03 November : Guadalhorce

November, cool winds in the early morning at about 08.30, lowish temperatures sufficient to warrant a light sweater, right? Wrong, not yet. Shirt sleeves and probably in the 27º-28º range when I came out around 11. When will this summer change? It's put back many arrivals. I saw my first Black Redstart around the paartments yesterday, 02 November, when I normally expect to see them around 20 October, although the first Crag Martins did arrive down on 22 of last month. Apparently plenty of Robins in the hills but they've not come down to the coast and so far not one in the garden, very few Chiffs too. Any how, to this morning's birding.... By the by, there are no photos, so if you don't feel like reading and only like pretty (?) pictures, turn off now.
So, I met Paco Rivera down by the laguna Grande where there was quite a lot of very little which included satanic black Cormorants decorating the dead eucalyptus,a few brass-off looking Grey Herons and some miserable Coots. Things were enlivened briefly by a an immature Marsh Harrier and a dark phase Booted Eagle showed for 10 seconds and both vanished, never to be seen again while one or two Chiffchaffs bounced around in the tamarisks. A Cattle Egret was surveying the universe from the back of one of the horses that have been grazing down the vegetation. The best there was probably a smart pair of Gadwalls.
From there it was round to the laguna Escondida - 'escondida' means hidden and everthing was, and that which wasn't was way down at the far end sonwards we trudged down to the east bank. First hide not a lot, one or two more Chiffs but nothing exciting at all unless you can worked up about Crag Martins swooping back and forth in the warm wind (yes, you read right, warm wind) and the odd Grey Heron chugging inland against the wind.
The second hide, which overlooks the so-called wader pool, proved slightly more productive with around 15 Teal, nice little ducks but there were very few waders: one each of Green and Common Sandpiper and 2 or 3 Snipe which eventually showed very well. There were few Little Egrets and a single adult Spoonbill sweeping its way through the mud while the Kingfisher made a brief appearance.
On down to the old river, the río Viejo. and there was equally little there except for 3 1st year Flamingos and we went all the way down to the seawatch mirador. We had seen Gannets from a distance and we were to see a few adults, 2nd plumage types and 1st plumage birds. There were plenty of gulls around as usual and not doing much until a dark phase Arctic Skua appeared and that moved them! There wasn't a single shearwater to be seen, although it's getting to the tail end of the season for Cory's as they are exiting the Strait for Brazilian waters. There were at least 2 Sandwich Terns, another species which has been scarce this year.
From there Paco and I wended our way out and we were on the point of nearing the cars when we had fleeting views of Red-rumped Swallow and House Martin. The first is, I think, rather late. However, there are reports in one of the Spanish bird forums of Barn Swallows and even Pallid Swifts as far north as Madrid!
I suspect that when this weather does change it will do so with an unsuspected violence and that we shall go from shirt sleeves to thick sweaters and waterproofs in a very short period of hours. However, time will tell. Good birding to you all.

No hay comentarios: