At last, back in the birding saddle with a visit to the Guadalhorce in Malaga for the monthly field visit of the Andalucia Bird Society and over 60 species recorded including Thekla Lark and Stonechat on the way down the mountain and a welcome home by this week's small resident flock of Bee-eaters. a clear,dry and sunny morning but, pleasingly, not quite as hot as the previous few days.
|Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Starting out there were a good number of swifts to be seen feeding overhead, mainly Common but also a number of Pallid Swifts. Likewise, plenty of Barn Swallows about plus a handful of Red-rumped Swallows and a few House Martins. Naturally, we were greeted by a raucous flock of Monk Parakeets. From the footbridge we were able to see Coots and Moorhens plus the off Little Egret along with the resident flock of Rock Doves and a scattering of Spotless Starlings. Up river to the right of the first bridge a Kingfisher rested for very many minutes showing off his salmon-coloured breast. From here and regularly throughout the morning we had views of Zitting Cisticolas and even produced a couple of Sardinian Warblers.
|Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
The first hide overlooking the Laguna Casillas produced a few Coots and Little Grebe plus a White-headed Duck and single male Common Pochard. However, pride of lace must have gone to the Little Bittern that kept us entertained from the top of the opposite reed bed. The first Little Egret was seen and more were to follow during the course of the morning. Around us we had a movement of Serins, Goldfinches and House Sparrows plus a single Greenfinch. From the neighbouring hide overlooking the Wader Pool the first sight of waders. A few Black-winged Stilts and about twenty Little Ringed Plovers along with a Kentish Plover. A pair of Green Sandpipers were feeding to the left whilst a Common Sandpiper did likewise from the centre island. Then, there in the old tree at the front of the nearest island, another Kingfisher to entertain us as he fished away to his heart's content.
|Fishing lessons about to commence from this Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
|Record shot of well-camouflaged Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Very little to be seen at sea or on the beach so the group split to make their separate ways to the remaining two lagunas. Those travelling via the beach managed to record both Nightingale and Olivacious Warbler and at the Laguna Grande found a juvenile Redshank. Meanwhile, the other group had a surprise visit from a close Booted Eagle at the Laguna Casillas and a few Grey Herons had arrived at the Wader Pool. Also at the latter, the visiting Snipe reappeared and remained well-concealed but, in the end, all were able to find the bird. Finally, leaving the pool, a large flock of Barn Swallows were taking a well-earned rest in the shade.
|Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis with Lesser Black-backed, Yellow-legged and Audouin's Gulls Larus fuscus, Larus michahellis & Larus audouinii
|Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus over the Laguna Casillas
|Resting flock of Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica but can you find the Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica?
|Audouin's Gulls Larus audouinii
|Record shot of Little Tern Sterna albifrons over Laguna Grande
Gadwall, Mallar, Shoveler, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Little Bittern, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Flamingo,Booted Eagle,Kestrel,Moorhen,Coot,Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Little Stint, Dunlin, Snipe, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Kingfisher, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue-headed Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Nightingale, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.