Wednesday 7 April 2021

Las Campinuelas, Velez Malaga

Bee-eater Merops apiaster

 Wednesday 7 April

I had heard much recently about the area just north of our nearby A7 motorway in Algarrobo Costa, with the town of Velez Malaga to the west and Algarrobo to the east, known as Las Campinuelas.  Just like an open dehesa that you might expect to find in Extremadura with about 80 hectares of grass and old, mature trees in the abandoned olive groves to give cover along with occasional bushes and tamarisk.  So many warbler and migrants recently reported that I set out to try and find the area and what a surprise it was and so close to home.  Obviously, the area needs far more time and I can understand why September is the suggested best time of the year.  Also, given how quickly the temperature will rise from now on, probably imperative to be on site as early as possible and preferably by about 8 o'clock at the latest for the best results.

More Bee-eaters Merops apiaster

Today it was a few Barn Swallows and House Sparrows before stopping to watch scores of close by feeding and resting Bee-eaters.  What a marvellous sight.  And whilst in the area I happened to look up and over towards Torre del Mar and picked out feeding Common Swifts and a perched Woodchat Shrike.

Hoopoe Upupa epops

Nearby a pair of Hoopoe and later another pair plus a single higher into the hills on the return journey as I wandered around unknown tracks hoping to eventually find a decent route back down to Algarrobo Pueblo.  At lest it meant I also saw Thekla as well as Crested Larks and also added a White Wagtail for my troubles.  Lots of Blackbirds about along with many Goldfinches and Serins.  Amazing what I found in such a short visit using the car for the journey with the occasional short walk.  Next time, I think it will be park the car and take the circular tour which could well last an hour or more.

Birds seen:

Common Dove, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Common Swift, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Woodchat Shrike, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.

Hoopoe Upupa epops

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