21 August, Guadalhorce

the riff-raff - Monk Parakeets
Only a few hours since, when posting Dave's latest report from Almería, I swore that I wouldn't be going out in the heat but the need to go birding and withdrawal symptoms overcame what is often known as common sense. But by getting up early this morning and watching the first rim of the sun coming up over the horizon in the direction of Nerja as I entered the Guadalhorce ponds I at least started cool, although coming out later was another story in to which I shall not enter, with the added pleasure of meeting Antonio Tamayo to lighten the morning.
So, a brief breakdown of the more interesting species, starting with the almost continual westerly flow of Common Swifts, not dense but patchy with small, loose flocks moving through for perhaps something over 200 birds seen in the three hours, but with less than 10 Pallid Swifts seen. Yellow Wagtails are moving through and I must have seen half a dozen or so, plus a Reed Warbler with Antonio, but no wheatears yet and a Spanish birder who said there were lots of young Woodchat Shrikes while neither Antonio or myself had seen one - something odd there! There are still some very young White-headed Ducks on the laguna Escondida and there were some 8 or 9 Pochard there also, plus Mallard, Gadwall and a single Shoveler. There were 6 Grey Herons, so they are starting to build up.
Lesser Black-backed Gull, adult (nearly asleep)
As always, I searched especially for waders and saw a total of 9 species, the most interesting being the reducing number so Little Ringed Plovers (down to around 45), 2 Ringed Plovers and about 12 Kentish. There is actually little wader movemnet visible, with only slight variations. For example, Common Sandpipers had gone up to 7 and there were 3 Green Sandpipers, but only one each of Redshank and Little Stint. And I mustn't forget the 40 or so Stilts, which included a flock of about 30.
There were plenty of gulls on the laguna Grande with  Lesser Black-backs having built up to 100+ adults and a few (I didn't count) juveniles. There were equally good numbers of Mediterranean Gulls, an estimate of in excess of 100 birds, with over half being adults, some Yellow-legs and Black-headed.
As usual the view from the hide in the morning tends to show the gulls up sun of the observer, so views at times are not perfect but things weren't too bad this morning and I managed to read the rings of 4 Audouin's Gulls plus get some half way decent photos. So, in order of age here are below are some captioned photos with the ages of this very elegant gull of which Spain holds at least 90% of the world population.
Audouin's Gull in juvenile plumage, maintained until around early September some birds

Audouin's Gull, 1st summer plumage
Audouin's just moulted to 3rd winter, nice new plumage, identification on bill colour which is still 2nd summer
So that's all folks. I shall be away all the week 25-31 August, sailing the ocean blue off Madeira and hope to return with lots of nice pelagic seabirds in the bag.

No hay comentarios: