Monday, 29 April 2019

Guadalhorce, Malaga

Monday 29 April

Off to the airport to collect my birding friend, Marieke so left home early and able to spend a couple of hours at the Guadalhorce in Malaga on way.  A couple of Collared Doves as I approached the river and then the first sighing of a score of Spotless Starlings which seemed to "pop up" all over the reserve during the next two hours as they undertook their foraging activities,  Like the House Sparrow also seen as I approached the footbridge it seemed that the favoured food was grass seed as the birds were always in the grass when approached.  Once on the bridge a couple of resident Rock Doves under the motorway bridge and a Little Egret flew in to land in the reeds below me.  meanwhile, a good number of House Martins flying around and, presumably, once again nesting under the footbridge.

Laguna Grande from the main hide

On to the Laguna Casillas where I was still aware of the good numbers of House Martins accompanied by fewer Barn Swallows and a couple of Red-rumped Swallows.  Indeed, House Martins and Barn Swallows were seen throughout the visit.  On the water a few Coots and a couple of Black-winged Stilts till the Little Grebe re-surfaced.  Just the one pair of Mallard but also a single male White-headed DuckReed Warblers were busy calling both below and behind me.

Grey Plover Chorlito Gris Pluvialis squatarola
The Wader Pool seemed a little quiet, having noticed the pair of Pochard between the two waters, with only a handful of Black-winged Stilts on the water along with a pair of Dunlin.  Checking the banks and sandbars I soon added Little Ringed Plovers and then found more Black-winged Stilts resting away to my left along with a single Redshank.  Calling in on my way back I discovered that not had the Redshank taken to the water but there were two other individuals to be seen along with more Little Ringed Plover

Dunlin Correlimos Comun Calidris alpina

Goldfinches as I made my way to the Rio Viejo (Old River) as a Heron flew over where I found far more small plovers; a good mix of both Kentish and Little Ringed Plover.  At the far end was a single Grey Plover and a pair of Avocet. Lots of Black-winged Stilts and a pair of Shelduck flew off to the main water.  The far island held a quartet of Audouin's Gulls and a couple of Little Stint.

Kentish Plover Chorlitejo Patinegro Charadrius alexandrinus; male left, female right

Back towards the Laguna Escondida noticing that a Moorhen had appeared on Casilla and also a hovering Kestrel above me.  Lots of singing Nightingales and Reed Warblers and even a pair of noisy Monk Parakeet overhead.  The pool itself was very quiet with just two Mallard, a single Little Grebe and maybe a quintet of Coot.

Sandwich Tern Charran Patinegro Sterna sandvicensis with Dunlin behind
So the main hide overlooking the Laguna Grande where the water was white with birds.  Lots of Gulls, mainly Black-headed but also a quintet of Slender-billed, a few Yellow-legged and even at least one Mediterranean Gull.  Two juvenile Flamingo and I counted a total of seven Shelduck.  A single Sandwich Tern rested on the scrape in front of the hide whilst a Whiskered Tern was fishing in the same area.  The Sandwich Tern eventually departed joining three of its kind that appeared from the sea.  On the crape a lovely selection of waders that were constantly harried by the Black-winged Stilts.  Two Dunlin and a Curlew Sandpiper along with many Ringed and Kentish Plovers and a single Grey Plover.

Curlew Sandpiper Correlimos Zarapitin Calidris ferruginea

Time to move on to the airport to collect Marieke and passing the meadow I had a male Sardinian Warbler followed by a noisy Cetti's Warbler approaching the footbridge.  Just the bare two hours so all a  little hurried but I did manage 41 species.

Beautiful Slender-billed Gulls Gaviota Picofina Larus genei 
Birds seen:
Shelduck, Mallard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Audoin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Nightingale, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.

Curlew Sandpiper with Dunlin behind

Our patient Sandwich Tern Charran Patinegro Sterna sandvicensis

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