Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Some people never seem to run out of time or excuses to grab a spot of birding.  I'm just glad that I'm not the only one!  A bit of shopping?  No problem, there's bound to time for some birding somewhere near and when the shopping involves Leroy Merlins then it is only natural that the short drive round the corner is called for so that one can check out the Guadalhorce.  Seems reasonable to me and also, it would appear, to John and Jenny Wainwright.  The only downside, as John stated in his email accompanying the following report, was the "lots of schoolkids and cyclists about and very hot."  Well, we can't have everything, especially when we are looking for an excuse to get in a little more birding!

Guadlahorce: Tuesday 8th April

A very hot day with very little breeze.  A trip down to Leroy Merlin's meant a few hours at Guadlahorce for us.  On the way down we saw Grey Heron, Wood Pigeon, Collared Doves and Spotless Starlings.

After parking outside of the primary school we gained the embankment and looked up and down the estuary - not a thing in sight - although we could hear the Reed Warblers across the river.  A few Barn and Red-rumped Swallows were seen as we crossed the bridge into the reserve then joined by seven House Martins and one Common SwiftZitting Cisticola seemed to be everywhere, and as we came out of the bamboo at the crosspath a Nightingale started singing.

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
At the Casilla hide the majority bird was the Pochard.  Also here we saw White-headed Ducks, Little Grebe, Mallard, Black-winged Stilts, Moorhens and CootsReed, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warblers were singing well and above us several Yellow-legged Gulls circled.  Behind us Crested Larks, a Common Kestrel and a Hoopoe were noted.  A few butterflies here such as Common Swallowtail, Large and Small Whites and one Bath White.  Lots of largish dragonflies about but none close enough to ID.

Moving on to the Viejo hide we saw four juvenile Greater Flamingos, several Little Ringed Plovers, Cormorants, Goldfinches, our first Monk Parakeets of the day and a small group of ten Bee-eaters flew over - very high though.  As we were departing a Redshank flew in.

Juvenile Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus  (PHOTO: John Wainwright
The old Viejo pools held three Greenshank, six Dunlin, Kentish and Little Ringed Plovers, Sanderlings, a lone Grey Plover, Black-headed Gulls, Crested Larks and a Hoopoe; then three more Bee-eaters flew overhead.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

At the Seawatch only Lesser Black-backs, Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls and a few Cormorants were on and over the sea.

Retracing our steps and then heading for the Escondida hide where not a lot was happening; more Pochard and White-headed Ducks, two Gadwall dropped in and the only Sand Martin of the day was seen here along with previously mention hirondines.  A Little Egret flew in just below the hide but flew out again after a couple of minutes.

White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Moving along to Laguna Grande a large gathering of Grey Herons, Cormorants, Cattle and Little Egrets were at the far end of the laguna.   Waders were as previously mentioned, the only "extra" being a Common Sandpiper.  A couple of Moorhens and a juvenile Yellow Wagtail were also noted. 

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Well, I suppose we had better do what we came down here for in the first place, i.e. Leroy Merlins!

And here was I thinking that you did the shopping first!  Silly me.

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

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