07 August : Guadalhorce (again)

An 08.00 start this morning when I met Carlos López-Jurado, editor of the Grupo Ornitológico Balear yearbook. It's been a few years since we last went birding together as my onw family affairs have intervened, but as a free agent now ...! The forecast was for it to be hot - very hot, and it didn't disappoint and by 9 we were starting to feel the heat but ebing brave, we went on.
Basically, we were after waders to see what had come, what had gone and what had remained static. The first waders we saw flying off to the north as we headed towards the eastern path, 12 of them, 3 Redshanks which had called and alerted me, and the remaining 9 were, I think, Dunlin but they were high and all we saw was the rear underparts. It wasn't until the second hide that we came across waders but in the interests of brevity, I shall just give the sum of totals from the following sites: wader pool (second hide), río Viejo and laguna Grande and then the total, along with a brief comment if one is warranted.
Black-winged Stilt - 70+ (including a flock of ca.60) ; Little Ringed Plover - 57 (a drop from the huge number on 05 August) ;  Kentish Plover - ca.7 ; Little Stint - 3 ; Curlew Sandpiper - 6 ; Dunlin - (9?) + 5 ; Whimbrel - 1 ; Redshank : 3 (see above) +  2 = 5 ; Common Sandpiper - 6 . 9 species of waders, not too bad.
Amongst other things of note, a constant westwards trickle of Common Swifts with only one or two Pallids mixed in; a single adult Woodchat Shrike, a few Bee-eaters, the male Little Bittern at the laguna Escondida and there also the Little Grebes with their 2 young.  On the laguna Grande there was a good selection of gulls and apart from 9 Flamingos, one of which was ringed but I couldn't read fully because of heat haze, although I believe it to be an Italian bird ringed in 2006. I also read the rings on 7 Audouin's Gulls, all I need now is the time to put them in to the Doñana web site.
One more visit to the ponds, this coming Friday morning at 07.30 with Carlos, before I go off to England next week to get wet and cold.

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