Saturday 25 February 2017

Rio Vlez, Torre del Mar

Saturday 25 February

Lovely clear, warm and sunny day - at last, so off down to the local Rio Velez just west of Torre del mar for a couple of hours.  All very green from the damp conditions and lack of any real, consistent rain over the winter has meant that the river bed is much overgrown with reeds, weeds and goodness knows what else.  Parking above the road bridge I soon had sightings of both Grey Wagtail and Green Sandpiper before starting the walk down river, under the road bridges and on to the sea and back.  Before reaching the bridges I had also added a couple of White Wagtails.

Lots of resident Rock Doves about and a couple of Mallard "hiding" in the narrow water channel along with the odd Moorhen. Both male and female Blackbirds were recorded and then the first Zitting Cisticola of the morning.  Approaching the hide a number of Cormorant put in an appearance as they came in off the sea to refresh themselves in the fresh water.  Both Collared Doves and Heron were recorded and on meeting a Spanish birding friend was informed that the local Spanish birders had seen both a Common Gull and Kittiwake this morning at the Caleta de Velez fish harbour.

Female Serin Verdecillo Serinus serinus
From the hide i had good views of a couple of Serin on the track and then Zitting Cisticola, Stonechat and Chiffchaff in front of me.  Cetti's Warblers were calling loudly and then a lone Little Egret flew upstream.  Only a few Black-headed Gulls seen overhead but no hirundines.

Female Kestrel Cernicalo Vulgar Falco tinnunculus
A walk to the sea revealed that the water level was really high an much of the beach gone.  Resting just off shore a good-sized flock of Black-headed Gulls and, looking up river, about a score of resting Cormorants.

Cattle Egret Garcilla Bueyera Bubulcus ibis
The walk back to the car revealed Goldfinch and a pair of Red Avadavat, the first sighting here of the latter for probably a year or more.  After a handful of Monk Parakeets had flown over I arrived back at the road bridge where I found a single Cattle Egret.  Once on the other side of the road I once again picked up more Grey Wagtails and a single female Kestrel.  A quick trip round the growing fields produced a Hoopoe but then time to head towards home.

Four of the five Razorbill Alca Comun Alca torda off Caleta de velez
However, I did stop at Caleta to check out the gull situation but no sign of either Kittiwake and Common Gull.  But there were good numbers of Mediterranean, Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legged Gulls along with a score of Cormorant.  Out on the water, not only a single Great Crested Grebe but a quintet of Razorbill.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Green Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Razorbill, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Grey wagtail, White wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Red Avadavat, Serin, Goldfinch

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

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