Monday, 19 October 2020

Guadalhorce, Malaga

 Monday 19 October

Arriving at 9.45 with a clear blue sky, sun shining brightly and no wind I was all set for 3 1/2 hours birding taking in the complete site.  Crossing the footbridge I had both a Grey Heron and Little Egret on a log just below the upstream motorway bridge and a couple of Rock Doves resting on the bridge support.  Carrying on towards the Laguna Casillas both Stonechat and Serins before watching a single Jay fly across the track and off the the distant hedgerow.

Once ensconced at Laguna Casillas just a handful of Coot and a couple of Little Grebe before adding a pair of recently arrived Mallard.  A Moorhen paddle across the water  before I picked up a lone Snipe needing at the water's edge to my right.  Still Barn Swallows feeding over the water and these have now been joined by the first of the wintering Crag Martins.  A couple of Blackcap were foraging in the tamarisks below the hide and as I departed a Kestrel flew over.

Common Snipe Agachadiza Comun Gallinago gallinago

Arriving at the Wader Pool having just recorded both Greenfinch and a Pied Flycatcher, I found a total of five Black-winged Stilts and nothing else until a Kingfingsher flashed past and away to my right.  So, onwards towards the beach but first checking out the Rio Viejo (Old River) and finding a single juvenile Flamingo apparently trying to sieve the wet mud!  A few Ringed Plovers working the far bank and a Spotted Flycatcher in the dead tree on the island.  In the distance I could see resting Monk Parakeets, Cormorants and Spotless Starlings in the dead trees towards Laguna Grande plus a pair of Kestrel.  Nothing other than a handful of Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the sea so back toward the Wader Pool finding many more Stonechats, a trio of Sardinian Warblers, a Zitting Cisticola and a the first of two Blackbirds seen during the morning.

A small number of House Sparrows was found at the back of Laguna Casillas and approaching the  Laguna Escsondida a couple of Chiffchaff.  The water itself held a score or more Shoveler along with a trio of Little Grebe and a few Coot and Moorhen.  Whilst it was lovely to see another Kingfisher dash across the back of the water and a handful of Blackcap feeding close by to my left, the real treat came when a Kingfisher arrived to rest and study the potential food below right in front of the hide.

Kingfisher Martin Pescador Alcedo atthis

Observing the Laguna Grande from the main hide proved most productive.  The water levels may have been lower than usual but, nevertheless, at least a dozen Black-winged Stilt and a score or more resting Cormorants.  Next to the Cormorants a trio of Flamingo and a lone Spoonbill.  Mainly resting at the back right near the island as well as in many a hidden corners at least thirty Shelduck were noted.

Shelduck Tarro Blanco Tadorna tadorna

In addition to a few Lesser Black-backed there was also a handful of Black-headed Gulls.  Nearer to the hide  plenty of Ringed Plovers and both singles of Kentish Plover and White Wagtail along with a quartet of Dunlin.  In the trees no shortage of Spotless Starlings and a couple of Collared Doves which was how I came to find the roosting Osprey at the back of the water.  More searching of the far shore to my top right found three Jackdaw on the island, a trio of Sanderling and then the single Black-tailed Godwit.  Even a second Snipe feeding on the island in front of the hide.

Spoonbill Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia (front) with Flamingo Flamneco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus

So, a most enjoyable morning in perfect birding weather which finally produced a total of 43 species.

The very distant resting Osprey Aguila Pescadora Pandion haliaetus

Bird seen:

Shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Osprey, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Kinfisher, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Jay, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch.

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