Thursday, 25 October 2018

Guadalhorce, Malaga

Wednesday 24 October

Chris to the airport for 11.30 so time for a couple of hours at the Guadalhorce before returning home for a late lunch.  Greeted by a few House sparrows and a dozen or so Spotless Starlings I made my way to the footbridge where I was able to see a pair of soaring Booted Eagles.  Just the one Heron and a couple of Coot on the river itself along with a couple of the resident Rock Dove resting be;low the motorway bridge.  A Cormorant flew into the site as I made my way to the Laguna Casillas where I found much water and few birds.  Just the single Little Grebe and about dozen Coot.  But way up high there were a number of feeding Crag Martins.

Moving on to the Wader Pool this was even worse with the sole birds being a trio of Coot.  I did have a resting Kestrel in a nearby tree and a calling Cetti's Warbler but otherwise nothing.  So onto the old river where I was once again rewarded with much water and little bird life albeit a single Great White Egret took of and re-settled at the far end.  Just a pair of Black-winged Stilt as I made my way to the Sea Watch and noted the handful of Greenfinch.

The sea was calm with deserted beaches.  using the scope I managed to pick out a very small mixed group of Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls and at the mouth of the eastern arm three Cormorants and a singe Great Crested Grebe on the water.  A couple of Stonechat were seen on the beach rubbish and making my way back a quartet of screaming Monk Parakeets passed overhead.  On the other hand, a quick call in at the Wader Pool did result in me locating a couple of Snipe and the presence of Ian Kirk out birding.

Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta (front) with Sanderling Calidris alba and Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
At least the Laguna Escondida showed some signs of life with the presence of a score or more Shoveler.  Looking carefully I also added Moorhen then Pochard, Teal and a pair of Wigeon.  Before leaving the ducks had also been joined by a pair of White-headed Duck.  A good number of Little Grebe were present and a Kingfisher was busy working the site.  At the far end we had a lovely view of a visiting juvenile Marsh Harrier by which time visiting birder David Hird had also arrived at the hide.

Black-necked Grebe Zampulin Cuellinegro Podiceps nigricollis
And so on to the Laguna Grande where there was also a good supply of birds including about 40 Cormorant and the same number of Black-winged Stilts.  At least a half-dozen Herons reflecting that both Heron and Cormorant numbers were beginning to build up as winter approached.  Most of the Black-winged Stilts were close to the nearby island along with a number of waders including single Bar-tailed Godwit and Avocet and a small mixed group of Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin.  Further out on the water a constant movement of Moorhen and a what looked like a family party of seven Black-necked Grebes.  To the left both Collared Doves and Spotless Starlings in the bare trees.

Bar-tailed Godwit Aguja Colipinta Limosa lapponica
The island at the far right had three more Bar-tailed Godwits feeding nearby and in the trees at the very back both a resting Osprey and Peregrine Falcon.  With 37 species recorded I then made my way home.

Top left the Peregrine Falcon Halcon Peregrino Falco pelegrinoides and bottom right the Osprey Aguila Pescadora Pandion haliaetus

Birds seen:
Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Great White Egret, Heron, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Snipe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Lesser Back-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Kingfisher, Crag Martin, Stonechat, Cetti's Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Greenfinch.

How many duck species can you find?
Dunlin Correlimos Comun Calidris alpina
Resting Dunlin Calidris alpina and Sanderling Calidris alba
Male Shoveler Cuchara Comun Anas clypeata
Distant record sht of the Peregrine Falcon Halcon Peregrino Falco pelegrinoides

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