21 July, Cabo de Gata; 22 July, Guadalhorce

Just as well Dave and Gilly send me some stuff about the visits of the Arboleas Bird Group, as I'm too tied up to get out, plus it's too damned hot, so thanks to them, you have something new to read! Like Dave, I am amazedat the low levels of literacy by the Spanish when out in the country, they think that signs don't apply to them! My apologies to them for not getting this posted before, even though I received it Thursday,I was just just too tied up.

Following their account, there is a note of birds seen at the Guadalhorce on 22 July by Patricia and Birgit.

21 July, Cabo de Gata : To avoid the oppressive heat, Gilly and I left our house at 6 am to get down to Cabo de Gata shortly after sunrise. After a pick-me-up cup of coffee at Pujaire we headed for the first hide. Lots of birds, but mostly Avocets, Yellow-legged and Black-headed Gulls and quite a number of Black-tailed Godwits. The highlight was a single Greenshank. Little waders were few are far between, us seeing only a few Kentish Plovers. On the way to the second hide we came to the rescue of three spanish girls who'd got their vehicle stuck in soft sand near the beach and signs saying "beware soft sand"! The hide produced much of the same, with Black-winged Stilts and a single Stone Curlew. Gilly counted at least 550 Greater Flamingos. The view from the public hide was better.

Numerous Curlew Sandpipers, a Redshank and a single Little Tern. A passing Glossy Ibis made it the bird of the day. The track round the rear of the reserve was dry, but quite rutted & bumpy. We were rewarded with good views of more Curlew Sandpipers and Kentish Plovers. Also seen were a Ruff and a Reeve, a small flock of Dunlin and 20 odd Audouin's Gulls at rest. "Only" 34 species but good to beat the heat. Earned more brownie points as I got us to the shopping centre for the 10 am opening time!!

Isn't Dave a good, selfless little birder? Or was it because the shopping centre wa air conditioned?

22 July, Guadalhorce ponds: This morning Patricia and Birgit were down at the ponds and Pat sent me the following abridged account. They saw an adult Night Heron and later 3 juveniles. At the laguna de la Casilla they saw two Little Bitterns and at the next hide, going towards the sea there was a Common Sandpiper. In the río viejo Pat saw an adult and a young Pied Wagtail. There were, of course, the stilts and plovers everywhere. There seem to be new baby stilts - the ones born first are now big. There are still swallows, house martins and swifts around.
At laguna de La Escondida they saw a Kingfisher, Little Grebes, Coots, Moorhens, White-headed Ducks. It appears that I appear to have brainwashed Pat as she remarks that she made a search for a 'purple bog hen' ... but nothing. (True, they appear to have been absent this year to all intents and purposes and I have had a similar level of luck - zero.) In a previous mail this week, Pat comments about an early Greenshank having been seen.

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