Tuesday 16 January 2018

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Monday 15 January

Time for an early afternoon walk alongside the Rio Velez in Torre del Mar from the N340 road bridge to the sea.  Whilst the "bird of the day" might have been the lone Purple Swamphen that put in a prolonged appearance on the "lake" at the end of the river, the most memorable sight was the actual state of the site, if you'll pardon the intended pun.  The recent heavy rains had made positive inroads on the overgrown jungle that was the river bed so now leaving some clear areas and the occasional "puddle" on the way down but, best of all, the safety handrail around the hide has been replaced and the excrement removed for the seat; somebody cares after all!  And, as an added bonus, not one single naked man in site nevermind the potential procurements that can be most off-putting when visiting the lowest regions of the river.

leaving the car parked above the bridge near the chimney factory I immediately had a departing Hoopoe followed quickly by both Chiffchaffs and Robins (lots of these this hour).  Once under the bridge the first Blackbird flying down the riverbed and then a rather handsome male Serin.  No shortage of Moorhens, especially once ensconced at the newly-freshened hide, with a total of a dozen in sight at one time.  A male Black Redstart then put in an appearance along with Stonechat and more Chiffchaffs.

One of many Moorhen Gallineta Comun Gallinula chloropus on site

Next down to the shore and along the beach to take a look at the river pool and water stretching up about a further fifty metres.  A handful of Coot and a Moorhen in addition to the Purple Swamphen along with a pair of Mallard, single Little Grebe and Heron.  Just the three Cormorants present but a good number of Crag Martins feeding over the water.  A White Wagtail put in an appearance and then I picked up the single Mediterranean Gull consorting with the handful of Black-headed Gulls. A quick drive round the arable fields north of the N340 also picked up Cattle Egret, Rock Dove, House Sparrows and a couple of Kestrels.

Just the one Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinerea
Having completed the shopping on leaving the river I called in at the entrance to the fish harbour at Caleta where, in addition to the hundreds of Lesser Black-backed I also picked up yellow-legged, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls along with numerous Cormorant and a single Sanderling and a Little Egret which very conveniently dropped in to be recorded.  Needless to say there were scores of Monk Parakeets about along with a small number of Spotless Starlings.

Common Coot Focha Comun Fulica atra

Birds seen:
Mallard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Sanderling, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin.

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

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