1 August : Guadalhorce

I was in to the Guadalhorce even earlier this morning and the House Martins that roost on the beams of the bridge (above) weren't even totally awake, allowing a count of 81 actually still in the process of waking (and that without the help of a coffee!) while around 30 more were flying around. A total of around 110 birds!
The temperature was delightful and thin layer of cloud kept it that way until gone 09.30 but after that it went upwards whilst I went outwards. But in the middle I had some quite interesting birding. Obviously, my main interest was the waders, even including the Stilts with still remarkably young ones for the date. I was also interested in getting a better count of the Little Ringed Plovers than I did the other day and paid a lot more attention to the counting, finally coming up with a total of 43 on the pool in front of the second hide, another 17+ further down on the río Viejo and around 10 on the laguna Grande - total: ca. 70 birds. There were about the same numbers of Kentish as the other day, 10+, a single Ringed Plover (probably the same bird by plumage), only 2 Little Stints but one was certainly different to the 4 seen two days since and in splendid breeding plumage, and what were certainly the same singles of Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper and Knot (laguna Grande).
A 10 minute seawatch gave 4 Cory's Shearwaters following a fishing boat, my first of this year! Also a single adult Sandwich Tern, with another 1st summer bird (seen by Eric last week) on the laguna Grande.
Audouin's giving another hell!
Gull numbers on the laguna Grande were about the same although adult Lesser Black-backs had risen to 8, including one rather big, dark bird (probably a male) of the intermedius race. There were at least 40 Mediterranean Gulls in amongst them.
Some rather nice Audouin's gave excellent views (although against the light)  and this of 4 adults, with one of them giving another a good chew-out! I shall not make any comments about females and hen-pecked males, I promise.
As for the rest, some very high density display and fighting - real ding-dong stuff - amongst 6 Gadwalls on the laguna Escondida where there was only 1 White-headed Duck. 3 Grey Herons came in from the north-west and landed after making a couple of circuits and the same for a Purple Heron which came in from the east.
Total: 43 species. And the next visit? Perhaps tomorrow afternoon to try and get some photos of gulls in good light.

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