Tuesday 14 February 2017

No Franklin's Gull at Caleta de Velez

Tuesday 14 February

It may be Valentine's Day and love may be in the air but there was no Franklin's Gull on the fenced-off beach just outside the harbour entrance at Caleta de Velez, slightly east of Torre del Mar.  I got  a phone call from Jenny just after 5pm that she was looking at a Great Crested Grebe close to shore so drove down to both collect her and brother-in-law, Chris and check out the increasing roost on the beach and sea.  Just a single Little Egret but no shortage of gulls, mainly Yellow-legged and Black-headed but also a good number of both Mediterranean and Lesser Black-backed, the latter mainly on the water.  No sign of the Grebe but I did find a couple of Razorbills and in a perfect location for a picture with the sun behind me - but no camera!  Finally, a regular passage of single Cormorants whilst the noisy marauding Monk Parakeets screeched away behind me.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melancocephalis (left) and Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus (right) showing difference in head markings - both coluring and shape
Whilst on site I got talking to a local Spanish ringer who was checking ring numbers with his scope and he informed me that he had been undertaking his ringing research on this beach since 2011.  To date he has received notification of sightings from Holland, France, Germany and Norway.  Some birds will go anywhere south for a little winter sunshine!

Bird seen:
Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret. Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Razorbill, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet.

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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