2 October, Guadalhorce

Having being chucked out of the home late in order not to get in the way of the lady who cleans for us I made my reluctant way (not really) down to the ponds, rather late admittedly as I didn't get in until just on 10, when it would have been better earlier as the day was warming up far too much for comfort by then and said temps. promised to go through the roof, which they did, reaching 30ºC with a strong westerly which burnt considerably. The trouble with strong wind is that it makes for lots of vegetation movement and seeing little brown jobs (LBJs) difficult, if not impossible. And as Antonio Miguel had told me yesterday afternoon that he had seen Whinchat, Northern Wheatear and c.20 Pratincoles that same day, I lived in hope, fool that I am.

However, there are some small compensations in this life, and the strong westerly drove some raptors down to the coast. By my reckoning (even numbers of more than 5 tend to complicate matters) and leaving aside the ubiquitous Kestrels, moving west, battling against the wind, I saw 4 Booted Eagles, at least 5 Marsh Harriers includung a 2CY male, 7 Sparrowhawks, 4 Honey Buzzards, one a stunningly marked dark bird with huge barring on its body and, of course, the Osprey.

Waders were again not abundant by any standard, but with signs of birds moving through, like the 6 Curlew Sandpipers and the single Wood Sandpiper which were not there the other day and no Dunlins nor Kentish and Ringed Plovers which had been, with only 1 Little Ringed Plover seen today. On the other hand, the 2 Avocets were still present as was the single Bar-tailed Godwit and there were 2 Knot, although it is difficult to know if these were the same 2 that had been there a week since.

Everything else was the sort of thing one might reasonably expect to see, including the Southern Grey Shrike which was swaying happily inthe wind as it tried to maintain position on the same perch as last time I saw it. There were no hirundines of any sort to be seen. The best I have saved to last, although aparently it had been seen late yesterday afternoon, a Black Stork which flew around and offered decent views although getting decent photos was next to impossible with the movement of the bird across the wind.

Total for the morning, one sunburnt face and 45 spp.

NOTE: Just in case you are thinking of making an excursion to Fuente de Piedra. I had hoped to go there today as I hoped that there might be pumped water in the new flashes near the car park which one passes on the way in. And if there had been water there should have been waders, and possibly something interesting. However, a phone call gave me the information that this new flash area has not been maintained with water so no waders and obviously the laguna is dry, so don't bother trying it!

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