Sunday 5 March 2017

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Wednesday 1 March

A beautiful, clear sunny and very warm morning so what better way to start St David's Day than to spend almost a couple of hours down at the local Rio Velez just west of Torre del Mar.  A few local Rock Doves accompanied by the odd Moorhen and a number of Mallards to greet me and then the incessant calling of the Cetti's Warblers and to constant movement of Blackbirds.  Walking down the track towards the hide the first Goldfinches and a single Stonechat before spotting the Spotless Starlings resting atop of the nearby pylons.

No shortage of Chiffchaffs busy feeding up in preparation for their coming northern migration as they flitted from leaf to leaf and tree to tree and also taking in the local reeds.

Chiffchaff Mosquitero Comun Phylloscopus collybita
Once at the hide I could hear the first of the Hoopoes and both Barn Swallow and Black-headed Gull flew overhead.  A walk to the beach for a look back up the river revealed a single White Wagtail and the resting area of the Cormorants which had been joined by a single Grey Heron.  Just the one Coot was seen but a number of Mallards did drop in.

Cormorants Cormoran Grande Phalacrocorax carbo resting along with a single Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinera
Walking back I had a close view of a number of Zitting Cisticola but always they seemed to have a leaf or a branch in front of their faces.

Zitting Cisticola Buitron Cisticola juncidis
And then my first Little Ringed Plovers of the year with a pair on a small gravel island upstream foraging along with a pair of Green Sandpipers.

Little Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius
In the river edge reeds I could hear my first Reed Warbler calling and then a small blur of brown dashed across in front of me and started foraging around the bamboos.  Not a Zitting Cisticola so was it another Red Avadavat?  No, a Waxbill collect small down and grasses for a nest that it must be building within the adjoining reeds.  And beyond a small flock of Serin were working their way down the hedge.

Serin Verdecillo Serinus serinus
Continuing back towards the car I cam across a tree with five Herons and a single Little Egret taking their rest.  Two of the Herons looked very content with each other.

Kissing Herons Garza Real Ardea cinera
Meanwhile, closer to me, a single Robin and the the sight of a pair of Collared Doves.  Once back at the car a walk to the other side of the bridge revealed both Monk Parakeet and Hoopoes whereas the first visit in more then a year to the growing fields on the far side of the river was most unproductive, and not helped by the number of workers engaged on the land.  Perhaps another couple of years before I venture over again?

Birds seen:
Mallard, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Waxbill, Serin, Golfinch.

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

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