Friday 9 September 2022

Rio Velez, Torre del Mar

 Friday 9 September

Arriving at the Rio Velez on the western edge of Torre del Mar all seemed very quiet in the hot sunshine and clear blue skies with no breeze to bring personal comfort as I set off down the track from the road bridge towards the public hide before reaching the beach.  All seemed very different with the new fence to my right so, hopefully, the bamboo cutters will be restrained in future and so continue to give cover for our avian friends.  Then a pair of Kestrels resting atop an electricity pylon and at the same time the raucous calling of a trio of Monk Parakeets passing overhead.

Kestrels Falco tinnunculus

So, on down to the hide to discover that there was still plenty of water in the relatively newly created lagoon.  A trio of Black-winged Stilts to my far right and as I checked the surrounding edges it became obvious that there were good numbers of both Ringed Plovers and Sanderling. A Moorhen paddled across the water and a small number of Barn Swallows fed above the surface.  

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula

Then, immediately in front of me below the hide, a lone Common Sandpiper worked its way along the water's edge.  On the opposite bank, the tall tree at the back revealed the white "blob" was a resting Little Egret.  The adjacent tree held a couple of Spotless Starlings before a third joined me behind the hide.  Finally, with its usual alarm call, a Blackbird also crossed the track at the back and disappeared behind the pumping station.

Common Sandpiper Actitus hypoleucos

Moving on down to the beach to get a closer view of the beach end of the lagoon and the main river I discovered a pair of juvenile Flamingos.  The muddy edges also held a good number of Ringed Plovers, including many juveniles, and Sanderlings.  But checking more closely also revealed a trio of Little Stint and a couple of Dunlin.  Still Barn Swallows flying over the water but also a single Sand Martin.

Juvenile Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus

Back to the hide and more birds.  A female Pied Flycatcher was posing on a fence next to the pumping station and then flew across the track to join me at the edge of the hide.  Wonderful sight but unable to get the camera focussed in time to record the event.  Meanwhile in front of the hide both a Spotted Flycatcher and the first of four Cetti's Warblers seen during the morning. A single Willow Warbler landed in the trees behind me followed by at least a quartet of Common Waxbills flitting back and forth across the track and even cheeping House Sparrows anting to join the party.

Looking back at the water a score of Black-headed Gulls had come to take a rest and on the far bank a, presumably juvenile, Purple Swamphen walking away to my right.

Juvenile Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio

Then the walk back to the car and finding a second female Pied Flycatcher on the fence at it fed on flying insects in the area and three Kestrels, two resting on separate pylons and the third flying away further down the track. And just when I thought that was it, a lone Hoopoe on the fence to wish me farewell.

Female Pied Flycatcher Ficedula  hypoleuca

Birds seen:

Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Common Waxbill.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

Overflying three Grey Herons Ardea cinerea

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Sanderling Calidris alba

Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

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