|Little Bittern Avetorillo Comun Ixobrychus minutus
Another early morning start and arriving at the Guadalhorce just before seven in the dark the fist first seen ere a pair of Backbirds taking advantage of the sodium lights for some early foraging. With the first signs of light away to the east as I crossed the footbridge, I put up a Crested Lark resting on the track a the start of the "bamboo avenue" and then, at the other end, a resting Red-necked Nightjar taking advantage of the warm stones and yet to be disturbed by the first visitor of the day. Lovely bird which let me, from about ten metres, put down the scope and camera case, take up camera and stand and then decided to fly away. What a tease!
|Juvenile Black-wiged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
On to the "Wader Pool" which looked decidedly uninviting and, as on my last visit, the deep footprints through the sandy mud to the first low island were being used by the ten Little Ringed Plovers as, what I can only describe as bunkers, to gets some from the sun as the temperatures begin to soar. At least a dozen Black-winged Stilts on the pool and a single juvenile Flamingo. Whilst both single Redshank and Dunlin were noted, I was more interested in, first, the resting Peregrine Falcon in the tree at the far back and, secondly, well away in the tower block in the distance the sight of a Barn Owl looking out of its either nesting space or roost. To complete the listings a Collared Dove flew over, then a juvenile Goldfinch from the tiny charm landed in a nearby tree and a female Common Kestrel was recorded.
The short walk down to the Rio Viejo (Old River) produced a large gathering of birds looking like a snowfall on the far water. Lots of gulls which were mainly Mediterranean plus a few Audouin's and a handful of Yellow-legged Gulls. A score of Black-winged Stilts were roosting on the far back and feeding around their legs were eight Curlew Sandpipers along with seven Dunlin, a couple of Little Stints and another Common Redshank.
|Curlew Sandpipers Correlimos Zarapitin Calidris ferruginea and Black-winged Stilts Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus
Making my way back towards Laguna Casillas I picked up the first Spotless Starlings and House Sparrows of the day and from the hide was in time to see a pair of adult Flamingos fly over. Two Gadwalls had now arrived and a flighty male Sardinian Warbler was active along the track.
|Passing Flamingos Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus over Laguna Casillas
The Laguna Escondida might not contain the recently seen Marbled Duck but there were five Ferruginous Ducks on the water along with Mallard, White-headed Duck and a handful of Teal. At the far end another Red-crested Pochard and more Coots, Moorhens and Little Grebes but the most obvious, and nearest, sighting was the lovely Little Bittern happily fishing from a horizontal reed below me to the left of the hide. Indeed, the scope produced a male Little Bittern at the very far end of the water.
|Hunting Little Bittern Avetorillo Comun Ixobrychus minutus
|Ferruginous Ducks Porron Pardo Aythya nyroca on the laguna Escondida
Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Little Egret, Flamingo, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collard Dove, Barn Owl, Red-necked Nightjar, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Goldinch.
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