Birding Big Day around the Route of 100 Birds (Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Southern Spain)

The Andalucia Bird Society Malaga Team meets again for a very profitable Big Day.

Have a look at the pictures and the complete list of 111 species observed!

Despite we still need a lot more rain in the region before summer, the countryside is looking great and birds are openly showing up.

Our first tick on the list was a Blackbird singing at the Plaza mayor car park where Mick, Barbara, Derek and I met at 5:30 for an early start at Montes de Malaga. This time we did not have to wait for the hooting of the Tawny Owl there in the hills as we could see one of them jumping from the road to a pine tree on our way up. Other night singers were Scops Owl, Nightingale and Woodlark.

The break of dawn was spectacular, full of calls and songs, and we could identify most of the typical forest birds with only few exceptions. But the day was very promising and we were sure we will not miss them at the end.

Next stage was El Torcal. There are no words to describe this site at this time of year. After spotting our first W. Orphean Warbler of the day, Derek found a young Golden Eagle flying in and out of a close ridge until it finally flew over us for the most exciting moment of the day. After that, the visit left most of the targets like Melodious , Subalpine, Bonelli’s and Spectacled Warblers, Rock Sparrow, Rock Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Black and Black-eared Wheatears, Thekla Lark and Griffon Vultures.

The Fuente de Piedra Lake is the best indicator of the rainfall shortage. Nevertheless, life goes on there and both Greater, and Lesser!, Flamingos, and migrating waders get the necessary resources for breeding and travelling. Curlew Sandpipers, Dunlins and Little Stints were looking gorgeous in their almost summer plumages. Black and Whiskered Terns were also stopping over the Laguneto, where we could watch Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, Red-crested Pochards, White-headed Ducks, Marsh Harrier, Great Reed Warbler and the last Shovelers and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Everything was going very well and we were very close to the 100 birds target when we went across the farmlands. A few more species, including my first Turtle Dove of the season came out until we were only two species to go. Then, a very close male Little Bustard showed up in a field full of Calandra Larks that rounded up our list to 100.

The list was completed in the farmlands and the Valley of the Guadalhorce (we did not visit the mouth of the river this time!) with eleven more species, including great views of Short-toed Lark, Montagu’s Harrier, Spanish Sparrow and Alpine Swift.

You can also live these experiences with us !!!

Complete list of birds observed:

  SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME
1 Alpine Swift  Apus melba
2 Avocet  Recurvirostra avosetta
3 Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica
4 Bee-eater Merops apiaster
5 Black Redstart  Phoenicurus ochruros
6 Black Tern Chlidonias niger
7 Black Wheatear  Oenanthe leucura
8 Blackbird  Turdus merula
9 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
10 Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica
11 Black-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus ridibundus
12 Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus
13 Blue Rock Thrush  Monticola solitarius
14 Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus
15 Calandra Lark  Melanocorypha calandra
16 Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis
17 Cetti’s Warbler  Cettia cetti
18 Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs
19 Chough  Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
20 Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
21 Coal Tit  Periparus ater
22 Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
23 Common Buzzard  Buteo buteo
24 Common Crossbill  Loxia curvirostra
25 Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos
26 Coot  Fulica atra
27 Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
28 Crag Martin  Ptyonoprogne rupestris
29 Crested Lark  Galerida cristata
30 Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
31 Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
32 Dunlin Calidris alpina
33 Firecrest  Regulus ignicapilla
34 Flamingo  Phoenicopterus roseus
35 Gadwall  Anas strepera
36 Golden Eagle  Aquila chrysaetos
37 Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis
38 Great Crested Grebe  Podiceps cristatus
39 Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
40 Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopos major
41 Great Tit  Parus major
42 Green Woodpecker  Picus viridis
43 Greenfinch  Chloris chloris
44 Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea
45 Griffon Vulture  Gyps fulvus
46 Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
47 Hoopoe  Upupa epops
48 House Martin  Delichon urbicum
49 House Sparrow Passer domesticus
50 Jackdaw  Corvus monedula
51 Kentish Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus
52 Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus
53 Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus
54 Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus
55 Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor
56 Lesser Kestrel  Falco naumanni
57 Linnet Carduelis cannabina
58 Little Bustard  Tetrax tetrax
59 Little Egret  Egretta garzetta
60 Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis
61 Little Owl Athene noctua
62 Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius
63 Little Stint Calidris minuta
64 Long-tailed Tit  Aegithalos caudatus
65 Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos
66 Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus
67 Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta
68 Monk Parakeet  Myiopsitta monachus
69 Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
70 Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus
71 Nightingale  Luscinia megarhynchos
72 Pochard  Aythya ferina
73 Raven  Corvus corax
74 Red-crested Pochard  Netta rufina
75 Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
76 Red-rumped Swallow  Cecropis daurica
77 Redshank  Tringa totanus
78 Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
79 Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
80 Robin Erithacus rubecula
81 Rock Bunting  Emberiza cia
82 Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia
83 Ruff Philomachus pugnax
84 Sardinian Warbler  Sylvia melanocephala
85 Scops Owl Otus scops
86 Serin  Serinus serinus
87 Shelduck  Tadorna tadorna
88 Short-toed Eagle  Circaetus gallicus
89 Short-toed Lark  Calandrella brachydactyla
90 Short-toed Treecreeper  Certhia brachydactyla
91 Shoveler  Anas clypeata
92 Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis
93 Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata
94 Spotless Starling  Sturnus unicolor
95 Stonechat  Saxicola torquatus
96 Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans
97 Swift  Apus apus
98 Tawny Owl Strix aluco
99 Thekla Lark Galerida theklae
100 Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
101 Western Bonelli’s Warbler  Phylloscopus bonelli
102 Western Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis
103 Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
104 White Stork Ciconia ciconia
105 White-headed Duck  Oxyura leucocephala
106 Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus
107 Woodchat Shrike  Lanius senator
108 Woodlark Lullula arborea
109 Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes
110 Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla flava
111 Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis
Last modified onWednesday, 26 April 2017 09:09

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