Tuesday 31 May 2022

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

Monday 30 May

Met good friend Derek Etherton in Torre del Mar and then moved on to the nearby Rio Velez for an enjoyable couple of hours recording over thirty species. As we parked at the start of the track just beyond the underpass from the N340 it was very hot with clear blue skies but very windy with the strong gusts coming out of the west.  On arrival welcomed by singing Blackcaps and frequent movements of Blackbird and Goldfinch whilst a White Wagtail was feeding in the field to our left. I immediately noticed that since my last visit a tall, open wired fence had been erected from the recently installed entrance posts right down to the end of the track at the beach.  At least the bamboo cover will now be preserved rather than stripped at regular interval by local formers although unless regularly maintained it will become so dense as to make any observation of the river almost impossible.

Starting our walk along the track towards the hide we had views of both Collared and Rock Doves plus a number of feeding Barn Swallows and House Martins.  A feeding Spotted Flycatchers provided entertainment and then a couple of most handsome male Greenfinches alighted on the fence to our left.  A male Chaffinch was on the shaded rocks below the trees and more and more Nightingales were both seen and heard.

At last in sight of the remains of the river with a narrow channel of water that held a quartet of Black-winged Stilts and a Little Ringed Plover.  A little further away a feeding Glossy Ibis; surely the bird of the day.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus

Arriving at the hide it was obvious that the recent works had also paid some attention to this area with the wooden fence protected the walk up to the hide now replaced and both a clean and coat of preservative to both hide and the seats opposite.  From the hide the lagoon, despite the continuing evaporation of the water, held a reasonable level and we soon found both Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers.  A couple of Black-winged Stilts were working the area and both House Martin and Barn Swallow feeding above along with a single Pallid Swift.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius

Soon we had found the lone Purple Swamphen on the far bank and an over-flying Yellow-legged Gull led to us finding the resting/sleeping score of gulls on the island away to our left.   Closer inspection suggested that the number were equally divided by Audouin's and Yellow-legged Gulls.  Derek even managed to find the single Crested Lark that was making its way between the gulls. Meanwhile, a Moorhen paddled across the water and a half-dozen sleeping Mallards were also revealed whilst on the other side of the lagoon we could see a part of seven Monk Parakeet heading up river..

As we left the hid to walk the remaining short distance top the shore we added a Spotless Starling and a couple of Serin were seen in the neighbouring trees.  The first of a couple of Cetti's Warblers was calling and from the beach looking back up the river we added a few more Mallard plus at least seven Moorhen and a single Coot. To finish our morning a walk back upstream on the far side produced a Hoopoe and, finally, a Great Tit, as we reached the car.  Most enjoyable in Derek's good company.

Birds seen:

Mallard, Glossy Ibis, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Audouin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Pallid Swift, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Nightingale, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, Great Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

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