Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Guadalhorce, Malaga

Tuesday 3 March

Just received an interesting and fun report from my friends Derek and Barbara Etherton who, without course to set alarms, managed to get themselves down to the Desembocadura Guadalhorce reserve first thing, well almost first thing, this morning.  On the other hand, they do have the advantage of living less than twenty minutes away.

We went down early this morning to enjoy the good weather.  On site by 08.45 and the first thing we noticed was how low the river was.  The footings for the motorway bridge were visible and both Common and Green Sandpipers were making use of the exposed mud.  A Kingfisher was perched on one of the motorway bridge supports and the usual suspects of Little Egrets, Moorhens and Coots abounded.  When we crossed back some three hours later the level had been raised considerably, guess they must have some control over it nearby.

The first hide on the eastern arm, Laguna Casillas, had White-headed Duck, Pochard, Teal, Little Grebe and Purple Swamphen showing well.

The main wader hide, Wader Pool, was excellent with the lower water levels; Sanderling, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, two Curlew Sandpiper, Ringed and Little Ringed as well as Kentish PloversTwo Grey Plovers made a fleeting stop. 

Black-tailed Godwit Aguja Colinegra Limosa limosa

Walking towards the Sea Watch point there was not much on the open water to the right, the Rio Viejo, but very different on the way back!  Counted twenty-two Sanderlings 'heaped' together, Redshank, Ringed and Kentish Plover and three Ruff showing beautifully.  Oh, from the watchpoint, zero terns but five Mediterranean in a raft of Black-headed Gulls.  A solitary Black-necked Grebe was feeding just off the shore in front of us. 

Walking back Escondida was disappointing, but from the main Laguna Grande hide two Yellow Wagtails f.flavisima were very prominent just in front.  there were two Flamingos at the back and energetic "coupling" between two Little Ringed Plovers kept us amused!  As did the antics of the Kentish Plover who seemed 'put out' by their behaviour!

Kentish Plover Chorlitejo patinegro Charadrius alexandrinus perhaps wondering about what its cousins might be up to!

We recorded a list of 56 species and introduced the Andalucia Bird Society to a Norfolk couple who holiday down here a few months of the year.

Exhausted we returned home via a Menu de Dia at Ikea, well meatballs anyway.

Bugger it.....still no Red-rumped!!!!!!!!!

I know the feeling (about the missing Red-rumps) so hoping to put that right with an inland visit to Huerta Tajar in the morning.  Sort of a "Watch this space" as they say.  Whatever, it sounds as if Derek and Barbara had a great morning to the envy of us all who stayed at home.

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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