14 March : Guadalhorce (9 March) & Lags. Dulce & Fuente de Piedra (12 March)

As I noted this morning when putting in the note on the Ruddy Duck (please read if you've not seen it) , I have been very busy, still going through 2.400 photos and rejecting a lot, then eliminating a file totally in error which meant downloading and starting some of it (only about 1.200 photos) all over again - a right waste of time!) and then starting putting two lectures together as noted in a previous blog headed ANNOUNCEMENT. So, a brief note on my stuff before another of Dave's comes in!.
male iberiae Yellow Wagtail
Sunday, 9 March : Guadalhorce early, along with Paco Rivera (all the time) and Antonio Tamayo and Antonio Miguel Pérez (each for part of the time). A few raptors including the Osprey which took off in search of breakfast, a Kestrel and 2 Booted Eagles, one a dark morph bird, whilst the surprise of the morning (and probably bird of the day) was a Short-eared Owl.
There was a quite decent showing of ducks but nothing outstanding, whilst there were 9 species of waders including some hormonally active Little Ringed Plovers (but not as much as those we saw at Fuente de Piedra) as well as 3 Greenshanks (always nice) and a similar number of Dunlin and 2 Black-tailed Godwits. It was nice to see an iberiae race male Yellow Wagtail at the laguna Grande where there was also an odd gulls, size-wise a Comon but with some characteristics, including the bill, of a Ring-billed. I personally think that it may have been a hybrid of the two spp. (they have interbred) but people ore going for the rarer. An odd bird, that's for sure.
We also had brief views of a Bluethroat, there were plenty of Barn Swallows and a few Sand Martins. Not a big of even full list but I wasn't taking many notes and missed noting down an awful lot.
Wednesday, 12 March : A long morning out with Ron, starting first at the laguna Dulce (Campillos)  where we ran in to Jose Miguel Ramñirez counting ducks and searching for the aforementioned Ruddy Duck. Lots of Barn Swallows and a few Sand Martins, also 3 Tufted Ducks still, plus a good dozen of Red-crested Pochards, the males very handsome. There was lot of Black-necked Grebes, most in full breeding plumage, but rather fewer Great Crested than we might have expected.
Gull-billed Tern
From there we went on to Fuente de Piedra with the aim of looking for waders and, hopefully, a Lesser Flamingo. Alas, no Lessers (2 have been seen over at Osuna) but Pallid Swift had been seen by eaarlier birders (we didn't) and also 4 Mongooses (mongeese?) and I heard but didn't see a Woodchat Shrike at Cantarranas where there were 2 Marsh Harriers. Waders, yes there were, with at least 19 Black-tailed Godwits, some very handsome and splendid when in flight, and 5 Ruffs and singles of Redshank, Lapwing and Common Sandpiper. Ron counted some 18 or 19 Little Ringed Plovers which were being very noisy and hormonal. We walked round towards La Vicaria and were rewarded with views of 3 bright yellow male iberiae Yellow Wagtails, too bright to be true! We finished off with a pair of elegant Gull-billed Terns, the first of the spring.

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