27 March : Guadalhorce ponds

normal White-headed Duck
A cool breeze but not too bad later on when the sun rose in later morning although the rising wind rather wiped out any advantage. Howsomever, a nice quiet walk - too damned quiet bird-wise - around with my sister was pleasant, even though the place wasn't exactly teeming with birds as the wind made every petit merde hide down in the bushes and scrub and the only migrants seen/heard were Willow/Chiffs which refused to show well and a couple of Reed Warblers! No shrikes, no wheatears, no Yellow Wags. On the plus side there were plenty of Barn Swallows and House Martins and also a pair of Red-rumped Swallows, always a delight and which made my sister happy.
black-headed White-headed Duck
pied-headed White-headed Duck
Neither were there many waders with the usual Stilts, although not in the numbers nor the level of hysteria that I would expect at this date, 4 Sanderlings, a few Little Ringed and Kentish Plovers, a couple of Avocets and singles of Redshank and a single Little Stint. Not a lot. There are still a few Cormorants around and occasional Grey Herons. There were all the normal ducks that one would expect, but again in small numbers, and the only real interest was in the presence of a black-headed White-headed Duck and another which was also obviously carrying the same recessive gene to a lesser extent, the rest being normal birds as these three photos show. If I remember rightly, Dave E-B and the Arboleas Group had a similar black-headed male some time since down their neck of the woods.

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