Long time since I visited my nearest wetlands at the Rio Velez on the western outskirts of Torre del Mar. Clear and bright but very windy and quite cool, if not cold, when out of sun. Poor start as engine warning lights on which necessitated a quick visit to a local garage to check all was OK then parked up down at the river by 9.10. Looking green with a few water pools but much overgrown bamboo and grasses giving restricted viewing. In the even t not all that to be seen as I walked down to the beach. A Cattle Egret perched in the top of a tree on the opposite side and fleeting visits of White Wagtail, Blackbird and Collared Dove. A Cetti's Warbler let me know of its presence followed by a screaming flypast of a quartet of Monk Parakeet. (Later this morning I was to come across a flock of 24 individuals feeding on the dry river bed next to my home.) From the hide, now in much need of repair and cleaning, a few House Sparrows but that was it until I reached the shore, passing a group of eight Moorhen on the way, and was able to look back up the river there being no gulls whatsoever about.
|White Wagtail Lavandra Blanca Motacilla alba|
Up river ten Mallard and a single Heron and I decided to walk back up the western side of the river and, indeed, this proved far more productive quickly producing a trio of Hoopoe and a Robin. In the fields to my left were both House Sparrows and a large Linnet flock. Almost immediately afterwards it became very apparent that the area was alive with Chiffchaffs. A Zitting Cisticola and another Cetti's Warbler were recorded and then the first Stonechat of the morning. Add on a mixed flock of Goldfinch and Serin with a hovering Kestrel and the numbers were now certainly on the increase. I even had a pair of Hoopoes as I crossed the river bed back towards the car.
|Chiffchaff Mosquitero Comun Phylloscopus collybita|
Next followed a short drive upstream to check out the growing fields where I recorded more Stonechats, White Wagtails, Black Redstart and a small flock of Spotless Starlings plus, finally, a couple of Crested Larks. A pleasant surprise was to see a couple of Crag Martins flying low over what little water was to be seen in the river bed. My last point of all was back to the southern side of the road to take an anti-clockwise circuit of the growing fields and this produced a large mixed flock of Goldfinches, Linnets and Meadow Pipits. So, the final result 24 species in 90 minutes including travelling time.
|Meadow Pipit Bisbita Pratense Anthus pratensis|
Mallard, Cattle Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet.
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