Friday, 29 May 2020

Alhaurin de la Torre

Thursday 28 May

Another lovely sunny day and strange that this better weather has coincided with the lifting of the most severe lock down restrictions.  Today Jenny and I are spending quality time with or friends Derek and Barbara Etherton and, approaching Alhaurin de la Torre a resting Little Owl on a water deposit and a Hoopoe flew across the road in front of us.  After an enjoyable coffee it was time to set off for our walk to the neighbouring pine woods up towards the large, working quarry.

As we left the house we very soon recorded the usual locals of Collared Dove, House Sparrow and Spotless Starling and entering a small path to take us up through the wood our first Blackbird of the morning.  Ere long we had also found both Serin and Sardinian Warbler.  After a quick dash over the nearby trees we eventually found, we think, the same bird as the Jay rested in the shade on top of a large electricity pylon.  As might be expected in this habitat a regular sighting or call of a Wood Pigeon and then the sight and sounds of the many local Serins and Chaffinches.  Lots of Barn Swallows to be seen and just before crossing the access road to enter the main wood a Crested Tit took of in front of us and we watched it land atop of a tree on the opposite side.

Difficult to spot, but not identify, this Hoopoe

Entering the wood we spent some time watching a very active Spotted Flycatcher before resting in a clearing to listen to the various calls and identify the neighbouring birds.  A single Crossbill flew over the tree top at a very high altitude and then a distant Hoopoe sheltering in a large bush before we settled to watch the busy Blue Tits feeding their young in a natural nest hole formed in a deformed trunk.  Judging by the number o caterpillars being brought back to the nest these birds, at the moment, are not going to go hungry.  before setting off back down the hill a pair of Long-tailed Tits kept us occupied for another five minutes or so.

Great place for a Blue Tit's nest

Entering a meadow with fallen dead branches and natural bushy outcrops we soon picked up a couple of Zitting Cisticola and another Sardinian Warbler whilst overhead the Barn Swallows and House Martins were actively feeding.  A Red-legged Partridge behind us and a handful of Monk Parakeets to the front as we made our way back to the house.

After a delicious lunch, time to settle back, enjoy a cool drink and watch the view below us.  The now well-known Spotless Starling serenaded us with his "Golden Oriole impersonation" and we watched, twice, as a Booted Eagle gracefully soared around, on the second occasion accompanied by a trio of Common Swifts.  Lovely day and great to be once again out with friends.

an anyone identify this thistle please?

Birds seen:
Red-legged Partridge, Booted Eagle, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeets, Little Owl, Common Swift, Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Crested Tit, Blue Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Jay, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Crossbill.

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

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