Thursday 27 July 2017

Guadalhorce, Malaga

Thursday 27 July

With close friend and neighbour Bryan Stapley about to move back to the UK, despite the promised heat this was an opportunity to spend a last birding day at one of our favourite local site, the mouth of the Guadalhore in Malaga.  Arriving just before 9am we soon picked up a resting Kestrel as we walked towards the  footbridge into the reserve with House Martins feeding overhead along with the occasional Barn Swallow.  A Zitting Cisicola "hopped" over the track in front and down the bank and looking upstream from the bridge we had our first Heron the morning.  Then it was on over to the eastern arm and the hide overlooking the Laguna Casillas and picking up a Serin as we approached.

At the hide we met up with the departing Derek and Barbara Etherton along with Micky Smith now sporting two new eyes - my turn next!  Mainly Coots on view along with a handful of Little Grebe and a pair of White-headed Ducks.  Just the one Moorhen but also a juvenile Black-necked Grebe hiding in the reeds on the far side.  Similarly, we only saw one Black-winged Stilt but we were to make up for this when we joined Derek and company at the Wader Hide.  The regular appearance of single Collared Doves was hardly any consolation.

Black-winged Stilt Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus
The water level at the Wader Lagoon was well down with much exposed sand and, where man had left deep depressions in the mus at least ten Little Ringed Plovers seemed to be taking some sort of shelter.  On the water a dozen Black-winged Stilts and a single Ringed Plover keeping its own company well to the left.  One Blue-headed Wagtail in the tree on the now enlarged island and before moving on down towards the sea we were joined by a quintet of Little Egrets.  Leaving the hide to join the others Bryan and I noted the Yellow-legged Gulls associated with the water of the eastern arm of the river and, coming across in front of us from the west and moving away behind a single Hobby being mobbed by a small number of hirundines.  It was also from here that we picked up our first Red-rumped Swallow and, in the far distance above the apartment blocks, a few Common Swifts.

The Rio Viejo (Old River) whist lower on water than usual seemed to hold most of the bird life with a large mixed flock of gulls.  Mainly Mediterranean but with a few Black-headed and even some Audouin's Gulls.  Mixed in with them were a pair of Avocets, a single Caspian Tern and Whimbrel.  About a dozen Little Ringed Plovers and at least eight Redshank before a closer look at the bare trees at the back not only revealed a number of Spotless Starlings but also a female Peregrine Falcon.

Little Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius
The return walk from the Sea Watch mirador, which produced not a single bird on the sea as the fog rolled in, did produce a single Greenfinch and a Sardinian Warbler before brief stops at both the previous hides added nothing more to our morning's observations.  The Escondida Laguna turned up more Coots and, at last, a Mallard along with a few Little Grebes, a pair of White-headed Ducks and the over-water feeding hirundines.  No Little Bittern on this occasion but we did have a brief sighting of a Kingfisher and a Hoopoe flew over the water and away.

Our final stop was at the main hide overlooking the Laguna Grande.  Here we found many more Coots and the main flock of Black-headed Gulls along with the five wandering Little Egrets.  The Peregrine Falcon could still be seen in the dead tree at the back along with its accompany small flock of Spotless Starlings.  On the beaches in front of us a number of Little Ringed Plover plus a Ringed Plover and a few Kentish Plover.  At least two Common Sandpipers and a pair of Dunlin were also present.  A brief sight of a White Wagtail by Barbara and with the sun getting ever hotter and birding life becoming somewhat unbearable, we decided to call it a day and made our way back to our respective cars, collecting a Blackbird as we approached the footbridge.

Birds seen:
Mallard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Tern, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Common Swift, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch.

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1 comment:

  1. Yes... your cataract surgery is very close... Regards J.