Tuesday 19 November 2019

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Tuesday 19 November

A lovely start to the day; warm, sunny and practically no breeze to speak of.  With rain forecast for later in the week I decided to park the car near the the old road bridge at the Rio Velez just outside Torre del Mar and walk the track to the beach and back up the other side to complete the circuit.  All seemed very dry with the only water, initially, at the lagoon just back from the beach itself.  A few Moorhens and resident Rock Doves as I prepared to start my walk and then a Hoopoe flew across the now dry driver bed.  Both Robin and Blackbird were seen and the first of very many Chiffchaff.

Chiffchaff Mosquitero Comun Phylloscopus collybita
Reaching the hide I had more sightings of Chiffchaff and a second Robin.  Indeed, very fortunate as before setting off for hoe I had actually noted more than a handful.  From the hide I picked up a few House Sparrows and a good number of Crag Martins that were feeding above the lagoon.  Just one Monk Parakeet noted but more Moorhen feeding on the grass near the reeds.  The first of a few Cetti's Warblers was calling but nothing else until I reached the beach and able to take a good look at the lagoon.  A couple of Black-headed Gulls landed on the water and two Coot put in an appearance.  Only one White Wagtail noted along with more Chiffchaffs but then a small brown bird on the fallen sticks a little upstream caught my attention and I was able to confirm the first Bluethroat recorded here this winter.  Having reached the other side of the lagoon, not only more House Sparrows but couple of bathing Meadow Pipits and even a few Spanish Sparrows in with their House Sparrow cousins.

Bluethroat Ruisenor Pechiazul Luscinia svecica at the Rio Velez

Continuing upstream on the far side there was an inordinate number of feeding Chiffchaff and with the occasional Greenfinch and then the first Serins.  before heading towards the river bed I stopped to look at the field being harrowed and was able to see a number of Black-headed Gulls, Cattle Egrets, a number of White Wagtails along with both Stonechat and a female Black Redstart.

White Wagtail Lavandera Blanca Motacilla alba

Once back at the the river bed I found a small, almost hidden, stream and looking downstream noted both the lone Heron and a single Snipe in addition to more Moorhens

Distant record shot against the sun of the visiting Snipe Gallinago gallinago

To my left, upstream, a few Goldfinch were feeding in a puddle  along with Chiffchaffs and about a dozen Spotless Starlings.  At this point the party of ten Collared Doves arrived to roost in a nearby tree.

The Collared Dove Tortola Turca Streptopelia decaocto gathering

Back to the car and a drive upstream beyond the N340 road to check out the arable fields.  No sooner had I arrived than I found a male Black Redstart, female Blackcap, more Serins and a very large flock of Spotless Starlings which also included a handful of Common Starlings.

Another Chiffchaff Mosquitero Comun Phylloscopus collybita takes flight

Moving on to check out the river I found plenty of White Wagtails on the way and with  some clear water puddles below me I was also able to pick out another Meadow Pipit along with both a single Lapwing and a lone Grey Wagtail.  Similarly, I finally found a couple of the expected Crested Larks.  So, my relatively short visit had produced 31 species before making my way back for a welcome coffee and churros.

Meadow Pipit Bisbita Pratense Anthus pratensis
Birds seen:
Cattle Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Snipe, Back-headed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

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

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