Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Las Campinuelas and Rio Velez

 Wednesday 28 April

A beautiful, warm and sunny start to the day following all the recent heavy rain so, despite the possibility soft ground underneath, I took myself up to Las Campinuelas for a shorter circuit followed by a drive down to the Rio Velez on the western outskirts of Torre del Mar.  My fifty minutes visit to the former included the river bed, now with flowing water, before parking in the usual place and walking up to the spring and holding pool.  Blackbirds, Barn Swallows and Bee-eaters before getting out of the car and no sooner amongst the olive trees Sardinian Warblers and Crested Larks.  A Linnet was feeding on the grasses near the road and approaching the hill in front of the spring a trio of House Martins flew alongside the road and Collared Doves were noted on the wires and then in the trees.

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto

Once chance to stop and look around I soon found a couple of Woodchat Shrikes in opposite directions and Reed Warblers were calling from the greenery adjacent to the holding pool.  A few Spotless Starlings moving around the area and above a trio of passing Common Swift.  

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator

Not a lot to add as I made a shortened circuit on the main dehesa other than many more Crested Larks and another two Woodchat Shrikes along with the numerous Blackbirds.  Returning to the car there was a Spotted Flycatcher perched on the wire fence in front of me and further along the track as I made my way back towards the road for the onward journey a couple of Serin and a Hoopoe.

Crested Lark Galerida cristata

Once parked upo at the Rio Velez above the N340 and near the chimney factory I was able to walk the track to the beach.  There may have been a lot of rain in the past twenty-four hours resulting the in the Rio Velez looking very green but little water until the main lagoon in front of the beach.  On the other hand, traffic up and down the track to service the growing fields had left an absolute nightmare of the track, a mixture of puddles and deep mud resulting in a very messy state of affairs by the time I eventually got back to the car.

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

The first species recorded were numerous Barn Swallows along with Blackbirds and House Sparrows.  A couple of Collared Doves near the road bridge and once under many of the the resident Rock Doves were observed.  On the fence opposite a Spotted Flycatcher was on the look-out for his mid-morning snack and many Nightingales could be heard.  A few Spotless Starlings as I made my way to the hide and regular sightings of Goldfinches which consisted mainly of newly fledged juveniles without the charismatic red face.

Once on the beach nothing other the a solitary juvenile Black-headed Gull.  However, the enlarged terminal lagoon held both Moorhen and Coot along with some very young chicks and off to the right a Purple Swamphen was exploring the edges.  Lots of Cetti's and more Reed Warblers in this area and as I started to work my way up the overgrown western bank I easily manged to locate more Nightingales.  Just before taking a chance to cross the river or at least follow the dry part of the river bed back towards the car I managed to find another Kestrel resting in the tree in front of me and, underneath the road bridge, a resting Mallard.  

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio

A quick look at the growing fields upstream revealed more Monk Parakeets, Blackbirds and Spotless Starlings but, best of all, looking upstream I could see a quartet of Little Egrets feeding in a large pool and a pair of Hoopoes made a hasty departure.

Birds seen:

Mallard, Little Egret, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Common Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Nightingale, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.

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