Tuesday 26 February 2013

Guadalhorce, Malaga

The weather must be improving and just in time for Jenny's recent bout of bronchitis which has kept John and Jenny Wainwright cooped up in their Salares home and devoid of serious birding.  But, by jove, they made up for it on yesterday's visit the to Guadalhorce in Malaga where, in addition to the birds on the Reserve, they had large flocks of both Common Scoter and Pintails, both rather lovely birds, out on the open sea.  Lucky them!

Osprey Aguila Pescadora Pandion haliaetus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
25th February 2013

A very warm day but the wind had a real chill to it.  As we entered the reserve we saw Cormorants, Jackdaws, Rock Doves, Monk Parakeets and Mallard, while in the small bushes we found Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warblers, Black Redstarts and Chiffchaff - the latter being in full song. Above the bushes there were quite a few hirundines including House and Crag Martin and Barn Swallow.

Moving onto the Laguna de la Casilla, here we saw Pochard, Gadwall, White-headed Ducks, Teal, Coot and Little Grebes. Overhead we located  Booted Eagle and three Grey Herons and above the reed beds we saw Red-rumped Swallows and two Sand Martins.

At the next hide - Rio Viejo - lots of Black-winged Stilts, a Redshank and two Greenshanks were noted although not very good views of them, several Little-ringed Plovers, a lone juvenile Greater Flamingo. Teal, Shovelers and Mallard represented the duck family and  a few Goldfinch, Stonechats, Serins and Greenfinches were also seen here.  Crested Larks were in good numbers but very little else about in the rough areas and a Marsh Harrier was seen in the area of the Laguna Grande.

As we approached the Sea Watch area a huge flock of ducks landed about 300metres out at sea these we found to be Pintails  - forty three of them. Two largish flocks - totalling seventy - of Common Scoters were also seen here. A small group of Auduoins Gulls some Black-headed, Yellow-legged and three Lesser Black-backed Gulls were also noted. A sudden movement to the right of the Auduoins and we located a Razorbill and a few minutes later another one.

On the groynes a Little Egret was fishing and over this flew a Great White Egret, small numbers of Little Ringed Plovers with seven Turnstones and along the beach we watched Sanderlings, Crested Larks, three Kentish Plovers, one Dunlin and a few White Wagtails.

We then made our way to the Escodida hide where the chilly wind was blowing directly into our faces we did get White-headed duck, Teal, Shoveler, Moorhen and a few Coots here, and so onto Laguna Grande.

Shoveler Cuchara Comun Anas clypeata on the Laguna Escondida (PHOTO: John wainwright)
 It was very pleasant in this hide as the wind had died down a tad by now and here we picked up a Common Buzzard sat in the bare trees opposite and in the water below us White-headed Duck, Shovelers, Black-winged Stilts and two Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding.

At last, the Osprey Aguila Pescadora Pandion haliaetus on the wing (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
On the islands a lone Spoonbill was seen along with more Grey Herons, a few Wigeon, Cormorants, Black-necked and Little Grebes, a single Grey Wagtail and a Common Sandpiper were spotted on the far mud-bank and in the surrounding bushes were saw Great Tit, Blackbird and Sardinian Warbler. Jenny spotted a raptor flying over the trees this was the Osprey it landed on the tall post and was there for a good twenty minutes before flying out to sea.

A Common Kestrel was seen as we left the reserve.

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

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