Friday, September 11, 2015

Autumn Migration Spain

Over in Spain at the moment for a few days at the mates villa in Mijas before he heads off back to Canada on more jollies! The main reason is to take in the magnificent raptor migration, heading off to Gibraltar & Tarifa at first light tomorrow.

Crossbill - Creatures of habit!
Spent the sunrise watching the Crossbills coming down from the mountains, a regular event and creatures of habit it seems, perching in their regular trees before dispersing for the day. After food shopping down in Fuengirola Dave and I spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon just chilling out on the patio, which offers superb all around views, great for migration watching.

Booted Eagle - Canon SX50 on 'sports mode' seems a great way to take aerial photos!
Plenty of Red-rumped Swallow coming through at first and then followed by a constant passage of Common Swift, two Pallid within. At least a dozen or so Bee-eater, although we heard more and then a Booted Eagle made an appearance, hanging around for a good half hour. Next was a procession of Honey Buzzard, with six in the sky above us at one time. Cattle Egret, Turtle Dove, Spotless Starling, Kestrel, Barn Swallows & House Martins made for an excellent morning sky watching. In the scrub below the villa Sardinian Warbler and Red-legged Partridge are worth a mention.

Honey Buzzard - Constant passage today!
Late afternoon, hoping that the temperature might dip a little, we headed off to Gualdhorce near Malaga airport for a walk around the reserve. Below the bridge that takes you on to the reserve a couple of Spotted Flycatcher were busy feeding, a Hoopoe dipped across the fence and the usual resident Monk Parakeet were in evidence, although not in any great numbers.

White-headed Duck - a regular breeder here!
At the La Laguna de la Casilla hide the highlights were Kingfisher, a single Little Egret, along with (11) White-headed Duck and a half dozen Ringed Plover.

Black-winged Stilt on the Veijo
Moving on to the Del rio Veijo a good selection of waders with Black-winged Stilt, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff and Little & Ringed Plover, plus both Green and Common Sandpiper. In the treeline to the left a Pied Flycatcher, until passing cyclists spooked it.

Three of a half dozen Audouin's Gulls on the old river!
The old river was a hive of activity, even with some idiot and his daughter off piste and down near the water spooking everything! Six Audouin's Gulls were at rest, seemingly unperturbed and three Little Terns were also resting. More waders to be found here with Dunlin and Sanderling in addition to the aforementioned.

Hoopoe - One of two today
The beach area, why wasn't I aware previously that this is a nudist beach, held more Sanderling and a single Whimbrel, among other dangly things!! Kentish Plover were scattered in small numbers along the designated nesting area and a second Hoopoe of the day. Other notables during a pleasant visit included: Booted Eagle, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Greater FlamingoSnipe, Whinchat and over 50 Heron in a growing roost as we left!