Up early and off in the dark to collect Rosie and Ann from their hotel in Torremolinos and then over to the Charca de Suarez reserve in Motril for the morning. By the time we arrived just before ten the sun was already beating down from the clear blue sky and temperatures starting to soar. Come departure time at one o'clock there was a slight breeze to compensate for the heat which had by then reached the low thirties.
|Male Red Avadavat Bengai Rojo Amandava amandava|
No sooner had we entered the main gate than we could hear numerous calling Cetti's Warblers and a male Blackbird flew across the track and into the reserve proper. At about the same time the first of a number of Cetti's Warblers was actually seen. Straight down to the new lagoon, Laguna del Alamo Blanco, where we found a single Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt and a juvenile Flamingo. About score of ducks which seemed evenly split between Mallards and Teals but also a pair of Shoveler in eclipse plumage. Just the single Grey Wagtail and a lone White Wagtail foraging on the muddy shires. As we approached a Snipe took to the skies but we soon found a second individual along with a single Green Sandpiper.
|Little Grebe Zampullin Comun Tachybaptus ruficollis on laguna del Taraje|
Having come across a few Serins on the walk to the Laguna del Lirio, the water produced a second Grey Wagtail along with a few Coots and Moorhens including a pair of juveniles of the latter. The female Stonechat that put in an appearance was a welcome sighting but not so much as the Kingfisher that flew in front of the hide, made a brief landing on the dead stick in front and then shot off towards the back of the water where it was quickly followed by a second individual. A pool too soon as we found a single, collar tagged, Red-knobbed Coot on this water which gave us much pleasure as we identified the little red knobs above its white plate and the chance to compare its shape and outline with the nearby Common Coots.
|Red-knobbed Coot Focha Motuna Fulica cristata on Laguna del Lirio|
|Record shot of Bluethroat Ruisenor Pechiazul Luscinia svecica on Laguna del Trebol|
|Record shot of Snipe Agachadiza Comun Gallinago gallinago|
Finally, Rosie spotted the target bird as a Purple Swamphen paddled away from the island to the right to climb out and explore the reeds for food. Almost straight away a second individual repeated the same journey and we then had a pair sharing their dining arrangements. No gulls to be seen but we did get a fleeting glance of a handful of hirundines pass high overhead. However, much as I suspect that they were Crag Martins down from the mountains for the winter, the hide's window prevented us being able to get any chance of a better sighting; they were seen and gone!
|The feeding Purple Swamphens calamon Comun Porphyrio porphyrio on laguna de las Aneas|
We finished the circuit be returning to the original water but not before joining many others to look at, and photograph, the little green frog, Mediterranean Tree Fog Ranita Meridional Hyla meridionalis, that had been found on a reed stem.
|Mediterranean Tree Frog Ranita Meridional Hyla meridionalis|
Our last stay at the Alamo Blanco produced yet more Red Avadavats and a couple of Ringed Plovers had arrived since our earlier departure along with a female Ruff (Reeve). Our first Cattle Egret of the morning flew over and was joined by the Little Egret from the water below. Shame that we were not able to confirm the hirundines as Crag martins as that would have taken the species total for the day to the round 40. On the other hand, a call at the Malaga Parador on the way home did produce a number of Monk Parakeets so perhaps we could include those.
Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Flamingo, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Red-knobbed Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin, Bluethroat, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Red Avadavat, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
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