|Bee-eater Abejaruco Europea Merops apiaster|
How many times have I suggested that you should try and avoid the Guadalhorce reserve on a Sunday, especially a sunny Sunday afternoon when the mass public is in attendance undertaking their own rec recreational activities? I can only lead to frustration, annoyance and down-right anger. So why was I at the Guadalhorce for a couple of hours early Sunday afternoon? My excuse is that I had just delivered the lady wife to the airport and the site seemed so near that it would have been a shame to just straight back home to the empty house, no company ,lots of jobs to be done, etc, etc, etc. Now might be the time to get out the violin and either take pity or throw up!
|Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta|
It might have been very warm on the mountain but it was even hotter down at the coast with the Guadalmar road thermometer showing 30C and not a cloud in the sky. But the Cetti's Warblers were singing away as I walked up and along the track to the footbridge. Screaming Monk Parakeets had just passed over and there was certainly no shortage of House Martins. Just the occasional Barn Swallow but no sign of either Red-rumped Swallow or an early Swift. A few resident Rock Doves were under the motorway bridge and a couple of Coot paddled away in the river.
|Female Common Pochard Porron Europea Aythya ferina|
|Black-winged Stilt Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus|
But upon arriving the hide, other than the above stilts, there was not a bird to be seen. Why? Then I saw the two-legged reason. Right in front of me walking from the back of the pool towards the hide was a chap carrying a baby and holding his four-year old son's hand. I could not believe what I was seeing! There he was, as bold as brass, just wandering along like a holiday-maker taking a Sunday stroll along Blackpool beach; it was a wonder they did not stop to make sand castles! I had seen the Junta car parked just round the bend and a couple of wardens strolling along but, it seems to me, nobody ever sees what they need to see - unless its Trafico looking for urgent cash and stopping every car they can lay their hands on. Time, me thought, to take a photograph of this rogue fellow and, lifting the camera, noticed that he was not alone., his wife having just reached the bank below me. Presumably they had walked right through the back of the reserve disturbing everything. With insufficient Spanish to say what I would have like to have said and surrounded by other "tourists" rather than nature lovers, I gave up in disgust rather than confront this indulgent, ignorant idiot and set off to take a look at the old river in the hope that when I returned perhaps the birds, too, might have come to the same decision.
|Avocet Avoceta Comun Recurvirostra avosetta|
Not a lot in the Rio Viejo but scoping did produce some results including a single Dunlin, a good number of Black-winged Stilts and all three small Plovers, Little Ringed, Ringed and Kentish. A few Sanderlings at the far end and even a distant Turnstone. The first of a couple of Common Kestrels passed over the track. The bushes below produced a few Greenfinches and Serins and Reed Warblers were singing below me as I made my way back to the Wader Pool. Some birds had now returned including a pair of Avocet and a Redshank. Once again, the Little Ringed Plovers were walking their favourite sandbar. A quick look in at the Casillas produced many more White-headed Ducks, a good number of Common Pochard but the Red-crested Pochard had disappeared from view.
|White-headed Duck Malvasia Cabeciblanca Oxyura leucocephala|
|Those beautiful Bee-eaters Abejaruco Europea Merops apiaster on display by the score|
|Kentish Plover Chorlitejo Patinegro Charadrius alexandrinus at the Laguna Grande|
|The Curlew Sandpipers Correlimos Zarapitin Calidris ferruginea - also at the Laguna Grande|
|Wood Sandpiper Andarrios Bastardo Tringa glareola|
Gadwall, Mallard, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Turnstone, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Bee-eater, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Reed Warbler, Spotless Starling, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.