18-20 March - down by the riverside....

A pot-pourri (sounds awfully cultured that, don't you think?) of records for the past three days, most from the Guadalhorce but first, from Cádiz province, records of the first Whitethroats (Hannu Koskinnen) in this period (date not given) on the Los Barrios rubbish tip, along with Griffon Vultures, Hannua saw a Black Vulture (a.k.a. MonkVulture) and a Rüppell's Vulture. Also on 18 March no less than 3,200 Short-toed Eagles crossed to this side with over 4.000 raptors in the day (fororoa). Sedge Warblers have been heard in wstern Andalucía also.

From the Guadalhorce, on Friday (18/03) Ron Appleby and Ian Austin saw 59 spp (Hannu saw no less than 70 earlier in the week!) with year firsts of Common Redstart and 3 Common Terns, as well as 4-5 Woodchat Shrikes, Northern Wheatears, Yellow Wagtails and 2 Slender-billed Gulls.

I have no news from yesterday but was there jusr after 08.00 this morning and rather cool it was too! I had little time as I had promised to be home by 11.30 (it actually was just gone 12.00 when I got in) but this haste does not make for good birding. However, to be brief, the best sp. of the morning (for me) was the presence of 2 male Garganey, one on the río Viejo and the other on the laguna Grande, although 4 males were seen later. There was the usual assortment of hirundines but numbers were much lower than the last two visits and there are also much fewer Cormorants and only 2 imm. Grey Herons. There were 6 fly-by Yellow Wagtails and only 6 Kentish Plovers on the beach which is covered in canes. If we even get in to double figures of this last breeding this year it'll be a miracle - and I stopped believing in those years ago! Surprisingly, the 12 Common Scoters are still with us, although well out in the bay.

On the laguna Grande there was also a Ruddy Shelduck, and quite vociferous it was! There were also 3 Avocets and 3 Spoonbills, two of these latter were ringed, one is definitely a Dutch ring and I shall be sending off those details when I have finished this, whilst I believe that the other is from Odiel (Huelva) and shall send that off also. A flock of 7 adult Black-crowned Nightherons came off the sea and circled around as I was leaving. On the way out I met Pat and Paco and Pat has sent me an e-mail that they had seen a flock of 17 Bee-eaters at the laguna Grande.

It's all happening, folks!

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