Monday 12 February 2018

Laguna de la Barrera, Malaga

Monday 12 February

Took Jenny to the Hospital Chip in Malaga, arriving early at 8.40 for her 9am appointment.  Once settled in I drove the less than five minutes to the neighbouring Laguna de la Barrera to see if I could catch up with the reported female Tufted Duck.  I say "less than five minutes" but not having taken more detail of directions I drove around for nearby ten minutes then parked and walked the five minutes to the water.  As a result, both scope and camera left in car.  In the event, scope not needed and I had to make do with a distant phone picture of said target bird.

Female Tufted Duck Porron Monudo Aythya fuligula

It sounds very impressive to talk about a "laguna" whereas a more accurate description would be an abandoned gravel pit of maybe twenty or thirty years past.  Worked out presumably in the middle of a housing development it has been developed into a wildlife area with walks and children's play facilities.  All very nice or would have been if somebody had walked round the perimeter of the water and removed all the rubbish including an assortment of broken palettes.  I imagine the laguna is filled by natural drainage and given the dry weather here and the "tide mark" around the edges I would think that the water level is about at least a metre below normal.

Very distant picture take n with camera of female Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula (far left) and two female Pochard

On the water a trio of Moorhen and a quartet of Coot accompanied by seven Mallard, mainly resting on the far side.  Most noticeable were the score of "White" geese including seven "domesticated" (?) Greylags.  On the water itself I managed to count 44 Common Pochard and the single female Tufted Duck had adopted this flock as her protectors.  Also present were a Blackbird, House Sparrows, White Wagtail and the noisy Monk Parakeets along with both Rock and Collared Dove.  In addition, I counted maybe 50+ Yellow-legged Gulls and at least 20+ Black-headed Gulls.

Not bad for a thirty minute visit then, now knowing the way, back to the hospital to eventually collect Jenny and return to Mezquitilla.

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, White Wagtail, Blackbird, House Sparrow.

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