Good job I live her and not a little further inland as John's latest birding report, just received, informs me that they have had a somewhat wet day over in Salar so leading to a visit to the Guadalhorce in Malaga where, for the first time that I have heard, they managed to find a Crane. Despite the cold, John and Jenny Wainwright seems to have a good session as can be sen from the following.
Guadlahorce: Tuesday 2nd February
A day of contrasts from warm to bitterly cold.
Parking up opposite the flats at the beach end of the reserve we headed down to the sea, on the way seeing Monk Parakeets by the dozen, Chiffchaffs, Zitting Cisticola and our first of the year House Martin. On the shoreline we spotted Sanderlings, a Common Sandpiper and a Yellow-legged Gull, while in the bushes a few House Sparrows and a Sardinian Warbler were noted.
|A pair of Teal Anas crecca with two Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago on the bank (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
|Juvenile Common Crane Grus grus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
spotted a Greenshank, Black-winged Stilts and another Little Ringed Plover. In the reeds behind the island a Little Egret and a Grey Heron were perched. As I was looking through another group of waders that had just alighted (all Little Ringed Plovers), a Kingfisher flew through my line of vision and, above us, the raucous calls of Monk Parakeets was heard.
|Those marauding, raucous Monk Parakeets Mylopsitta monachus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
As the wind had now changed direction - so that taking the track back to the hides we would be walking into it - we decided to take the beach way back. This yielded a few Crested Larks, Meadow Pipits, House Sparrows, White Wagtails and Stonechats. Several Zitting Cisticolas were seen on our way to the Laguna Grande and once in the hide we couldn´t miss the smell of the Greater Cormorants as the wind was directly into it. Three Shovelers, a few Grey Herons, two Black-winged Stilts, another quick view of a Kingfisher, then a juvenile Marsh Harrier lifted out of the reed bed and above him a Booted Eagle circled then flew down low over the water and into the trees to the left of the hide.
|Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
So along to the Escondida hide where we saw more Crag Martins, another House Martin, White-headed Ducks, Little Grebe and a Sardinian Warbler. No sign of the Common Crane but we did see a Bath White butterfly (what a brave soul). As we crossed the bridge we noted a Common Kestrel in the bare tree and to end it all an Osprey gave us a couple of circles and then disappeared over the autovia.
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