A special day today as I used both reasons for being out and about. A visit to my income tax accountant took me within a kilometre of the Rio Velez in Torre del Mar so it seemed only appropriate to actually visit, park up the car in the usual place and then take a walk down the track, along the beach and beach up to my start following the western side of the river. And, take note, back in my car in 58 minutes - but no police about to take note of me staying within the permitted limits!
And what of the river itself/ So, so overgrown albeit it looked very green and the bamboo was growing abundantly and away from the main track almost covering the existing paths with its thin, over-long shoots. But, despite all this, I managed to record 30 species in the hour including three new species for the year. Welcomed by the local Rock and Collared Doves below the bridge at my usual parking space, I soon had a number of House Sparrows and the first Goldfinches and Serins. A pair of Red-rumped Swallows flew past over the recently cleared fields to my left and the walk starting with lots of birds calling including both Cetti's and Reed Warblers along with many Nightingales.
Plenty of Blackbirds about and then a Hoopoe crossed the track in front of me. Looking towards the river I saw a couple of Mallards flying upstream. A small bird pushed up from the undergrowth to the nearby fence and a lovely Iberian Chiffchaff was recorded.
|Hoopoe Abubilla Upupa epops|
The first prolonged stop was at the hide which is surely now in much need of some attention, especially to the protective wooden rail and, below the hide, much field management is required. Once I had seen the House Sparrows below me I then watched a Reed Warbler working the reeds at the back. A Yellow Wagtail (Iberian blue-headed sub-species) walked through the grass below me and then, on the fence behind, a pair of noisy Greenfinches. Walking on towards the beach first the raucous calling of a dozen or more Monk Parakeets and then a quartet of Squacco Herons flew over heading eastwards. Finally, in the cleared space which once held a ruined building, a pair of Linnets with the male looking particularly handsome.
|Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (left) with Dunlin Calidris alpina|
Once on the beach I was able to walk to the lagoon formed by the river where I found six Mallards and a large number of feeding House Martins overhead in the company and a quintet of Common Swifts. On the edge in front of me I also found a single Ringed Plover along with five Dunlin. A movement a little further back from the edge drew my attention to the Little Ringed Plover.
|Record shot of Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius showing distinctive yellow eye ring|
Hard work walking through the now "jungle" as I made my way upstream on the western side of the river but accompanied all the way by the lovely, loud, sound of the Nightingales. More Monk Parakeets and Spotless Starlings then a close sight of a male Blackcap. At a small stream just before I crossed back to the eastern side of the river, I watched a Purple Heron fly into the top of a tree in front of me, surely my "Bird of the day," which also drew my attention to the resting Wood Pigeon.
|Purple Heron Garza Imperial Ardea purpurea|
Back on the far side of the river a Spotted Flycatcher was perched on the fence and atop the electricity pylon a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. So, twenty-eight names in the book and as I drove home via the fields up river of the road bridge another pair of Hoopoes and a couple of Barn Swallows to round off the morning.
mallard, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Wood pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeets, Common Swift, Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, Nightingale, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Iberian Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.
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