|Sleepy Garganey Cerceta Carretona Anas querquedula
With a dozen of us up in Extremadura for the first week and myself and others away for much of the rest of the month, the June meeting of the Axarquia Bird Group was held at the Guadalhorce, Malaga on the last day of May, what you might call "June's Eve" or even, being the day before June 1st, June 0th! A beautiful sunny morning with not a cloud in the sky as we set off for the reserve with a final group of thirteen members present for most or part of the morning including Pat and Eric Lyon, Marcus and Liz Rootes, Lesley Laver, Ian Kirk, Ellie Wallbank from Marbella, visiting and welcome back Ian Templeton from Fuengirola, Patrick Raines from Canillas de Albaida with his two small grandchildren, met up at the Laguna Escondida, James Moore, Dan Wilkinson and Brian Green from Triana, my friend Andy Paterson from Torremolinos and myself. Indeed, along the way we also came across Micky Smith and the ever-present Ted Lord so loads of birders about this morning, which was more than could be said for the birds! We may only have recorded 50 species but what a selection; it really was a case of quality rather than quantity.
Latest news from Pat to inform me that not only did I miss the Zitting Cisticola seen by James and others but I also managed not to record both the Blackbird and House Sparrow seen by she, Eric and neighbours in the hide. So unless any further responses come in, it looks like we eventually reached the magic 50 mark.
|Lots of White-headed Ducks Malvasia Cabeciblanca Oxyura leucocephala now in residence
|Ringed Plover Chorl;itejo Grande Charadrius hiaticula above and Kentish Plover Chorlitejo Patinegro Charadrius alexandrinus below
At the Wader Pool a small number of Black-winged Stilts, most seemed to be sitting on nests on or near the Laguna Grande, along with a couple of Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover and three Ringed Plovers. At one time or another, a total of three Little Egrets wee present and in the distant trees that separated the pool from the Laguna Grande, a small number of Bee-eaters. Below the hide the occasional Goldfinch and Greenfinch were seen along with a Sardinian Warbler and a very obscured sight of a single Greenshank through Eric's scope.
|Lots of Avocets Avoceta Comun Recurvirostra avosetta to be seen this morning
|This Goldfinch Jilguero Carduelis carduelis waited until the last possible second before moving away
Reaching the Sea Watch the water looked quite inviting and even the fishermen on the beach were dressed in minimal attire. Just when we had concluded that there was nothing at all to be seen, up cam the sight of twenty-five Common Scoters, including at least two adult males. It is amazing to see these dark "blobs" gently drifting on the water and then, suddenly, a mass dive before all returns to normal once more. As we left the viewpoint, the party split into half with the choice being beach or returning the way we had come. A rather large and lovely female Common Kestrel rose in front of us to bis us farewell and I joined the "return route" group. Good job, too, for on reaching the Wader Pool we had a good, albeit distant, view of a single Roller in the top of a bare tree at the back of Laguna Grande. What a sight and what was that doing here? First a Collared Pratincole and now another bird that ought to have been long gone. At this rate, there are going to be no new birds to see in Extremadura next week!
|The distant Roller Carraca Europea Coracias garrulus passing through the site
|Slender-billed Gull Gaviota Picofina Larius genei
|A Booted Eagle Aguililla Calzada Hieraaetus pennatus to see us on our way home
Birds seen (until informed otherwise):
Gadwall, Mallard, Garganey, Pochard, Common Scoter, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Little Bittern, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Redshank, Greenshank, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin,Collared Pratincole, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Roller, Bee-eater, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.
|Greenfinch Verderon Comun Carduelis chloris
|Female Common Kestrel Cernicalo Vulgar Falco tinnunculus
|Departing Little Egret Garceta Comun Egretta garzetta
|The diminutive Zitting Cisticola Buitron Cisticola juncidis
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.