Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Guadalhorce, Malaga with John and Jenny

I have just received a report from John and Jenny Wainwright re their visit to the Guadalhorce, Malaga yesterday (Tuesday) which seemed to throw up (not literally!) some interesting species.  I was especially intrigued by the late Melodious and Reed Warblers and noticed, with interest, that there are still a reasonable number of both House Martins and Red-rumped Swallows to be seen.  I wonder if they will still be present if I drive down to the ponds next week?  Steve Powell, on the other hand, had a very short visit two days earlier and all he had for his trouble, plus the "usual stuff" was a pair of Marsh Harriers, but at least glad that they were once more to be seen, a pair of Teal and a well-decorated Spoonbill with so many rings and tags that, in Steve's words, it "... looked like it was labelled ready for a supermarket shelf .. it is a wonder the poor bloody bird could still walk!"  So, I ask myself, is this individual one of our returning Dutch-bred and ringed Spoonbills?

Guadlahorce: Tuesday 15th October

It would have been a very hot day, save for the lightish breeze.

As we walked along the track to the access bridge we saw House Martins, one Barn Swallow and several Red-rumped Swallows, Rock Doves, Stonechats, Monk Parakeets, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers and a female Marsh Harrier.

At the Laguna Casilla it was very quiet only a few Common Coots, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Mallard, Teal, Little Egret, Moorhen and a Grey Heron flew over.

Onward to the Viejo hide which, too, was very lacking in birds, although a birder told us he had had a Bluethroat and a Peregrine earlier.  We did however see Avocets, Black-necked Grebes, Sardinian and Cetti´s Warblers, Black-winged Stilts and Little Grebe.  In the background a Marsh Harrier quartered the reed bed and Cormorants were perched in the dead trees.  A few Spotless Starlings about here as well as a single Blackbird, above us another two Grey Herons and a huge flock of Black-headed Gulls.

At the old Rio Viejo several Ringed Plovers, Sanderlings, a Common Sandpiper, four Ruff, a Shoveler, Redshank, Little Egret, Yellow Wagtails and more Black-winged Stilts.  Opposite here in the patches of reeds we found Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, yet more Sardinian Warblers and Melodious Warbler.  Along a bit further in the scrub we found Crested Larks, Yellow Wagtails and a Stonechat.  We were looking for Bluethroats here but there was a lot of pedestrian movement in this area, so we moved on to the Sea Watch.

It was rather choppy out at sea but we did locate a juvenile and two adult Gannets.  Also here there were rafts of Black-headed Gulls with a few Lesser Black-backs and Yellow-legged Gulls mixed in.  On the fence surrounding the "bird breeding area" we saw two female Common Kestrels.

We had lunch here and the retraced our steps back to the Viejo hide but we couldn´t get in due to a horse which had taken advantage of the shade, so we made our way round to the Escondilla hide, en route seeing a Booted Eagle.

Booted Eagle  Aguililla Calzada  Hieraaetus pennatus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
A the latter named hide it was a case of Little Grebes, Little Grebes and more of the former, a few Mallard, a Moorhen and some Coots.

So to the last hide of the day, Laguna Grande. Again the gull population was the prominent species here, including Black-headed, Yellow-legged, Herring and two Lesser Black-backed.  While I was scoping through the gulls, two waders flew past, they turned out to be Little Ringed Plovers.  Also here were Ringed Plovers, Common Sandpipers, a Great White Egret, Grey Herons, Shovelers, Crested Larks, Coot and Moorhens, a lone Yellow Wagtail and a small flock of some twenty Serins.  On the "Osprey pole" a female Common Kestrel landed alongside two Cormorants and below in the bushes a Collared Dove flew in.  Another small group of House Martins flew through and following these came a House Sparrow and a Spotless Starling.

Common Sandpiper Andarrios Chico Actitis hypoleucos with Little Ringed Plovers Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius in foreground (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Only one extra "tick" on the way back and that was two Greenfinches, but we did get good views of a female Praying Mantis.

African Mantis Apteromantis aptera(?) Sphodromatis viridis (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Not a terrific amount of birds, but, a pleasant few hours birding.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob, The mantis is the African Mantis (Sphodromatis viridis) identified by the white spot in the wing case.

    All the best Mick.