Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Velez de Benaudalla

Wednesday 10 June

Having to visit my apartment at Velez de Benaudalla now that travel between provinces has been approved by the Junta, I took the opportunity to call in a the local picnic site on the banks of the Rio Guadlafeo before reaching my destination.  A quartet of Mallard took off on my approach and a number of Chaffinches were seen in the trees as i approached.  I must admit that I was somewhat surprised to see the picnic site not only still closed but deep trenches excavated at all entrances to prevent any visiting cars.  Now you may think that this was a good idea from a natural history point of view and certainly, judging by the huge number of juvenile Spotted Flycatchers, these summer visitors seem to have had, are having, a bumper year.  No disturbance by dogs or animals what could possibly go wrong?

Spotted Flycatcher Papamoscas Gris Muscicapa striata

Well, in their wisdom, somebody obviously decided it would be an excellent opportunity to clear away the far bank where the overhanging vegetation has provided a perfect nesting site for the local Dippers for at least the past twelve years, if not any more.  Still flowing water and a small area of overhanging vegetation where I found a Grey Wagtail but no sign of any Dippers.  Yes, House Sparrows, Goldfinches and Chaffinches in addition to the Grey Wagtails and Spotted Flycatchers but that appeared to be about all.  And the running water looked so clean and inviting.

Grey Wagtail Lavandera Cascadena Motacilla cinerea

Leaving the site I made my way back along the track accompanied by a number of Barn Swallows and over the main river to turn towards the village and to may great delight a beautiful Golden Oriole rose up in front of me and proceeded to escort me across said river before disappearing into the roadside vegetation.  Wonderful.  So on to the village proper where I recorded both House Martin and Common Swift plus Spotless Starlings and Blackbirds on my way out.

Rather than straight home I did deviate at La Herdura to visit the hilltop site at Cerro Gordo where we can normally find White-rumped Swifts, one only a handful of sites in the whole of Andalucia.  perhaps because it was not long after mid-day rather than early morning or late afternoon so only a couple of Common Swifts noted plus a lone Peregrine Falcon drifting eastwards.  Again, more Chaffinches and House Sparrows.  Time to make my home for a late lunch.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Peregrine Falcon, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail,  Blackbird, Spotted Flycatcher, Golden Oriole, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.

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


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