22 July, Guadalhorce

After not getting out on Sunday, as previously detailed, and having seen what Patricia wrote, I was decided to get out early unless everything went pear-shaped. The morning didn't achieve that form, although it had a damned good try and after two coffees and 2g of paracetamol I got to the ponds an hour later than intended.

And did I see lots? No, I blankety-blank didn't! In fact, less than two per cent of damn all.

Waders: a few Stilts, LRPs and Kentish, plus a single Dunlin (whoopee!) and I thought I heard a distant Redshank but am not certain. What a stunning list and meanwhile the temperature rose and rose.

Down at the old river there were plenty of Audouin's Gulls resting and I saw my first juv. of the year, which was actually wearing a colour ring (white BCO8), and I managed to read another 10 rings, one of which is visible in the photo on the right if you click on to amplify it, which will be sent off in due course and in the fullness of time I shall be notified of their life histories. In sum, there must have been well over 100 Audouin's at the ponds and at least 50 Mediterranean Gulls, many of these still showing ample signs of full breeding plumage, plus a bundle of Black-headed Gulls, including some in full juvenile plumage.

And finally, on the way out, a Spotted Flycatcher, my first of the year, stupid as it seems, as this year there hasn't been one hanging around the garden.

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