29 March, a few interesting birds

One day's birding from the terrace with a short walk down by the río Guadalhorce with the dog, nothing exciting one would think, in fact, pretty dull. Well, it shows that one can be greatly mistaken.

Part one (11.00) It started from the terrace when I was having a word with Stephen Daly and generally eying the world around which started with three warblers in the one remaining pine tree. It requires a bit of dexterity to (a) grab binocs, (b) push glasses on to forehead, (c) find and focus in on said warblers whilst (d) endeavouring to maintain a conversation without dropping the phone or, worse, the binoculars. However, all requisites achieved, 2 of the warblers were undoubtedly Bonelli's (by chance, Stephen had also seen some that morning in his garden in Barbate) but the third escaped unidentified.

Part two, 12.00-13.00 (approx.) I felt it was about time that I gave the knees and dog the chance of bit of gentle exercise and down by the Río Guadalhorce seemed a good place, it was flat, we could both go slowly - me to watch for birds and Luna to sniff and smell. I don't know what she smelt but it was interesting for her, but I saw a female Whitethroat and there were at least 2 Reed Warblers singing on the reserve side of the river. Bob Hibbett rang me from the seawatch mirador whilst we were still trundling along to say that he was watching the Ring-billed Gull that has been around that area for about six weeks and with which I signally have failed to connect.

Part three (18.00-20.30) This afternoon has been interesting, so first the swifts. There had been a goodish arrival of Commons on Sunday afternoon and this afternnoon there were more, as I could see from the terrace, with some Pallids mixed in. A walk around the town, about 1.5 km, with dog showed at least 400 and perhaps as many as 600 over my part of the town, which is basically the centre to western part of Torremolinos. It was nice to see them swirling and even more so to hear them and see the first few screaming parties in the low level pursuits and even, dare I mention it, a frustrated attempt at copulation by one pair. It takes a bit of practice after year without it!

And once more the garden. Goldfinches and Serins are a distraction at this time of year even though the males of these latter are little gems, as both bounce around all over the place and distract, but there was more to be seen apart from a very lost white Cockatiel, a species which I am confident is not a natural migrant here. First a female Subalpine Warbler, not the first in the garden but a bonny little bird, then a Woodchat Shrike which hung around forall of ten seconds and finally 2 Willow Warblers, one of which had been hanging around since the start of the afternoon session.

Not a bad day with 5 spp. of warblers, was it?

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