18/12 : Guadalhorce

A very pleasant morning's birding and talking down at the usual place along with David and Ann from Nerja. The photos are David's and are much superior to mine (and so is his equipment - photographic). We went in around 10.30 and I stayed until about 13.30 and we only covered the eastern bank in all that time, but it was well worth it. The sun shone, the birds were present and I felt relaxed and without the need to hurry which has governed my life for the past 4 years.
We saw the usual Grey Herons, Cattle and Little Egrets and here is an example of the race of Cattle Egret often known as the horse egret, not be confused with camel, hippopotamus and tractor egrets.
Of waders, there was only one species - a rather attractive Snipe which showed well, but there's just too much water and no nice muddy margins. Ducks were basically limited to the lagoon in front of the first hide with Mallard, some very attractive little Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler and 6 Pochard. There were, of course, the usual Cormorants flying on unknown missions. Birds of prey gave rather more, although I saw only one Kestrel, but couples of Buzzards - these rather disinclined to fly - and Booted Eagles, plus a single immature Marsh Harrier showed well.  
We saw 4 Skylarks and Crested Lark on the walk down to the seawatch mirador and there was a male Dartford Warbler in the scrub at the end and Chiffchaffs all over the place in the tamarisk.
We did very well for members of the Thrush family with no less than 6 species with the usual Blackbirds, Stonechats, Black Redstarts and Robins, plus at least 2 Song Thrushes but the undoubted the star was this male Bluethroat, a little beauty with a very large white spot which reached up his throat - this form is very variable, some lack the white altogether, who flaunted himself in the sunshine as David's photos show only too well.

Basically, although it didn't seem like it, we had a very fruitful morning with exactly 40 spp. noted down.

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