Wednesday 31 March
Up to the local health Centre at 9.15 for my first Covid vaccination and, having completed my fifteen minute rest, decided I would take a quick look at the Rio Velez in Torre del Mar. When I look back and think what a pleasant birding site this used to be it is difficult to now compare with past visits. It may be looking green but it is in desperate need of a lot of water to flush the river clean and not helped by the selfish bamboo harvesters who, having taking their poles, simply discard the rubbish where it lands or throw into the river bed. Naturally, they hope the flowing river will take the rubbish out to sea but it simply gets brought back into the shore for the local authorities to clean up. Surely it is not such a big job to send the Police Local down to such harvesting sites at the appropriate time and take a few names, etc so that they know where to address the bill! Similarly, the hide and its approach are now sadly in a disgusting state; again, lack of attention for those responsible for keeping an eye on our environment.
Right, moan over and back to the birding. Only an hour on site but I was hoping for some evidence that the local Nightingales might have returned to the river. No such luck but, on the other hand, there were a few calling Reed Warblers, lots of Cetti's Warblers and the sight of a lovely Bonelli's Warbler. Lots of Blackbirds and Blackcaps about not to mention to the usual Cormorant gathering as they posed atop some of the taller trees.
|Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli|
On the river itself at least 14 Mallards including two families with 11 and 8 ducklings respectively. Both Coot and Moorhen recorded and even a male Shoveler. It was upstream that I found the feeding Barn Swallows along with a small flock of Serin but, perhaps, the best sight was the flock of 24 Black-winged Stilts that were flying as a group around the lagoon at the river mouth.
Mallard, Shoveler, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Barn Swallow, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, Bonelli's Warbler, Great Tit, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.
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