The weather forecast was spot on; overnight rain followed by more rain! On the other hand, when contacted to see if we were still meeting as it was absolutely poring down in Granada province, being still dark I had to actually step outside to see what was happening. Yes, there was a steady light rainfall but in the east I could see a glorious red sunrise and the cloud cover was not dense but broken. So, on the basis that somebody might turn up I drive down to the Guadalhorce in Malaga for the monthly meeting of the Axarquia Bird Group and parked where I have advised everybody not to park - on the basis that the rain had stopped and I decided, having arrived, to walk over to the eastern arm whilst, at the same time, any late-comer might recognise the car.
Ten Monk Parakeets flew over by way of a welcome and a soggy-looking White Wagtail put in an appearance on the other side of the road. Walking up the bank to the track I could see in excess of thirty Cormorants roosting in the trees at the back of the main water and another forty or so suddenly appeared in front of me having taken off from the river between the bridges to move in to the main reserve. Five Blackbirds were on the fence top and a female Sardinian Warbler was feeding below the wooden fence to my right. Making my way towards the footbridge I also had a couple of Back Redstarts and a pair of very bright Serins. From the bridge, a single Little Egret downstream and a handful of Coot along with the occasional Moorhen.
|The magnificent Booted Eagle Aguililla Calzada Hieraaetus pennatus|
|One of the two Southern Water Voles Rata de Agua Arvicola sapidus seen on the Laguna Casillas|
There was/is still plenty of water on the Wader Pool if not waders themselves other than a quartet of Black-winged Stilts. At least a dozen Teal and a couple of Little Egrets arrived and departed as did the single juvenile Flamingo. A Robin arrived to scratch around below the front of the hide and a single White Wagtail was feeding at the edges. No sooner had a lone Greenfinch flown seawards in front of the hide, passing a Meadow Pipit on the way, than it was replace by the first Redshank travelling in the opposite direction. At this point Lesley found the Snipe that quickly disappeared from view only to reappear with another. In the trees to the back left the Cormorants continued to rest but they were accompanied by a pair of Peregrines which remained through this first stay. The tree next the Peregrines then provided our second Booted Eagle of the day followed by a resting Marsh Harrier.
|Juvenile Grey Plover Chorlito Gris Pluvialis squatarola on the Rio Viejo|
|The very watchable Snipe Agachadiza Comun Gallinago gallinago on the Wader Pool|
So it was on the Laguna Escondida and that did that produce some excitement! Not so much the large number of Little Grebes, nor the constant supply of both Chiffchaffs and Crag Martins, not even the White-headed Duck nor the first House Martin (just the one) of the year, but a very close and exposed sight of yet another Booted Eagle that really let us experiment with camera settings as it posed quite happily in front of us. Meanwhile, overhead and behind us, we had a constant aerial display from fourteen flying adult Flamingos.
|A fly-past from the fourteen Flamingos Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus|
|Only the one Black-necked Grebe Zampullin Cuelinegro Podiceps nigricollis|
|Lovely to see so many Teal Cerceta Comun Anas crecca|
Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Heron, Flamingo, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover, Snipe, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Monk Parakeet, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.
|Black-winged Stilt Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.