Leaving Mezquitilla at 7am to drive over to the Guadalhorce in Malaga, I had large numbers of Pallid Swifts over the nearby apartment blocks and upon entering the motorway a Hoopoe flew across the road in front of me. Approaching my exit for the A7 above the Guadlahorce to take me down to Guadalmar I could not but notice a trio of Jackdaws resting atop the lamp-posts. Then, parking up near the primary school, welcomed by a few Collared Doves and numerous House Martins feeding low overhead.
|Mixture of gulls and Sandwich Terns Charan Patinegro Sterna sandvicensis|
|Wader Pool with some of the Black-winged Stilts Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus|
|Avocet Avoceta Comun Recurvirostra avosetta|
As is sometimes the case, the Rio Viejo (Od River) turned up trumps once again with a whole range of species. I could see the assembled gulls on the distant island as soon as I reached the water and getting as close as possible was able to identify a few of both Black-headed and Mediterranian species. At least one Audouin's and a couple of Slender-billed before also identifying a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls. And resting with them at least eight Sandwich Terns. On the far bank a Kentish Plover quickly followed by a couple of Little Ringed Plover and, using the scope, even a Ringed Plover. In front of me a Zitting Cisticola headed for more dense cover. However, one of my "birds of the day" just had to be the preening Oystercatcher which has been somewhat of a nemesis to me in Spain these past couple of years.
|Oystercatcher Ostrero Euoasiatico Haemmatopus ostralegus|
The walk to the Sea Watch produced nothing at sea but on just about the last tree before the end of the tack a couple of Spotted Flycatchers. Making my way back I was finally greeted by the first Monk Parakeet gang and then, in the far distance passing low of the back of the laguna Grande, a lone Purple Heron. Continuing on a pair of Shelduck passed over head as they made their way to the Wader Pool and even a Crested Lark on the track.
|Shelduck Tarro Blanco Tadorna tadorna|
The short return visit to the Wader Pool gave me chance to take a closer look at the Shelduck and, at the back of the pool, seven adult Flamingos were seen heading low to the Laguna Grande. From the Laguna Casillas I saw my first Little Grebe and behind me a pair of Goldfinch. Walking to the Laguna Escondida I had first a couple of Greenfinch and then watched a pair of Purple Herons fly over and away to the east. Once at the, almost empty of birds, pool a couple of Coots, Little Grebes and Mallard plus a single male White-headed Duck. A male Pochard was resting or brooding eggs on a bank under a tree on the far bank.
|Mot of the Greater Flamingo Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus|
|Whiskered Tern Fumarel cariblanco Chlidonias hybrida|
With the day getting warmer and warmer by the minute time to head for home and as I walked back along the tack first a couple of Serin and then, presumably picking up grit from the track, a Turtle Dove. An approaching jogger frightened the bird away but it was quickly back on the track in front of me and this time mobbed by a Barn Swallow. But it was a bird on a mission as it returned for a third time, no more than twenty metres in front of me.
|Turtle Dove Tortola Europea Streptopelia turtur|
Crossing the footbridge I could see that a handful of the resident Rock Doves had returned to their resting place below the motorway bridge and noting the missing bird of the morning, I stopped by the church and, sure enough, found a singing Blackbird.
|Very distant record shot of the Peregrine Falcon Halcon Peregrino Falco peregrinus|
Shelduck, Mallard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Flamingo, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Redshank, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Turtle Dove, Monk Parakeet, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
|Black-winged Stilt Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus|
|Newly-arriving Greater Flamingo Flamenco Comun Phoenicopterus roseus|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information