7 October, Guadalhorce

Things have been (and are) a bit on the busy side and therefore this brief account of a late entry brief trip in to the Guadalhorce last Thursday, 7 October, in the very pleasant company of Ann and David Jefferson and, in my case, a deadline to be out means a not great list. It's amazing how much one does not see when there is a time limit and we didn't even get as far as the río viejo.

Before we even got in, there was one Booted Eagle sitting by the river and obviously pondering on the meaning of life. We started off at the laguna grande and when looking across at the row of eucalyptus trees, not only was there the Osprey but 3 more Booted Eagles, all in the same row of trees and with the rather bonny adult female Marsh Harrier that has been around for a while floating back and forth. Indeed, this last gave the photo shot of the day as she flew towards us when we stopped at the laguna escondida. and later another from the second hide on the río viejo when she flopped down and sat with her feet and lower legs in the water. The raptor parade was finished off with a very black Honey Buzzard flying strongly westwards.

There has been an increase in Cormorants and also Grey Herons, inded we had a flock of c.20 of the latter come in from the east and plonk down to rest around the laguna grande where we had to be quick to see 3 Teal as they shot across like bullets. A pair of Spoonbills flew over and it was nice to see 2 Black-necked Grebes. The wader count was obviously incomplete as I was unable to finish off by getting down to the lower reach of the río viejo, but there were 2 Greenshanks, a single Little Ringed Plover, a minimum of 3 Common Sandpipers and no less than 7 Avocets.

I had to cut short because of family commitments but we are meeting earlier this coming week and should see rather more, so be warned! I am not going down to the ponds this morning, Sunday, as book illustrations call, rather, demand my attention.

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