05 August : Guadalhorce

First, a note from the garden where I had no less than 2 Melodious Warblers (adult and juv.) on Saturday morning (3 August) and a different adult on Sunday afternoon.
An early morning start for Sandra and myself today, 05 August, meeting at 07.30 - beautifully cool! - and going in over the bridge 15 minutes later. Our prime objective was waders, although obviously everything is grist to the mill. The route was the same as always, down the east bank and check out the wader pool and río Viejo, to the seawatch mirador and then along the shore and enter in to come up beside the laguna Grande before having a look at the laguna Escondida.
There wasn't much on the laguna de la Casilla and we soon moved on to the second hide and the wader pool.There things started to look up with a count of 22 Little Ringed Plovers (so where were the rest?) and also 2 Common Sandpipers, plus a few Stilts. Moving down to the río Viejo and watching from the embankment soon revealed where the Little Ringed Plovers were with a minimum count of 55, plus 10+ later on the laguna Grande, would give a daily total of at least 87 birds! I don't think that I have ever seen so many. Numbers of Kentish Plovers were around 10, the same as previous counts but not a single Ringed Plover, with 2 more Common Sandpipers and then another later on on the laguna Grande to give a total of 5. It was nice to get good views of Curlew Sandpipers with a day total of 6, all still in varying states of red plumage, and a couple of very tired Dunlins sleeping like logs. There were 3 Little Stints there and once round the beach to go in towards the laguna Grande we flushed a Green Sandpiper.
Little Grebe, one chick in water, one on back
At the laguna Grande we had a fly-over Squacco Heron with its persil-white wings, possibly the same bird that Sandra saw briefly at the laguna Esconida (I was looking the other way!) and also a couple of Grey Herons. On the separate partially dried part of the laguna Grande just before turning right for the Escondida I found a Spotted Redshank peeping out and we spent several minutes waiting for it to overcome its shyness. We read 4 Audouin's Gull rings and one green one on a Mediterranean Gull - I must send these off!
The Escondida have a us good views of a male Little Bittern which flew the whole length of lake, a female White-headed Duck with 2 quite young ducklings, and amongst the many Little Grebes a pair with 2 very young chicks,little furry balls of nothing, probably from the nest that Juan had found the previous week and in which we could still see one egg. These 2 bits of nothing were quite happy climbing on and off Mum's back but regrettably they were rather distant and this shot is the best that I could do.
It was getting hot by them and we hied ourselves off. A good morning's birding with 38 species.

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