Good job it rained late in the afternoon as I have jobs to do around the house on Wednesday and I must resist all temptations to try for a fourth birding day! Friday morning saw Jenny and I off to Jaen Province for the week-end, travelling via Salobrena and Granada, in readiness for the monthly meeting of the Andalucía Bird Society near Puente del Obispo, a little south-west of Baeza, (around the Laguna Grande followed by a long and beautiful drive over the Sierra Magina). Sunday was rather a barren return drive following the same route but we did see numerous Spotless Starlings and House Sparrows plus the occasional Thekla Lark! Good job we were stopping in Frigiliana to enjoy lunch with our friends Steve and Elena Powell. Monday, rather than Sunday, became the day of rest and with Jenny having to be out of the house by 7 am to accompany our neighbours to Granada, I took the opportunity to spend the morning at the Guadalhorce in Malaga. This report, therefore, sums up two "proper" days of birding plus the additional opportunity to checkout the local area when first we arrived at the Hacienda La Laguna just south of Puente del Obispo.
|That most handsome of raptors, the Red Kite Milano Real Milvus milvus|
Arriving in the early afternoon, and greeted by a few Cattle Egrets at the end of the lane, there was time to drive down and around the neighbouring Laguna Grande to see what we might expect in the morning. Imagine our surprise, therefore, when we found very little bird activity. A single Little Egret and on the main water a pair of Red-crested Pochards along with a handful of Common Pochards. No shortage of Great Crested Grebes and a score or more of Cormorants plus Coots and Moorhens added to the list. There also a number of Grey Herons around the edges of the water and we even found at least a handful of Shovelers. Around the area there also numerous House Sparrows, Blackbirds and the occasional Wood Pigeon. In the trees at the edge of the water a large flock of Azure-winged Magpies were feeding.
|Purple Swamphen Calamon Comun Porphyrio porphyrio|
|The target bird, the magnificent Golden Eagle Aguila Real Aquila chrysaetos|
|Southern Grey Shrike Alcaudon Real Lanius meridionalis|
|Distant record shot of a Goshawk Azor Comun Accipiter gentilis|
We even had a few butterflies including this poor chap who seemed destined for an early demise.
There may only have been just over 50 species recorded but what a selection and, for most present, many new birds for the year, if not life.
Birds seen in Baeza area:
Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, Red-legged Partridge, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Black-winged Kite, Red Kite, Griffon Vulture, Marsh Harrier, Golden Eagle, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Snipe, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Ring ouzel, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Pied Flycatcher, Longtailed Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Southern Grey Shrike, Jay, Azure-winged Magpie, magpie, Chough, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.
Tuesday 22 October:
|A pair of Booted Eagles Agulilla Calzada Hieraaetus pennatus on the Rio Viejo|
At the Guadalhorce by 9 o'clock and greeted by a score of screaming Monk Parakeets. The it was over the footbridge and on to the Laguna Cassilas. The first Marsh Harrier was recorded along with a Pochard, Coots and a few Little Grebe along with the odd Moorhen. Sardinian Warblers and Blackbirds were active plus one or two Greenfinches during this first walk. A Heron flew over and there were a number of Yellow-legged Gulls moving in and out of the reserve.
|Greenshank Archibebe Claro Tringa nebularia|
|The Marsh Harries Lagunero Occidental Circus aeruginosus cometh with a male at the bottom|
A number of birds to be seen on the old river (Rio Viejo) including three juvenile Flamingo. A couple of Ringed Plover, a handful of sleeping Sanderling and almost a dozen Ruff were busy feeding along with another Kestrel and Greenshank. Very little else to be seen and nothing on the sea other than a small raft of Yellow-legged Gulls so back to the Wader Pool where a trio of Black-winged Stilts had arrived along with a pair of Shoveler. Not too late as above me a dozen or so late Barn Swallows were busy feeding on the wing.
|The distant Osprey Aguila Pescadora Pandion haliaetus|
Passing a pair of Crested Larks as I approached the Laguna Escondida, I then discovered more Shoveler plus a handful of White-headed Ducks and numerous Little Grebes on the water. Likewise, not a great variety to be seen on the Laguna Grande other than the very many Herons and a number of Cormorants. A pair of Black-necked Grebes was found at the back and yet another Marsh Harrier made a pass over the water. Nearer to hand a few gulls were on th ewater along with a single Avocet. However, well concealed in its usual tree below the feeding pole to the left was a fourth Booted Eagle whilst, in a dead tree amongst the vegetation at the back, a single Osprey was taking its rest. Nearer to the hide a small party, probably a family, of Little Ringed Plovers was seen along with a couple more Ringed Plovers. A single Common Sandpiper was feeding nearby to the left whilst a lone White Wagtail fed on the opposite side of the hide. Above me at least a dozen Red-rumped Swallows were seen. Then it was time to make my way home before the afternoon rains were expected having recorded 36 species and a Thekla Lark as I made my way up the mountain to Casa Collado along with yet another Kestrel.
|A very tired looking Avocet Avoceta Comun Recurvirostra avosetta|
|The lonely Common Sandpiper Andarrios Chico Actitis hypoleucos|
Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Snipe, Ruff, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Rock Dove, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler,
|Don't look now, you re being watched by a Spotless Starling Estornino Negro Sturnus unicolor|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.