightful spot near Archidona.

Marin: Monday 26 May

A very warm day with a breeze, strengthening later.

Not a huge count on the way down to Archidonna a few Collared Doves and Spotless Starlings and a couple of Bee-eaters.

On the track down to our picnic site we saw good numbers of Greenfinches, Serins and a Robin feeding its young also plenty of Nightingales – singing - and a single Cirl Bunting was seen.  In the same area were Long-tailed Tits, Great Tits, Goldfinches and Azure-winged Magpies.

Hoopoe  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
After parking below the ruin , I went for my first walk downstream.  I seemed to have the company of singing Nightingales on the stream side and screaming Azure-winged Magpies on the meadow side all the way down.  I disturbed a pair of Blackbirds as they were searching for food in the grasses and a pair of Woodchat Shrikes were noted also.  A few House Sparrows again in the meadow grasses were put up as I walked across to the strawberry tree for a possible Two-tailed Pasha - no luck here.

In the trees I found Short-toed Treecreepers, Hawfinches, Wrens, two Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, a Wryneck and walking back to join Jenny at the car a Golden Oriole called - not seen though.  At the car Jenny tells me she saw Pied Flycatcher, two male Golden Orioles, a Blue Rock Thrush, Hoopoe, Red-rumped and Barn Swallows, as well as three Spanish Ibex.  I did sit a while and get the latter four species, before going for a walk upstream.

Golden Orioles were calling as we walked the track - but I never got a glimpse of one today -but we did see Blackcaps, Chaffinches, Great Tits, Serins, Wren and yet more Nightingales.

Once more back at the car I walked downstream on the cliff side, here I saw Goldcrest, Short-toed Treecreepers, Wrens, Wryneck, and Red-legged Partridges.

Butterflies were everywhere with the majority being Gatekeepers and Spanish Gatekeepers, with Cleopatras, Large Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Mallow Skippers.  Only one dragonfly and one damselfly recorded today they being, Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus) and Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis).

Large Tortoiseshell  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Mallow Skipper  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

A short sub-note, the washed out bridge and the concrete ford have been repaired and most of the potholes have been sorted, making access very pleasant - if not very dusty!!   One sorry point is that they have dug up the site of the Man Orchid.

Large Pincertail  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Great report John and whilst it was terrific to tread that Hawfinch, Wryneck and Golden Oriole were about, what surprised me was you recording both a Robin and Goldcrest.  Our local Robins always seem to disappear about late march and do not show up again until late September or early October.  I must try and get over next week before Jenny come back from England and always please with your company of you fancy another visit to Marin.

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