16.-17 June, summer hath come

A brief bit on two short mornings out birding, yesterday 16/06 to the Guadalhorce in the morning and today, 17/06, to Fuente de Piedra.

Going in to the Guadalhorce, there were some 60-70 House Martins, mostly young, resting on the beam facing in to the early morning sun. At the Guadalhorce I had the fortune to run into Juan Ramírez and Sergio (whose surname I was never given) and apart from haring about Juan's birding/working trips to Madagascar (which he summarised as being full of nasty biting and stinging insects) and Israel (great birding) there wasn't much to see as we are now in the slack period before the start of autumn migration in another month. I didn't go further than the laguna Grande and the Escondida as my knees are giving me all kinds of hell ever since I came back from the US of A.The stilt chicks are growing up and their parents aren't quite as hysterical as before. There are still flotillas of ducklings are varying ages but basically as well terribly normal except for seeing a Cuckoo on the way out, the only one I've seen this year

I was really rather late in leaving for Fuente de Piedra and instead of being there before 0830, didn't make until at least an hour later having left the fog (yes, FOG, three days worth) behind on the coast. It was hot, there were mosquitos and heat haze, and the lake is beautiful and full of flamingos, of course. Apart from resident and noisey Stilts and always elegant Avocets and a single male Kentish Plover, the surprise on this date was a pair of Islandic race Black-tailed Godwits in breeding plumage, with a notable size difference. Heaven knows if they were 1st summer non-breeding birds late in returning north or failed breeders returning south,I suspect the former. The photo came out badly because of heat haze and light position but it's here for what little it's worth.
What there is a lot of is Gull-billed Terns. I can't remember having seen so many for years, they're all over the shop, and if anyone is any doubt as to what one is like and how to differentiate from Sandwich Tern, just take a visit. Also this year, and must be at least 12 years since the last time, Slender-billed Gulls are breeding way out in the centre of the lake but there are usually a few of these long-nosed, giraffe-necked gulls on the laguneta del Pueblo and this morning I had good views of four of them. Oh yes, and it was hot!

No hay comentarios: