20 January - down by the river side (Guadalhorce)

A nice afternoon and Sandra Sierra and myself went down to the Guadalhorce, not just for a walk but with a specific mission- try and see and, in my case, photograph at least one of the up to three Short-eared Owls that have been seen.

In fact, we hit gold,because we also saw (and photographed) the immaturePurple Heron that has been seen intermittently seen just before Christmas. As an extra extra, we also saw at least 4 Marsh Harriers, 2 juvs, a young female and an older female but not the young 2CY male I saw yesterday afternoon.

First, the Purple Heron which proceeded to spear and devour a vole before our eyes, something which one of the Short-eared Owls also did.

It wasn't a good afternoon to be a vole in the Guadalhorce! I don't think I've seen so many small mammals clobbered so effectively since watching Long-tailed Skuas dismembering lemmings on Varangerfjord some years since!

The second objective was the Short-eared Owls, or at least one of 'em.

We saw two but one performed pretty well and I was able to put my new telephoto to good use, as I hope the photos show, some taken in pretty poor light but I think that you can get the idea and see the major identification features.

Superb birds!

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