23 August : sucker for punishment visits Guadalhorce

I simply can't stay away and this morning I was going in at just on 07.30, which is early. And then I wonder why I need a siesta (which is, of course, the best Spanish invention of all time). What is more, it wasn't at all bad with some decent birds.
First stop, the first hide which overlooks the laguna de la Casilla where there were 2 Black-necked Grebes, young birds but fully grown, which shouldn't have been there at all. Then a flock of 18 Glossy Ibises overflew - I've never seen so many at once at the Guadalhorce - and about 90 minutes later a flock of 15, possibly the same as the first minus 3 or another lot. Who knows? A Kingfisher shot across and, surprise, surprise, a Purple Swamphen, as it was only on Wednesday that Antonio Tamayo and self were bemoaning their absence this year.
very young LRP
From there it was down to a rather fuller wader pool and a look from the second hide where there were the first 9 Little Ringed Plovers, the full total of mine being 25+ for the morning - a big fall from the figures earlier in late July and earlier this month. There was a very young LRP at the laguna Grande which I don't think could have been more than 4 days old. Kentish Plovers were present down on the río Viejo where there were 12+ and with a morning total of 18+ but there was only 1 Ringed Plover that I could find. A group of 3 Redshanks flew up-river and there were some few Stilts and 3 Little Stints, with only 2 Common Sandpipers seen, a fall from the previous visit. Dunlin numbers rermain low, with only 6 birds seen, 5 adults and 1 juvenile. A flock of 5 Green Sandpipers which whirled in to the laguna Grande, calling loudly and flying around, too nervous to settle and obviously moving birds.
The río Viejo also housed these very photogenic Audouin's Gulls (below) and there were still goodly numbers of Mediterranean Gulls whilst LBBs don't appear to have built up any more.
The first Teal were back with 3 at the laguna Escondida, where the male Little Bittern decided to show itself again, posing briefly but too distantly to photograph. There were 6 Grey Herons around, all young birds as far as I could make out. 
All the rest was pretty normal, White-headed Ducks, Pochards, Mallards, Little Egrets, still some Common Swifts around but notably fewer, plenty of Barn Swallows and, of course, Green and Goldfinches with some Serins, which just about ties it all up. The next entry of mine will be when I return from Madeira on 31 August but you'll have to wait a few days and bated breath (with luck).

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