Friday 6 May 2022

Guadalhorce, Malaga

Thursday 5 May

A very warm and sunny late afternoon so not the best time of day to be visiting the Guadalhorce in Malaga. But with Jenny arriving the airport at 7.30 an opportunity not to ne missed as I arrived ion site a few minutes after 5pm. Crossing the footbridge still plenty of House Martins collecting mud to build/reinforce their nests under and on the lower part of the bridge.  A handful of Monk Parakeets crossed over above me as I made my way to the eastern canal and hides along with the first of very many Spotless Starlings.  Approaching the Casillas Hide some feeding House Sparrows but very little on the pool itself; a couple of Coot and a Moorhen plus three drake Mallards. A Little Egret was glimpsed at the far left-hand edge.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia

Moving on to the Wader Hide a Cetti’s Warbler was calling to my left and once settled in the hide immediate close views of both a Spoonbill and Great White Egret.  A Little Egret was resting in the tree on the main island and a second individual at the back of the water. 26 Black-winged Stilts were counted.  Reed Warblers seemed to be calling from every reeded area on the reserve as a Collared Dove flew across the water.

Great White Egret Egretta alba

Once opposite the Rio Viejo (Old River) another dozen Black-winged Stilts along with a couple of Shelduck and small waders including Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper and Ringed Plover. On to the Sea Watch passing a couple of Goldfinch but all that was revealed were the eight Sanderling working the nearby beach.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Making my way back by the same route I encountered a Common Sandpiper at the Wader Pool plus recording Greenfinch, a male Sardinian Warbler and an over-flying Yellow-legged Gull. So on to the Escondida Hide with a Blackbird on the approach track and many more Spotless Starlings. The main attraction here was the flock of fifteen male Pochard along with a couple of White-headed Ducks and the occasional Moorhen and Coot.

Common Pochards Aythya ferina on the Laguna Escondida

Come the Laguna Grande and, once again, the massed resting flock of Sandwich Terns on the island immediately in front of the hide.  A couple of Whiskered Terns were working the water and a further36 Black-winged Stilts noted.  Dotted around were a number of Black-headed Gulls and even a quartet of Cormorant.  Still a couple of Slender-billed Gulls and a single Flamingo flew across the trees at the back.

Mainly Sandwich Terns Sterna sandvicensis

Then the specific, closer check of the resting Sandwich Terns produced first a Common Sandpiper then a single Collared Pratincole.  

Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola

Meanwhile, at the very back of the water, a Kestrel alighted in the top of the tallest bare tree and to the right of the small island at the far right, now under water, a movement in the overhanging branches resting in the green water revealed a Squacco Heron. A Red-  rumped Swallow made a pass in front of the hide returning with a couple of minutes but not to be seen again.  And so time came to make my way back and onwards to my appointment with the arriving plane from Bournemouth when a Great Tit crossed the track to the bush in front of me and notched up the 40th species in just two hours at the reserve.

Whiskered Tern Childonias hybrida

Birds seen:

Shelduck, Mallard, Pochard, White-headed Duck, Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

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